How long till a horse knows it's name? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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How long till a horse knows it's name?

All of my horse's have been older and know their name. The foster pony we have at home was pulled from a barn in December 08. He was of course given a name but still doesn't seem to respond to it much. He'll pop his head up once in awhile but doesn't consistently respond to being called, not like the older ones. Judging by his tooth loss we place him at about 2. Keep in mind he was in the boarded up barn for about 6 months with no human contact. (from the time he was 1 to 1 1/2 years old)
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 05:28 PM
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I don't think that all horses learn their names. He might just not know it. He may learn it after a while, he may not. If you want him to learn it, keep using his name around him.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 05:58 PM
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I've had mine since December and I don't think he knows his name. He knows my voice maybe, but he doesn't necessarily turn his head when I call his name like my dogs do.

Toby is 6. I'm not sure if his name has always been Toby. I can't imagine calling a tobiano Paint Toby, but that's the name he came with so that's what I call him. lol

"When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age, you splatter." -- Roy Rogers
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 08:57 PM
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I don't think they ever learn their names. I can call my guy anything and he will talk back to me. He doesn't come by name but by anything I say. It is easy to get him to talk to me. It is the tone of voice he responds to. If I call Rio he talks, if I call him sweety he talks to me. I call him old man all the time and he responds.
The simple sound of my truck or car pulling into the barn brings him running and talking, shaking his head and pacing the fence asking to be taken from the field.
Names mean nothing, tone of voice is more important.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 09:54 PM
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I don't know, I think they know their names. At least I think mine do. I can call Ricci's name while she's with the other two horses and only her head will come up. And if I call Gracie's name, or Maizy's name, the only head to come up is the head that belongs to the name.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-26-2009, 10:32 PM
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My boy will turn his head at his name and no other words. So I think he knows it. But I don't know how long it took him to learn it.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-27-2009, 01:29 AM
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Miss Take doesn't really know her name and she's had it for maybe 5 years. I think certain horses learn to know their name very well while others simply don't. In my opinion, it depends on the horse.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-27-2009, 02:06 AM
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I think its all to do with tone of voice. With my 2 old horses, I'd call out Idgi Gidji in a high-pitched voice and he'd always whinny back. My mare who was in the same paddock would never put her head up. She'd only put her head up if I called "mare mare" or "nessa-may". I said their names in different tones, so I think they learnt the tones of my voice.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-27-2009, 09:48 AM
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With Jemma on 2nd or 3rd day actually. But I don't think that was really a name, but my presence. She heard my voice and showed up.

With Kiara probably couple weeks (she was wild), but again I think it was my voice/appearance rather then my name.

They certainly know names and distinguish them (like my all cats and dogs too).
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-27-2009, 09:51 AM
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Oh they most certainly DO learn their names.

We have nearly 40 horses on the property. The majority of them will come when called. It's the like sounding names that are confusing for them. Lady, Lacey, etc.
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