To look, or not...

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To look, or not...

This is a discussion on To look, or not... within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-01-2009, 05:53 PM
    To look, or not...

    I have read conflicting information on whether or not you should look a horse in the eye...what do you think? Will this help or hurt your interactions with a horse?
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        04-01-2009, 07:32 PM
    Green Broke
    Depends on the horse and what you want to accomplish. If its a wild horse or unhandled and you are trying to gentle it so it trusts people, then normally you would not look it in the eyes right away - especially while trying to get that first physical contact.

    However, with a horse that is tame and friendly then looking it in the eyes is not a problem.
        04-01-2009, 07:44 PM
    Hmm, that's a good one. I've always heard not to "stare" a dog in the eye, because it means you want to fight or something lol.

    I think with horses it's alright to look them in the eye at anytime. I always thought they read you mostly on body language? (I don't think I said that right lol)

    For example, if I was standing calmly looking my horse, any horse in the eye I don't think there could be a problem. On the other hand, if I were staring at another horse with my body language showing that I was tense, upset, angry, etc. the horse may react differently.
    I don't know if that's right, I'm just sort of guessing on this one lol.
        04-02-2009, 11:04 AM
    Well my horses come over and look me in the eye, so I look right back. Never really thought about it to tell the truth.
        04-02-2009, 11:19 AM
    Before you've gained the trust of a horse, looking them in the eye is not a good idea. This is because predators in the wild will look into their prey's eyes to psych them out. However, once the horse has a trusting relationship with humans, looking them in the eye can even be a good thing sometimes because the horse fully understands that you are not there to eat them.
        04-02-2009, 11:27 AM
    Looking them in the eye is a form of body language -- Mostly with scared/wild/nervous horses do you have to pay attention to it though.
    I can look into my horses eye fine. But not with a horse that thought I wanted them for dinner.
        04-02-2009, 11:36 AM
    Funny you should ask I read a study on this some time ago. I'll try to find it if I can and post a link. It was to see if looking in the eye made a difference when trying to catch a horse. The study concluded that it made no difference what so ever. I thought that was pretty interesting.

    I found it
        04-02-2009, 11:56 AM
    I do when on ground. Never had an issue.
        04-02-2009, 12:21 PM
    Vida..i read that same article..which is what sparked my interest in what people thought. I understand the prey idea..which makes sense. I have always looked horses in the eyes, and never had a problem.
        04-02-2009, 12:34 PM
    I honestly don't pay enough attention
    I don't lunge my horses (just a tiny bit with the babys) and don't have trouble catching any of them. I like looking in their eyes because they are so beautiful, but that's when I'm already in their face.
    I do like a horse that will look me in the eye, maybe its just a personal thing . I pay more attention to butts and ears

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