pinned ears? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 131
• Horses: 1
pinned ears?

I saw a thread kind of like this, but it is a totally different situation so I hope you don't mind that I made a new thread.

Well, I got a new horse last sunday (the 25th). He is great. He is happy, loves attention, and we get along so well already. But, he pins his ears pretty often. He has never showed any signs of aggression, he just pins his ears. But he only does it when he is moving? It is so weird. If I am standing there grooming him, the minute I ask him to walk, he does it without hesitation but he pins his ears. And when I lunge him, he really pins them.

But it is so weird. Yesterday I went out to check to see if the outdoor arena was dry, and had to walk through his field to get there. Without paying any attending to him, he trotted over to me and followed me the whole way to the arena and back to the gate. I didn't even touch him and he followed me, but he has his ears back the whole time!

I have never had a horse do this before, and I can't figure out why. I don't want him to be unhappy or in pain, but he doesn't seem like he is either. Is that just his personality? I remember I read an article on mares and debbie mcdonald said that brentine pins he ears when she wants debbie to come closer, so maybe his ears back doesn't mean something bad? does anyone have any ideas?

sorry for the bad pictures :(
Sonnyx12 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: england
Posts: 504
• Horses: 1
i have no idea but would be interested in seeing what other people think

:~: A Horse Is An Angel Without Wings :~:
jemmamalone is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 07:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,641
• Horses: 0
do u do parelli with him??? Just noticed the equitment :)
HorsesAreForever is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
Posts: 1,901
• Horses: 1
Well, I have a horse who often pins his ears at me, because he pretty much hates me, lol. In the second pic it kind of looks like he's listening to something behind him, and in the first pic its a little blurry, but its possible that he knows he has to work, and so he's just expressing a little displeasure. The fact that he does it when you're grooming him (a sign that he's going to be working soon), when you're lunging him (both a precursor to real work and work in itself) and when you were heading to/from the arena (the place where he works) says that its a distinct possibility.
justsambam08 is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sonoran desert
Posts: 698
• Horses: 2
I don't really think his ears look 'pinned' at all. Does the pinning does get more severe than what is depicted above?
In the second pic I agree with justsam that it looks like he's listening. In the first one his ears do look slightly further back than relaxed but he doens't look aggressive in his body language. The only thing I could think of is that he's in some sort of pain and he's trying to express it. But it seems that you're confident it's not that.

So I'm at just as much of a loss as everyone else.


dashygirl is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
If the pictures are supposed to depict his "pinned ears", I would say that they are NOT pinned. He is relaxed, but paying attention. Pinned ears are right back down onto the neck area, several degrees more than what is in the pictures.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In a box
Posts: 1,074
• Horses: 2
Loki sometimes does the same thing when I feed and he gets a bit excited. He'll 'pin' (same what yours is doing) his ears in kind of a 'Hurry up already! I want my grain!' way.

That just might be the relaxed ear position for your boy. Loki sticks his ears out sideways when he's relaxed, or at ease xD

Wait! I'll fix it....
twogeldings is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 10,620
• Horses: 5
I read an article about horse language and the ears. From what the photos show it looks more like a submission position. Pinned when they are mad to the point of possibly kicking, they are laid back flat on the neck.
I'll see if I can find the article. and post it for you.
Here it is- Really good read on horse language!

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France

Last edited by Vidaloco; 11-04-2009 at 08:55 PM.
Vidaloco is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 131
• Horses: 1
oops, i guess i shouldn't have said "pinned" ears, but rather his ears are always back when he is moving. like i said he has never showed any signs of aggression.

that article is really neat, and maybe he is really focused? but then sometimes he wrinkles up his nose which seems to me he is more angry than focus. could it be that he is just lazy an doesnt want to move?

and just to clarify justsambam, he doesnt have them back when i groom him.

here are a few more pictures. they are really bad but you can tell his ears are back more.

and yes i am trying parelli :) but i would rather not start a discussion on that right now...
Sonnyx12 is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 11-04-2009, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 10,620
• Horses: 5
He may just not want to do what your asking. He want to go back to standing still and eating hay Just ignore it.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
Vidaloco is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pinning her ears at me? Wallaby Horse Training 12 10-20-2009 07:51 PM
fungus in ears PLEASE help! alucard Horse Health 7 11-18-2007 12:33 PM
Funny ears breezie Horse Shows 6 09-04-2007 11:47 PM
Flattens ears SpearJ Horse Training 9 07-29-2007 12:18 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome