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 :(
i have no idea but would be interested in seeing what other people think
do u do parelli with him??? Just noticed the equitment :)
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.
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.
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.
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
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- http://www.squidoo.com/EpicFarmsBodyLanguage Really good read on horse language!
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...
He may just not want to do what your asking. He want to go back to standing still and eating hay :lol: Just ignore it.
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