Where do his ears belong? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 08-03-2012, 01:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
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You will hardle see a picture of my horse with his ears back, He is alert and watching the trail. The ears swivel all around

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post #12 of 22 Old 08-03-2012, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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Like Painted Horse's horses, my girl's ears are going every whichaway. She watches everything that is going on - she loves the trails! Does that mean she's not listening to me? No - she's very responsive when asked to do something.

Well, at least she is until she decides she's gone far enough! (Daughter rode her around our 2-mile section - total 8 miles. Dancer got about 1/4 mile from the last corner and decided she had gone far enough and wanted to turn around and go home. All the way back around! Took a little convincing, but she eventually agreed to move in the desired direction. Guess she was very pleased to see that the way forward was the shorter, easier route!)
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post #13 of 22 Old 08-03-2012, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio USA
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I don't put too much thought into where my horse's ears are pointed, and it doesn't concern me if there isn't always an ear back toward me.

Since he "listens" to the other cues I give him, his ears are able to focus on the rest of the world around us.

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post #14 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 04:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
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If my horse is in the lead, his ears are forward. And when they REALLY go forward and he stops...he's focusing on something. Usually it's another rider coming down the trail towards us...WAY before I'd be aware of them. But sometimes it's deer or turkeys. He likes to stop and watch them sail past if they are really close.. Otherwise, he's just an early warning system. He focuses those ears and I know there's a surprise coming! LOL

If we're following, he's totally relaxed. The lead horse is watching for danger, he's just following along. His ears can go any which way!
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post #15 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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What I have learned with trail riding is that you want the horse to be alert. When his ears are turned back and his head is low he is paying no attention to anything. Should something spook him, he will likely react much more so than the horse that is alert.
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post #16 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
What I have learned with trail riding is that you want the horse to be alert. When his ears are turned back and his head is low he is paying no attention to anything. Should something spook him, he will likely react much more so than the horse that is alert.
Been there. Done that. My horse was basically sleep walking when a bee stung her. She startled and ran.
Gravity got me.........
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post #17 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 09:32 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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I like an ear on me with arena work, but it doesn't need to be so. ST's ears will be flat out to the sides if we're following on the trail, and they'll be up and alert if we're leading (not normally, coz she's slow, lol). She generally starts to snort if she sees/hears something a bit farther, but if a little branch across the trail spooks her (for whatever dumb reason, haha) she'll literally almost sit down on her butt from whatever pace we're going to avoid stepping on it, and then she continues like nothing happened.
I like seeing ears up on a trail though, I think they make the best pictures that way :p
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post #18 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 10:11 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Depending on if you are with a group or out alone. The leading or first horse will have their ears forward. That last horse will keep them back. If alone, they will go either way.

It doesn't bother me if where their ears are when riding. I would rather have them keep their neck level than up like a giraffe. The ones with their head up seem to be worse spookers.
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post #19 of 22 Old 08-04-2012, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
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I pay a LOT of attention to what my horse's ears are doing. They generally are going back and forth from mostly forward to one back or both back toward me.

If I slightly 'tighten' one leg, that ear on that side will instantly come back to 'listen' to what I am asking.
I my horses ears go into a VERY alert position, I try to see what he is looking at.
If his neck is bowed and he is looking down, I think SNAKE! Lots of rattlers around here.
If his head is up, particularly if he hesitates or stops, I think feral hogs or deer or ????
If he turns his head back, I look behind me for bicycles, game, other riders or ????
If I have trail riders with me, I glance back frequently to watch the ears and other indicators of the trail horses carrying them.

'Reading' horses is a very big part of what I do and determines completely what kind of response I am going to ask for in a horse I am on or have with me. I always try to ride 'ahead' of where I am and think watching a horse's ears are one of the best indicators of where a horse's mind is.
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post #20 of 22 Old 08-05-2012, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Camp Verde, Az
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I want my horses ears all over the place. When we' humans are walking down the street or let's say walking in the mall. We're not always paying attention to just one direction. Sometimes, we're focused on who's walking beside us, what's in the window, who's coming our way, what's that smell, who's coming up behind, back to the windows, etc. An alert individual has focus all over the place. I want my horse to do the same. But his BODY is focused on me.
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