How to speak horse - any guides? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 04-26-2016, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Overread View Post
Aye, though its taken me 10 years I think we are still trying to understand husky talk. Sometimes its easy and you can most certainly connect the dots between certain types of behaviour and what the animal is trying to say or want or feel. However there are also other bits where you can't so easily connect the dots; where you sometimes need experience or input from a source that has looked at way more information and example of behaviour to put it all together.

And of course each animal is individual and how they are raised and what they are will affect a lot of their talk. A horse in the wild won't speak quite the same language as a horse kept stalled its whole life ; but there will always be common elements that link the two as they are still horses at the end of the day.

For me this is about trying to "cheat" on years of observation by getting some second hand information. Giving a structured framework to build upon when dealing with horses infrequently or when there isn't a horsey person around to say "Oh that means XYZ"

Interestingly on the subject of horse communication or indeed any animal I think there are two parts.

1) Understanding; actually understanding what the animal is saying.

2) Responding; responding to that or not responding and sometimes knowing how to respond.

For the newbie, like myself, both parts are a key problem. A horse might well send a very clear message; but its then (at least when interacting with) also knowing how to respond to that message.

My hope is that by at least aiming to learn as much as I can of the former the latter will be more easily learnt. Furthermore I think the former is critical to how one chooses the latter as there are often multiple ways to respond to the same message; so a greater understanding of the message opens up a greater capacity to pick the right response.

Which is exactly what you're talking about greentree in how its understanding the horses language and then responding in kind to that message; in your case also then adapting it all to mould your desires around - in your example your desire to ride mixed with the horses language to accept being ridden.

The discussion on some of the big names in the horsemanship world are interesting and its interesting to hear not just about but first person stories regarding some of them and how they react around horses. What's interesting is that I see some making mistakes that I would consider more akin to beginner level mistakes - especially ones where you can see the trainer has gone into a situation or been presented with a situation where there's a demand for a certain end result and everything they do gets "blinkered" to that end goal regardless of what the animal is communicating. The story about the trainer ignoring the horses lameness in favour of focusing on the objective of riding/jumping being a prime example of this.
It woudln't surprise me if that trainer could see the message in the movements of the horse but was focused purely on their target of jumping the horse

well said, Overread.

that brought up some interesting thoughts on my part. . . . . yesterday when bringing up my lease horse from the lower pasture I kept my mind attuned to him, instead of drifting off to what I'm gonna cook for dinner or other petty thoughts. as we approached the water trough, I felt him brighten his focus, I saw his head extend forward in eagarness, heard him lick his lips. so, he was thinking about that water. good.
then, as we got closer and I was walking right next to him, I felt him 'contract' his neck, sour his face, pull back his ears, and look sideways at ME, not the water. he was thinking/feeling dominant about that water, and while it was the tiniest of things. and while he didn't PIN his ears, he didn't threaten me in any way, he had changed his thought from "I am going to drink!" to "Mine!". it was just a habitual thing he does and usually I pay it no mind. this time, I thought, "there's no reason for me to leave him in that mental state, even for a second.",

so, I interrupted his thinking. I just raised my leading hand, gave the tinitest of wiggles and said, "Ah!Ah!" . he immediatly brightened, put his ears forward , looked at me and the entire ugliness of his former thought was as gone as if it had never been there. we then walked to the water trough and he drank peacefully, then finished and looked at me like, "how what?".

it has taken me years to SEE what the horse is thinking, and to decide that sometimes it IS worth it to respond, even to these tiny things.
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post #32 of 37 Old 04-26-2016, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
liking Cherie's post 10,000 times!

Me too !
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post #33 of 37 Old 04-27-2016, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ShirtHotTeez View Post
Hi Jaydee. I don't know about your first sentence, not knowing you or the trainers you refer to I have no point of reference.

It is not only trainers that can 'hear' what a horse is trying to say but if if a trainer is talking or making 'noise' it doesn't mean he/she can't 'hear' what the horse is saying, because the language is not 'words'. The language is visual, intuition, familiarity, tactile. . . it is constant 'vibes' (can't find the words!) between horse and person. They are always communicating, as you are always communicating. Communicating is not the same as response.

Think of it like this. Think of two times when you have been in a public place where there is another person within a few feet of you.
Scenario 1/ the person looks at you and gives a small smile says hi and looks away. You look at them return the smile and say 'hi, hows your day?'. - Friendly, conversation opened. (if you notice body mannerisms will be inviting friendship)
Scenario 2/ person glances at you looks down and turns away. You say nothing and go about your business. (body mannerisms saying 'leave me alone')

Both scenarios are full of communication, even before the 'hi' in the first one. And often the 'cues' are more subtle than that, but we understand because we have been 'talking' and reading people since we were born. Just some are more sensitive to it than others.

You can see it in other animals too. Especially dogs and cats. When I was milking on a dairy farm I could say to the owner 'there is something wrong with that cow' and to start with he would say 'no she's fine'. Usually within a few days she was pulled out of the herd lame or sick. Got to the stage he would pull her out straight away, and I was right most of the time, occasionally nothing manifested. That was on a farm of 1200 cows.
I think you totally missed my point!!!!
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post #34 of 37 Old 04-27-2016, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Overread View Post
I 100% understand that the best way to learn to understand is to be there to see it and interact with a good guide/horsey person.

However at present that isn't on the cards so next best thing is that someone must have written of this subject and whilst subtle body clues might be hard to write and harder still to understand it might at least give a theoretical grounding to help put some sort of structure to understanding what the heck a horse is saying/thinking.

So has anyone any good references or books that go through this topic at a deeper level than "ears back bad - ears forward good"
I agree that watching horses interact is good. Also I think looking at these will help:

How to Read Your Horse's Body Language | EQUUS Magazine

How to Speak Horse

Don't judge someone's horse or skill because they don't compete or work with a trainer.

Sometimes they're the most in tune with each other.
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post #35 of 37 Old 04-27-2016, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I think you totally missed my point!!!!
If so, I'm sorry.
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post #36 of 37 Old 01-16-2018, 05:09 PM
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I'm obviously a few years behind (I'm just reading through ALL the newbie forums - ha!), but I picked up a book called Horse Speak written by Sharon Wilsie and Gretchen Vogel, and I think it'd be very helpful.
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post #37 of 37 Old 02-24-2018, 10:15 PM
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Deleted due to repost! I apologize!!

Last edited by Bokchoi; 02-24-2018 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Oops — reposted on same
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