Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: North County San Diego
• Horses: 0
Interpreting horse behavior
I'm not exactly new to horses but this seemed the most appropriate forum.
I help out at a horse rescue (please, let's not get into a discussion of whether such are good or evil).
One of the horses there is a bit of a pill but he and I get along pretty well. I generally will take 5-10 minutes after everyone is fed and chores are complete to brush him down mainly because both of us enjoy it and it seems to improve his behavior a bit while I'm cleaning the barn.
He has this behavior that I can't interpret. I know he enjoys the grooming, I can see his lower lip tremble, he stands stock still for it (which he wouldn't if he didn't like it). After I'm done he will sometimes turn his head towards me and not quite snap at me but make a sort of biting gesture. He never bites me, he doesn't get his teeth anywhere near me. Just sort of makes a quick bite at the air in my general direction.
I don't know whether he's telling me.. "ok, grooming is over, get lost", or if this is some sort of remnant of return grooming, or what.
I know it's next to impossible to try and interpret this from your desk in front of the computer, but perhaps some of you have seen it before and can clue me in.
It's not a big deal, as I said him and I get along fine but I'd like to understand what's he telling me with this.
Thanks in advance,