Questions about horse behaviour for newbies - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-26-2019, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Questions about horse behaviour for newbies

Are you new to horses? Do you have a question in mind about horses? I love horses but I do not claim to be an expert but if you want to know a thing about horses, post your question here and I'll do my best to give you the best answer I can give you!

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post #2 of 30 Old 09-28-2019, 03:50 PM
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I have a ton of questions. :) I read books about horse behaviour, but I still want to know some stuff and when I ask other riders about horse behaviour it seems like they don't really care alot as long as the horse does what they ask from it.



-What does it mean when a horse makes a humming sound?? (context: trail riding, new rider, crappy light riding and the horse hummed after that.) Also hummed in the beginning of the ride. His body language seemed relaxed to me.



-What do you have to do when a horse rears and you are holding him on a lead rope? Last time I lifted my arm and gave the horse some rope so I would not be jerking the horse his head. After he landed I stayed where I was and calmly spoke to him. After I saw him do some more side leaps I jerked the lead rope with equal intensity (not that hard) to give the message: do not run or pull this rope! Meanwhile I stayed calm. I approached the horse still speaking calmly to him. (ps he did not run away and did not pull me any further) He reared because he was excited or maybe scared about a sudden appearance of broken out horses. Not because of dominance, I think?? I am a total newbie to horses and I really just didn't know what to do. I just thought: okay stay calm... :) How would an experienced rider handle this??



-One horse often approaches me in the pasture, touches me and slightly nibbles me. When I turn around to touch his head he pulls his head away so I turn my back and leave him in peace, but then he touches me again, so I asked some other riders what was up. They said to me: he wants attention. So I touched his back and rubbed him meanwhile watching his ears and nose. Those were not pinned nor tense. But I don't understand why he pulls away when I try to touch his head.... He used to be a race horse, maybe he is traumatized a little bit? Or does not like being touched on the nose? Would you touch/stroke a horse that gently touches you or nibbles you?? :) I assumed he wanted attention or was curious? :) I kinda like this horse, I think he has had some bad experiences with humans and doesn't know how to interact with them. (That is my guess because I do see him pin his ears towards other riders that touch his nose)
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-28-2019, 03:55 PM
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Do you have good/lesser known tips to bond with a horse and gain their trust? I ride the same horse most of the time. I try to pet him and groom him. He likes being petted and now knows I am gonna scratch his itchy nose for him after the ride. He really seemes to enjoy that. :) I saw his lower lip hang when I was grooming him, so he was clearly happy. What more can I do to tell the other horses and him that I am a 'safe' person?? :)
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-28-2019, 04:03 PM
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and another question: I was mounting a horse with a bit in it's mouth. I was not pulling the reins and he violently shook his head up and down vertically... I thought: man this horse is trying to tell me he doesn't like the bit/it hurts?? The other riders told me he was just protesting. During the riding he barely shook his head. I saw the other horses with a bit open their mouth (it looked like they were in pain to me, but maybe I am mistaken) and foaming... They also repeatedly openend and closed their mouth on the bits. I never ride with a bit normally because I have some motoric issues and I often see horses with riders that seem (???) to jerk the bit too hard. If a horse is opening and closing his mouth and shaking head like that, does this mean the bit hurts/rider pulls too hard? (ps I did not pull, I used mostly leg aids and only used contact when moving fast so I could give the horse a cue when to slow down since he was taught to run fast with bit aids)
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-28-2019, 04:06 PM
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I am sorry that I have so much questions, but I really want to learn horse behaviour. :) I want to understand and read their body language. :) I also might be overanalyzing everything, but that's me. ;)

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-28-2019, 10:34 PM
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Hi Katelyn & jolien, welcome to you both! Nice to have another person here willing to help newbies Katelyn.

You will notice I've changed the thread title to be appropriate for one subject. Best put questions on separate subjects in different threads, in the appropriate subforums.

Now gotta run so won't add my 20c on your q's jolien but there is lots of knowledge here to give you answers you want!

Oh and don't apologise for asking questions jolien - only silly q's are the ones you didn't ask & should have done!

Last edited by loosie; 09-28-2019 at 11:36 PM.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-29-2019, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi Katelyn & jolien, welcome to you both! Nice to have another person here willing to help newbies Katelyn.

You will notice I've changed the thread title to be appropriate for one subject. Best put questions on separate subjects in different threads, in the appropriate subforums.

Now gotta run so won't add my 20c on your q's jolien but there is lots of knowledge here to give you answers you want!

Oh and don't apologise for asking questions jolien - only silly q's are the ones you didn't ask & should have done!
Thanks! The forum members have already helped me alot by giving active advice and me reading the other topics has also helped! :) I just want to understand horses so I can react appropriate... Others often tell me I am too kind and have to be more firm, but I first and foremost want to be able to understand what the horses are saying before I do something stupid like 'correct' a horse swinging his head when he might actually be in pain and trying to tell me that his bit hurts or something along those lines... :)
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-29-2019, 07:22 AM
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Also the horse I ride turns his head very far backward, looking (I think, he is wearing a fly mask so I don't see his eyes) towards my leg and feet. He doesn't make an attempt to nip/bite and never bites me or nips when grooming. I think he is trying to tell me something so I checked the saddle belts (everything seemed okay) and then I thought maybe the protruding tag of my cheap boots was annoying him so I bought new expensive leather boots and chaps that are smooth, but he still does this every time he knows I am gonna give him some leg aid... I really don't know what he wants to tell me: I am itchy? You annoy me? You hurt me? You are gonna do this wrong? I wanna look you in the eye to see how you feel??? What do you want from me woman? :p

When he is in the grasslands and I am near him (he is loose) he also turnes his head towards me while his butt is facing me and then he really lookes me in the eyes (his eyes roll towards me clearly, his head is low, not high so he kinda arches his neck down and really looks back), I really don't know what this means?? I just keep standing where I stand (not within striking range btw) and assume he will approach me when he wants to be close?? He is generally kind towards me, he gently touches me, he does not bump into me when I am leading, he slowly approaches me, he lets me rub his nose and head... He stops when I am gonna fall off during gallopping... He lets me remove his halter, fly mask... scrape his hooves... all without any problems... When he moves when someone else scrapes his hooves I shake the halter lightly. I had to do this 3 times and he understood: okay I gotta stay still and pay attention... SoI think the head bending and looking me in the eyes is trying to communicate??
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-29-2019, 09:25 AM
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^^My horse does the same! It'd be cool to see why, haha. Sometimes he nibbles my boot as well, or nibbles whips, or anything else I'm holding. He only does it when we're halted though.

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post #10 of 30 Old 09-29-2019, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duskexx View Post
^^My horse does the same! It'd be cool to see why, haha. Sometimes he nibbles my boot as well, or nibbles whips, or anything else I'm holding. He only does it when we're halted though.

maybe it is out of curiosity then? He also does it when we are halted btw (never when we ride).

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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