What does this behavior mean ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-11-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question What does this behavior mean ?

Hey guys,
I am new to the world of horses and i have got a foal that is around 1 year old, i spent some time with it today, after feeding and giving it water it did that behavior with it's mouth, does this mean anything ?
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Last edited by darkingdoom; 10-11-2019 at 05:28 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-11-2019, 05:52 PM
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When people say they train their horse to smile - they're teaching the horse to do this on command. What this actually is is flehmen. They do it to elicit an instinctual/primal response to a food or smell. Sort of like how you associate a certain food to a feeling. It also can strengthen their strength of smell, although I've only heard that in passing and not sure if it's true. Look it up if you're more curious about the biological and psychological reactions. It's nothing bad, and quite funny when it happens, isn't it?

TLDR, he's trying to create connections, foals do it often.

Stay Calm - Ride a Friesian!
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-11-2019, 06:04 PM
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My horse does this any time she smells anything she doesn't care for. It's her "eww" response.

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-11-2019, 06:26 PM
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That's how I know any mare in smelling distance is in heat. My stallions face into the breeze and do it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-12-2019, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Rider-Called-Carvide View Post
When people say they train their horse to smile - they're teaching the horse to do this on command. What this actually is is flehmen. They do it to elicit an instinctual/primal response to a food or smell. Sort of like how you associate a certain food to a feeling. It also can strengthen their strength of smell, although I've only heard that in passing and not sure if it's true. Look it up if you're more curious about the biological and psychological reactions. It's nothing bad, and quite funny when it happens, isn't it?

TLDR, he's trying to create connections, foals do it often.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
My horse does this any time she smells anything she doesn't care for. It's her "eww" response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
That's how I know any mare in smelling distance is in heat. My stallions face into the breeze and do it.

Thanx all, at least i have some idea now
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-12-2019, 08:44 AM
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Hi & welcome darkingdoom. Where you from?

If you're new to horses & have a yearling, hope you're ready for a huge learning curve! Our members here are a wealth of knowledge and the only silly questions are the ones you didn't ask and should have! So don't be shy. You'll find there are different sections here, where you can post in health, nutrition, hoofcare, horse keeping. ... etc.

Do you have experienced horse people around to advise in person? Do you know much about training and bringing up a horse, in theory at least? I suggest you read up all you can, and if at all possible find some good horse people to help teach you in person - learning the theory is important, but will only take you so far in practice.

Enjoy!

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-12-2019, 04:40 PM
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never have I heard that doing the flehman gesture has anything to do with creating a connection. Foals do 'clack' their teeth often, when they are trying to remind older horses that they are being submissive and are vulnerable. It's a "I'm just a baby" motion.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-12-2019, 09:25 PM
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Yes, the flehmen response in mammals is, you could say, a way of enhancing smell/taste. It allows air (and scent, and pheromones) to be drawn over the Jacobson's organ, usually located in the roof of the mouth (the process is slightly different in horses, as they breathe through their noses). Mammals exhibiting this response are tasting the air. I see the barn horses do it when treats or grain are around. It's just another way of gathering sensory information, and does not indicate distress. 🙂
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