Your horse is talking: are you listening?

Your horse communicates with you all the time, and I don’t mean that he actually talks, like Mr. Ed the talking horse…

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Or Telepathically, as some think. I take issue with long distance animal communicators who “discern your horse’s thoughts from hundreds of miles away” – so long as you give them a credit card. Really good animal communicators may exist, but I suspect they need to be close to the animal. However, I digress.

Your horse wants to communicate to you. Yes, YOU, her person! Every day she is communicating to you.

How? Body language. Ears, of course, expression, tail swish, and so many more little hints IMG_1943that as we pay attention we begin to just know what our horse is thinking (at least some of the time). Some examples:

  1. I bought a Mio Fly Sheet. Nice and soft. My horse seems to like it fine. However, it rips easily, so I bought another fly sheet, more expensive, but sturdier. Horse wore it for a few days but started turning away when I brought it out. I had to ask her to hold still to put it on and the look of disgust was clear: Yuck, I HATE that blanket. Eyes squinty, head up, holding still, but not happy. Why are you making me wear it? I washed the Mio fly sheet and brought it back and her look of relief was so obvious. Now she happily stands still to be dressed, almost like she enjoys it. Communication: let me tell you which blanket I like (silly human).
  2. Saddles. My former horse was more and more difficult at the mounting block. Fidgeting, he didn’t want to line up with it, and would swing his butt away. Hmmm…saddle problem? I changed saddles and voila! Within a day or so, no problem at the mounting block. Do you think he was telling me something?
  3. My mare knows where I keep the sugar cubes. They are only rarely administered, but Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 7.49.54 PMwhen she sees me go to get one, oh, the look of intensity: yes, yes, please, please, please bring it to me NOW, you must bring it NOW. Her eyes bore into me as she mind melds with me: BRING ME THE SUGAR, HUMAN SLAVE. 
  4. This article has some interesting scientific studies on horse to human communication:

When we are busy we miss the clues are horses are giving us about important things. What are some of the things your horse might be telling you?

I need more time to learn this. Slow down a little.

Something in my body hurts. I need some time to heal or I need my routine changed up a bit. Please be sensitive to my body and how it feels.

This is FUN! I like this. Let’s do some more!Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.40.33 AM

I don’t like this. It feels scary/hard/confusing. Help me with it.

Do you know what you’re doing? I need you to be in charge. If you’re not going to be in charge, I will have to take charge and that makes me nervous.

Let’s go on the trail today! Let’s jump today! Let’s gallop now!

Round bellied Ellie

Could we snuggle for awhile?

How about some sugar now? Or carrots? I’m so beautiful and you love to give me something, don’t you?


This pony is very motivated by cookies. Heck, aren’t they all?


4 thoughts on “Your horse is talking: are you listening?

  1. Haha, bring me the sugar human slave – love that one!!

    On a day to day basis, I like that quiet communication: -” I feel safe. Yes, more hay. OK I’ll let you put the fly mask on. Yes I like this routine, I know what to expect. I’m going to canter up into your lap and stop with dust squirting in the paddock, just because it makes me feel cool. Scratch my face, right there.”

    Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! They do like to know what to expect and they like routine. It makes them feel safe. Like small children, eh? A calm sense of “this is the way we do things, first this, then this,” helps them settle and relax. I love the image of Valiosa galloping up with a flourish to have her face scratched. LOVE mares!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank You ,for the wonderful words of wisdom ,your article is outstanding!!! My gaited Rocky/Kentucky Boy,sure talked to me the other evening! I put a new saddle on him ,and hes very nervous on saddles hes had a few attempts from his previous owner and myself on saddles that did not fit properly . I saddle him in his paddock , and with the new saddle in place and girthed up ,he became a very upset fellow trying to buck ,even fell down, I believe the treeless might be the way to go !! I am for very short term only, using a synthetic western for him, and at least hes accepting it nicely, I just need to narrow down my choices, like many others out there its confusing and im running out of money.. Just want him comfortable and both of us safe!! Thank You , Judi


    • Oh my, that sounds like a very significant response! I’m so glad you are listening to him, he really WAS telling you something about that saddle. Be careful, it sounds like his back could be very sore and maybe needs a little time off to heal. It does get expensive, trying saddles…if you can find a good fitter to help you, or if you go treeless, maybe talk to the folks at Action Rider Tack. They are very knowledgeable and do a lot of trail and endurance riding, some of it treeless, so they might be able to steer you a little. And they have some reasonably priced saddles at their site. Good luck with your lovely horse and I hope you find the right thing soon!


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