Your horse communicates with you all the time, and I don’t mean that he actually talks, like Mr. Ed the talking horse…
Embed from Getty Images
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 that as we pay attention we begin to just know what our horse is thinking (at least some of the time). Some examples:
- 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).
- 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?
- My mare knows where I keep the sugar cubes. They are only rarely administered, but when 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.
- This article has some interesting scientific studies on horse to human communication: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/37681/study-confirms-horses-talk-to-human-handlers.
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!
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!
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?