Horse Behavior

Do Horses Understand Human Expressions

In studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, horses were able to recognize differences in human facial expressions. Using photographs depicting positive and negative human facial expressions, the 28 horses used in the Sussex study showed changes in heart rate when they were shown the photos. Increased heart rate indicated an understanding […]

Horse Behavior

Are Horse Personalities Inherited

Some studies have shown evidence that personality traits in horses can be inherited. Researchers in France and Switzerland investigated the Franches-Montagne horse, a light draft horse mixed with heavy drafts and Warmbloods. Their findings show that the more Warmblood genes a horse has, the more of those personality traits are present (and vica versa). The […]

Horse Behavior

Headphones for Horses

That old saying “music soothes the savage beast” could be true for our horses. Although they are not savage beasts, listening to music has proven to relieve stress in horses as well as humans. Research has shown that horses are not fans of Rock n’ Roll or Heavy Metal, but prefer classical music or country, […]

Horse Behavior

Longeing with Horses

Running a horse in circles on a line is called longeing. A rope, 20 to 30 feet long is attached to the horse’s bridle or halter while the handler stands in the middle of a circle. The horse then goes round and round the handler as part of training. The horse learns the voice commands […]

Horse Behavior

Measuring Pain in Horses

If only our pet could speak our language and tell us where it hurts. Since that’s not possible, it’s up to us to learn their language. Animals can communicate pain in ways that we are not aware of. Most animals, especially prey animals like horses, are very good at hiding their pain. It’s instinctual and […]

Horse Behavior

Separation Anxiety in Horses

Horses can show separation anxiety by becoming hyperactive, pacing or running back and forth, calling, screaming. Some horses are fearful or very upset when left alone, missing herd or stablemates when they leave for a while. A worry is that these horses can injure themselves and/or destroy property when demonstrating this behavior. If a horse […]

Horse Behavior

Compulsive Behavior in Horses

Compulsive behavior in horses is called cribbing. It is an act that repetitive and mindless. The horse will use his incisors to press down on a gate, fence post, stall board, gulp in air with an arched neck and make a belching sound. If a horse exhibits this type of behavior, it means he’s not […]

Horse Behavior

Riding Behaviors on the Trail

Here are some suggestions from horse behavior experts on correcting problems that may arise while trail riding. Barn Sour – Because horses are herd animals, they may be reluctant to leave the barn and their pals. Lead your horse out of the barn to the point where s/he becomes nervous. Make sure it’s a safe […]

Horse Behavior

Silent Language of Horses

Observation is the key to learning your horse’s silent language, better known as body language. A horse, unlike a dog who is a predator, is a prey animal. They live in herds where one horse is the leader and takes responsibility for the herd. The dominant horse will decide whether the herd is in danger […]

Horse Articles Horse Behavior

Do Horses Like Being Ridden?

Some people believe horseback riding goes against a horse’s nature. Since it’s only predators that leap on a horse’s back to kill and eat them, it doesn’t seem that carrying a human would be natural. Fortunately horses are willing to learn to accept human riders as long as they are treated well. Horses that have […]