Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Hello Weekend

 Wow , another weekend has rolled around already. I think this is one of the fastest summers in my life. Larissa is crazy busy getting organized for her big move to the UK to school and I have a brief respite from a very full show season  with several students and myself competing this year.:) I hope you are all enjoying these last few weeks of summer and getting in some wonderful rides:)

   I got to thinking this week in the barn , since one of  our  boarded mares has been in heat all week and squealing and kicking to beat the band, that equine communication is almost as varied and diverse as our own.I thought I would print a short glossary of translations from Equine to English. These are all quite common but handy to be aware of. Perhaps you know of many others yourself:)

 “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME”!thumbnail                                      

teeth grinding                             irritation or tension

mouthing , neck extended     submission , common in foals

teeth barred                                  look out! about to bite

upper lip curled                           reaction to smell

flapping lips                                   nervous habit , impatience

lower lip hanging                         extreme relaxation

lips tight , pursed                         irritation , stress, tension

ears pricked forward                  horse is alert, curious

ears flucking back and forth    horse is listening, thinking

ears pinned back                          horse is warning aggression

neck raised , erect                        horse is intensely interested

neck extended, low                      submission or relaxation

neck arched                                     excitement, passion

tail swishing                                     swatting flies

tail switching faster                       irritation , may kick

tail wringing very fast                  severe irritation , discomfort

tail flagged over back                   high spirits , energetic

tail tucked                                        fear , submission.pain

tail raised , cocked to side         mare in heat

back leg stomping                         irritation , usually at flies

front leg pawing                             impatience or colic

back leg cocked                              relaxed

front leg(s)extended                    sore leg or foot , founder

          There are hundreds more and of course the more you understand the better you and your horse can relate to each other :)These are common to most horses. Many horses have their own individual signals as well.I have one horse who runs his teeth up and down the stall bars  only if he is not feeling well(so I won’t leave the barn without helping him) and a boarder who hangs out his tongue and chews on it while waiting for his grain. Horses are absolutely as unique  individuals as we are with a rich language of body movements and sounds to get their points across.

   Have fun listening to your horse and Happy riding:)  Cheers .Libby

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