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Horse Body Language

Horse Body Language

The body language of a horse can tell you how he is feeling in any given moment. A horse’s mood is evident through various signs expressed, so as long as you know what you’re looking for, you can determine how your horse is feeling.

Fear, Anxiety, or Nervous

When a horse is feeling afraid or anxious, the head and neck are typically held high, and the muscles are tensed. The whites of the eyes may be showing, and the horse may be quivering or trembling. The tail could be tucked tight against the hindquarters. The horse often can’t stand still and may try to bolt. He may also grind teeth.

An illustration of an alert, focused ArabianAlert or Focused

An alert or focused horse’s body language is reflected in ears pointed in the direction of where the horse is looking (ears may flick back and forth if a lot is happening in his surroundings). The head and neck are held up; there’s a bright, attentive look to the eyes; and the tail may be elevated.

Content or AcceptanceAn illustration of a content horse's body language

This bodylanguage shows the horse in a happy, basic attitude. There’s a soft look to the eye (normal blinking, not staring), and the muscles are relaxed overall. The horse’s head will be slightly lowered, his ears can be neutral or forward (not focused on any one direction), and the muscles are relaxed.

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