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Horse Behavior

Quick Learners

Horses learn quickly. In the wild, they learn to read the environment and react in ways that will save their lives. Horses must learn if a sound or object is dangerous to the herd or safe to ignore. If...

Taking the Lead

Hyper-vigilant behavior is useful in wild herds, but can be troublesome in domestic horses. Photo: Livno Wild Horses by Brian Eager on flickr/CC BY 2.0 Good leaders create structure and rules, then enforce them fairly. When it comes to being...

Herd Order

You don’t have to watch a herd of horses for long to notice that there’s a distinct pecking order One horse will push another away from food with his ears back and his neck swinging. The other horse will...

Catch Me If You Can

There’s nothing more frustrating than standing in the paddock, halter in hand as you watch your horse run away from you. What’s meant to be a relaxing time with your horse turns into minutes or hours trying to catch...

Herd Bound

You’ve heard horses labeled herd bound, gate sour, herd sour or barn sour. These terms sound like afflictions. But when we see these behaviors, it is simply because horses are drawn to others. Horses seek out other horses because...
While horses rely most on body language to communicate, the noises they make are also meaningful. There are four types of equine vocal communications: the whinny, nicker, snort and squeal. Each one has a precise meaning, and the sounds...
Horse eating carrot

Your Horse’s Five Senses

Knowing how a horse’s senses work—and how they’re different from human senses—will help you understand how the horse perceives his reality. A horse’s senses are keener than a human’s. They take in every bit of information possible from their...
Along with their human partners, police horses are conspicuous everywhere from riots to county fairs. But even more than holding the line between crowds and bystanders, horses ridden by mounted police officers seem totally impervious to placards, banners and...
Jodi Tluczek watched her horses graze in her backyard. "They look wonderful now,” she says. "But you should have seen them last night.” Last month, Tluczek and her husband trailered Sammy, a 3-year-old Paint and Ringo, an 11-year-old Quarter Horse...
When purchasing a new horse a few years ago, we were told by the previous owner that the horse "doesn’t like fly spray.” We brought her home and carefully applied some fly spray, only to find that she stood...
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