Hello everyone, Mr Ed here. I’ve been asked to contribute to this blog so you get to know things from a horse’s point of view. I’m really excited about it, so I hope you enjoy it!
Have you ever gone to your horse in the stable, or gone to get on for your lesson, or watched someone ride and wondered how the horse was feeling or what he was thinking? Do you ever wish you could make a better relationship with the horse you’re riding? One of the ways that you can understand more about us is by watching our body language. Because we don’t speak the same language, we only have our behaviour to tell you how we’re feeling.
We have a saying in the horsey world that we ponies see with our ears – did you know that? Just notice the next time you see a horse that their ears will be pointing towards what they’re interested in. That’s why, when you’re riding, our ears should be flicking backwards and forwards as we look ahead, then ‘look’ back to you to see what we’re doing next.
As well as our ears, you can look at our muzzles. You might not have noticed before how much we tell about how we feel with our muzzles. Perhaps we’re quite relaxed when our lips will be quite soft. If we’re feeling worried, you might see our noses a bit pinched and tight. If we’re comfortable in our mouths, we might be chewing our bit gently.
Our eyes do more than help us see where we’re going too. If we’re feeling a bit afraid, you might see some white of our eyes, or they may look ‘hard’. When we’re happy and relaxed, our eyelids are soft, and our eyebrows quite low. When we’re anxious or perhaps in pain, sometimes our eyebrows are raised – have a look and you’ll see what I mean!
And finally, our tails tell a tale too. When we’re supple and feeling well, our tails are carried a little bit out behind us and will swing gently from side to side when we move. If we’re carrying our tail to one side, it might be that we’re a little bit stiff. Of course, if we swish our tail, we’re often saying ‘get off’, although it might not be you, it might be a fly!
So, next time you see a horse, or a video of a horse, see how much you can tell from its body language about how it’s feeling. That’s all for now from us ponies. If you have any questions you’d like us to answer, get in touch and we’ll do that in the next newsletter.
Whinnies and snuffles, Mr Ed.