- How can you tell what a horse is feeling?
- Why do people say that horses are unpredictable?
- Why do horses stand on your feet, push you over; bite or kick you?
- How do horses communicate with each other
Horses rely more on body language than sound for communication because their primitive instincts tell them that by making noise they could attract predators.
Even in a stable block horses rely on each other for information. One horse may get a fright and the other horses in the stable will quickly pick up the tension or nervousness, even though the frightened horse has made no verbal sounds.
Interpreting body language
Did you know?
The horse uses a number of methods to protect itself from danger; these methods have evolved as the horse and its normal terrain changed.
The first horses were small - only about the size of a dog and lived in dense forest so they could hide from predators.
Once horses moved onto grasslands they could not hide so herd instinct became an early warning system for the herd and allowed some horses to rest while others were ‘on patrol'.
Horses also learned to run away from predators and this is why they now stand on the tip of one toe rather than flat footed like a lion or human. If the horse can't get away it will try to kick, bite, rear, strike or buck to protect itself.
After you have finished the activities click NEXT to learn about senses.