What It Takes To Communicate With A Horse

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What It Takes To Communicate With A Horse

The horse if an animal that is very alert and very focused when need be. The capabilities of a horse to coexist with humans is a testament of its understanding nature.  In order to truly get a better understanding of the horse, we must live with them on a regular basis and then we will get a better understanding of the likes and dislikes of the horse as well as how they express their emotions. Just like humans, every horse is different. No two horse has the same personality therefore it makes it even more tricky when analyzing them. Maybe based on the behaviour of one horse you would be led to believe that horses have certain tendencies. You will be in complete bewilderment when you realize that another horse has a completely different personality and reaction to their environment. It is very important to assess the horses individually. Nadine Gourkow is an expert when it comes to reading the personality and behaviour of a horse as she has worked with animals for practically all her life. She has been able to understand what to do and what not to do when dealing with animals in order not to annoy them.


When a horse sees a human being they either see a reflection of themselves, which is very dangerous as they will then interact with you as they would with another horse. They may also see you as an object or a danger to them. Regardless of the perception that a horse has of you, they will not see you as a human being as they do not understand what it means to be a human being. Given this case we must always be very careful when treading on the grounds of horses as they may snap back at any time due to their perceptions.


A horse can very easily be tamed without a lot of trouble as they are naturally very curious animals. Regardless of the fact that they are naturally inquisitive animals they are also not easily frightened due to their courage and possessed strength. However, that natural desire to constantly learn more must be fed at all times in order to keep them active. The physical attributes of the horse inform us of his emotional state: plated ears often mean that he is disturbed, which can make him aggressive; a rapid breathing rate could reflect fear or excitement, while the back-facing ears express a questioning or pain.

Understanding all these signals will allow us to adapt to a behaviour that works for the horse(s) and that will enable a better and stronger human to animal relationship, which is Gourkow’s main goal.  For example, we will not go behind a threatening horse in order to calm the horse that already seems to be anxious.  To make the best possible interpretation of equine behavior, we must observe the completeness of the postures adopted, but also taking into account the context in which they take shape.

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