Horses as prey animals

Horse Behavior
February 25th, 2020

The thoroughbred horse is an animal of prey meaning they are sought after by a predator. Although they are large 1200 pound animals, they are still inherently affected by this and it factors into their behavior. The horse is a precocial species, meaning that foals are neurologically mature and mobile when born. If healthy, they can stand within an hour and run shortly after which is essential if danger is present. The horse depends on flight as a main means of survival. Its natural predators are large animals such as wolves and bears, so the capability to flee and run away is essential. Horses are therefore very perceptive in noticing stimulus around them to ensure safety. Part of a horse's training is instilling trust and teaching them what is harmless (tractors, flags, weeds/flowers blowing in the wind, birds, bright colors) and harmful (predators) so that they are desensitized appropriately. 

CCS and filly.jpeg

Photo courtesy of Old Tavern Farm