Horse Behavior

Photographer: Kathy Landman
Horses are prey animals. In the wild, they are hunted by predators, and this has a great impact on their behavior.
Highly developed senses of sight, smell, and hearing help warn horses against danger.
Horses are very social animals. During training, they spend time with other horses to gradually acclimate to their surroundings and expectations for behavior.
Thoroughbreds are referred to as "hot-blooded," because they tend to be energetic and powerful.
Horses use their body posture and movement of their ears, tail, and teeth to communicate with humans and other animals.
Check out our recent posts below to learn more about horse behavior throughout the Foal Patrol season, and select “Read More” below to see all our Horse Behavior posts.

Education Blogs

We received a question from a Foal Patrol follower in Kentucky this morning asking whether anxiety or hyper behavior in horses is linked to sugar. Learn more about what recent research has to say about high starch diets and behavior in this online resource by Dr. Janice Holland. Be sure to consult an equine veterinarian or nutritionist if you have case-specific questions. 

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We have received several questions over the season about reading horses' body language. Pinned ears, cocked hind hooves, clamped tails, clacking teeth - these are just a few examples of the nuanced system of horses' postures, gestures, and expressions. Learn more in this online resource by Dr. Jennifer Williams available on Equus

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Horses' brains are engineered for ultra-awareness, rapidly processing new sounds, sights, and smells that may indicate danger. Human brains don't maintain the same degree of vigilance, as they have evolved to ignore distractions and concentrate on tasks for extended periods of time.

Learning more about some of the differences in "attention" between horses and humans and ways to tap into your horse's attentional strengths can go a long way to fostering mutual communication. Read more in this recent article by Dr. Janet L. Jones available on Equus

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