Communication- Is you horse telling you something?
I was about to say 'lets talk' about horse communication when i realised that something simple as saying 'lets talk' IS a form of communication. We use communication every single day, whether it is talking on the phone, at work with your colleagues, on social media or reading informational books. Expressions are important as they portray any emotions you may have about something happening in your life. Your facial expressions depict how you are feeling, simply by making eye contact with another can show them very easily whether we are happy or sad.
What if our horses are trying to tell us something?
How many of us have had a horse that does not want to move or puts it's ears back at you for giving it a kick to move forward. Well, this could be a way of them try to say 'something is hurting me.' A lot of us fall into to the trap of assuming that they are just being naughty, need to get over themselves and basically DO WHAT I ASK! Next time, try taking a step back and think is there something else going on. Dr Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the AHT is a passionate researcher on horse communication. Sue has conducted many studies trying to understand the ways horses try to communicate with us. She has released videos on Youtube to help people understand.
By posting this video, do not stress that you have missed pain in your horse. Use it as a guide to grasp an understanding about what they might be trying to say to you. Also as a tool to be more aware next time you are with your horse.
I found this really interesting to watch and will definitely be more aware of small changes in any horse behaviours that I experience. Not only bad behaviours but also good. Keep a watch out for even happy and excited emotions. This may indicate little things that your horses may love and want more of (most likely feed).
If you are passionate about looking after your horse holistically, being aware of your horses emotions is important. A balance of horse and rider is essential. Communicating together as a team will ensure that you both get the best results for your next ride or competition.
If you are interested on more about horse communications give Animal Health Trust TV a look on Youtube for more of Sue Dyson.
Sue Dyson, Facial Expressions Research - is your horse trying to tell you he's in pain?, 2017 Cited 26-08-17, Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKzwPrIShTY
The Horse.com, An Ethogram for Ridden Horse Facial Expressions of Pain, June 2017 Website, http://www.thehorse.com/articles/39285/an-ethogram-for-ridden-horse-facial-expressions-of-pain