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Are Horses Happy

author
Maria Garcia
• Sunday, 03 January, 2021
• 7 min read

You can also look for signs of happiness in the horse’s behaviors, such as slowly grazing, pawing at the ground, or making gentle snorting sounds. If you can read your horse’s body language, you can get a better understanding of whether they feel happy and relaxed or grumpy and stressed.

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Contents

Having this ability will help you to work in your horse’s favor to keep them feeling their best. My gelding absolutely loves to have his mane brushed; it has to be one of his most favorite things in the world.

I usually see horses become relaxed when they’re being brushed, standing in front of a fan on a hot day, or even just being pat by their owner. Helping your horse relax can go a long way in building your bond and advancing your training.

In order to create a bond with your horse and gain their trust, they need to know that they can relax around you. Horses are flight animals; that means they’re hesitant to rest and relax around someone they’re unsure of.

A horse will automatically attach a negative or positive association to you depending on the atmosphere you create. On the other hand, if you create a calm and peaceful environment, your horse will positively associate those feelings with you.

He’ll fall half asleep anytime he sees the brush come out of the bucket. Once I brush his mane and walk away, I love to see my gelding watch me through his half-closed eyes.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a calm and relaxed horse suddenly become stressed out and nervous because of something that happened around them. To help your horse not worry, you can encourage them to pay attention.

They’ll become dull to cues, their attention will wander, and they may even act out. A great way to keep your horse happy and their mind engaged is by including different and new activities to your routine.

Change even the simple things about your routine, like picking out the hooves before you brush your horse or leading them a different way around the barn. This will keep things interesting for your horse and help them stay focused by wondering what’s going to happen next.

One time, I put her into a new pasture with different horses thinking that it would be a nice change. However, she quickly developed a depressed behavior where she would stand at the gate all day looking sad.

She wouldn’t even join the other horses to graze or bathe in the sun. She quickly went running to the other horses and caused a stampede of happiness.

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Your horse’s lip line should curl down slightly in a relaxed, soft manner. Your horse’s tail will be fairly loose and swinging freely and evenly when he moves.

In the absence of any injuries that affect where his tail hangs, it should be straight. Ears are generally not something you should determine happiness from as he’ll normally point them in the direction of where he’s feeling tense.

Your horse should look physically relaxed while grazing and alert to his environment. If your horse shares a Haynes with a stablemate while they’re tied up in the yard, it’s a sign he’s happy.

It may be appropriate to bring some horses in order to feed them, so you can see how much they've eaten and ensured pasture bullies don't steal their meal. If pasture is sparse, keeping a horse stalled ensures they don't graze the grass down until it's damaged.

During the winter months, ice can turn pastures and paddocks into dangerous skating rinks. While some might keep their horses stalled to prevent injury, stall accidents like getting cast (caught upside down on its back), becoming entangled in buckets, door latches and feeders or getting loose and gorging on stolen feed, do happen.

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Stabled horses may be more prone to impaction colic as inactivity leads to lessened digestive motility. It's not unusual for horses who spend a lot of times indoors to kick and strike walls or lash out at passers-by with flattened ears and bared teeth.

A horse that is kept stabled might be more difficult to train as the first portion of the lesson may be spent blowing off steam, rather than learning anything. Others may beat on the barn door to come in anytime a few drops of rainfall, or a cold wind whips up.

Some stables that have night turn-out during the summer so the show horse's coats aren't sun bleached, but reverse the turn-out times during the cold winter months. Wet bedding can damage hooves and the ammonia fumes from urine can affect the horse's lungs.

Hay fed in frequent, small amounts is better than having your horse fill up on one or two big meals and then stand bored for the rest of the day. The one thing that ponies are not, that many people are mistaken about, is that they are not baby horses.

Both horses and ponies are of the same species (Equus Catullus) and come from the exact same family tree. However, ponies stay small their whole life, maturing more quickly than horses.

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Pony foals are tiny and will rapidly mature to the approximate size of their parents. Horses are slower growing, some not attaining full mature size until they are six or seven years of age.

In fairness to the riders and these mounts, these size standards help prevent ponies and small horses from showing against larger animals, whose size might give them an advantage. It also isn’t safe to have very small children on tiny ponies riding around the same ring with larger horses.

They can be quite wily, which is why it’s sometimes easier to find a quiet horse for a child than a reliable pony. They can pull or carry heavy loads with more strength than a horse, relative to their size.

Their coats tend to grow thicker in the winter, which often doesn’t shed out until the hottest days of summer. They begin to grow back their thick coats as soon as the days start to shorten.

They are heavier boned and shorter legged in proportion to their bodies compared to horses. In fact, it’s very easy to overfeed a pony, which makes them more prone to founder and laminates than horses.

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While some horses can be ‘hard keepers’ most ponies are the extreme opposite, apparently putting on weight just looking at the grass on the other side of the fence. Hi, I’m Linda Pirelli and the two things I love most in life are horses and personal growth.

Exclusive feature articles weekly with insightful horse & rider instruction topics Weekly feature article on leadership and life skills topics Exciting weekly guest posts from some amazing experts on a wide range of topics including: Horse health, problem-solving, dressage & psychology, peak performance, tack & equipment, leadership and more Plus: Weekly contests and fun Food and travel Health and Beauty Recipes Make new friends! All the benefits of the Insider Membership Plus: Full access to all the archived videos and Keynotes, (Keynotes and videos stay on the site for one month for Insider Members, $360 value) Free access to the two day, HHH, 2021 Mastermind Weekend ($299 value) One virtual private lesson with Linda a year 15 Min's ($250 value).

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1 www.preloved.co.uk - https://www.preloved.co.uk/classifieds/horses-livestock/horses-ponies/all/uk/yearling
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4 www.preloved.co.uk - https://www.preloved.co.uk/classifieds/horses-livestock/for-sale/uk/yearling+horse
5 www.horseview.uk - https://www.horseview.uk/yearlings/
6 yortonfarm.co.uk - https://yortonfarm.co.uk/horses-for-sale/yearlings
7 www.horsemart.co.uk - https://www.horsemart.co.uk/Young-Stock/A/horses-for-sale.php
8 www.horsemart.co.uk - https://www.horsemart.co.uk/Young-Stock/0-2-years/AH/horses-for-sale.php
9 www.mickeasterby.co.uk - http://www.mickeasterby.co.uk/racehorses/sales.cfm
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11 www.colouredcontacts.co.uk - http://www.colouredcontacts.co.uk/Youngstock_horses_for_sale.html
12 www.sporthorses.co.uk - https://www.sporthorses.co.uk/
13 arabianhorseexchange.com - https://arabianhorseexchange.com/horses-for-sale/
14 www.suffolknews.co.uk - https://www.suffolknews.co.uk/newmarket/news/millions-of-guineas-change-hands-at-tattersalls-top-yearling-sale-9126562/