How Can You Tell If A Horse Is Happy?

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Considered as one of the most majestic animals in the animal kingdom, horses are truly beautiful animals.

Our equine friends were one of the first few animals that we domesticated quite early on for various reasons.

Due to their immeasurable strength, speed, and resilience, horses have been tamed to fight battles, carry goods and people, and for farming purposes. Hence, there is no surprise that we humans have built a deep relationship with horses over time.

Fast forward to the current times, the value of horses hasn’t decreased one bit. Where the riches brag about their stable filled with horses in their country homes, people’s favorite celebrities like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have made them all the more famous among the young adults.

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Telling If the Horse Is Happy

However, as one can notice, understanding these gentle creatures isn’t that much of a challenge even today; just like any other animal you may build a relationship with, it requires an ability to understand signs that your equine friend may show, indicating how it is feeling.

Hence, it’s safe to say none of us would mind being able to tell if a horse is happy to see us just as much as we are to see it. So let’s find out some of the clear signs and indicators through which you can tell if a horse is happy.

Reading the Facial Features & Body Language

One of the best and easiest ways of telling if a horse is happy and in a positive mood is by understanding its facial features and body language. For instance, the most prominent feature on a horse’s face is its nostrils. If the horse is happy, its nostrils will be relaxed and soft all around. On the other hand, if the poor horsey is upset over something, its nostrils become tight and thin and appear withdrawn.

Similarly, the horse’s lip line and lower jaw are also great indicators of the animal’s mood. So if the horse’s lip line and lower jaw are slightly curving downwards in a relaxed manner, then for sure, the horse is in a positive mood. You may even notice the horse’s facial expression indicating like it is actually smiling, which is always a good sign.

Head Movement

Even though head movement may not be a clear indicator of the horse’s mood in the positive light, it is still a telltale sign if something is wrong. The reason is that horses are naturally very active animals and may move their body around as they please. However, if the horse is in the field, they tend to focus in a similar direction or towards the ground by their rider or grazing. If you notice the horse break focus and move its head up and down or sideways in abrupt movements, which means the horse is unhappy and something is making the animal anxious.

Breathing and Neighing

Like most animals, when horses feel happy, they also utilize their sounds to indicate their excitement. Hence you may notice that the horses tend to rear up their front legs in the air and neigh loudly to show their happiness and excitement, especially in the field. However, horses may go deadly silent if they are upset or anxious in their surroundings. In fact, instead of prancing around or making a lot of movement, they hold still and start breathing loudly, drooling and neighing as they start to gallop frantically.

The Tail

Tails are an exclusive feature for all animals, which can easily be an essential one in indicating whether the animal is displeased or at ease in your presence. Therefore, the horse’s tails are also a vital part that acts as a sign that the horse is happy.  The equine mates tend to let their tail swing loosely and appear relaxed from behind, even when moving. It should appear straitened and swaying to you if your horse is happy. However, in an intense moment, the horse can lift its tail to smack off anything that may be disturbing the animal, such as flies, etc.

Bottom Line

Naturally, every horse is different from the other, and all of the signs mentioned above may not apply to some. However, these signs are generally easily noticeable and indicative of the horse’s mood right from the first interaction. So if you can see and sense that the horse is in a positive mood, it is a good time to say hello. But remember to always remain cautious and proceed with gentle and kind gestures to gain the trust of the horsey. Best of Luck!

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