Upcoming Live Clinics & Events with Linda
Take your horsemanship to the next level by taking part in a live clinic with Linda Parelli. If you don’t feel confident enough to ride, many of the clinics have spectator options. See all of our upcoming events below and check back often as we’re adding more dates to the schedule!
Mar 25 & 26, 2023
Dressage with Psychology #2: The Half Pass Clinic. Email Linda Parelli to secure your place.
Apr 17 – 21, 2023
Join Linda in Ocala for a 5-day Happy Horse Masterclass. This clinic is SOLD OUT.
May 13 & 14, 2023
Dressage with Psychology #3: The Sensational Transitions Clinic. Email Linda Parelli to secure your place.
Have questions about any of these events? We’d love to help. Just click the button below to get in touch with the Happy Horse Happy Life team and we’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
Training Horses for Improved Communication | FAQs
Building a connection with your horse might seem difficult, but there’s a way to break the ice slowly. This FAQ section will highlight some common concerns riders have regarding horses and how to communicate with them.
How to Talk to Your Horse Through Body Language
Horse owners know the importance of establishing a trusting relationship with their equine partner. Although they are prey animals and thus timid and mistrustful, horses are far from silent.
In fact, horses communicate with each other and their owners—not necessarily in spoken terms but through their body language and facial expressions.
Pay attention to your horse’s movements, posture, and facial expressions for clues about how it’s feeling and what it’s thinking. Notice when your horse moves or if the horse’s ears perk when you approach. All of these actions have meanings and can give you an idea of how the horse is responding to the environment.
Next, when you are getting ready to interact with your stallion, remember that horses sense pressure. It’s important to be attentive and flexible to their emotions. Keep your movements slow and steady, and don’t make sudden or aggressive moves, as horses find it intimidating.
How to Talk Horse for the First Time
When talking to a horse, there are a few basics to remember. First, it is important to remember that horses are timid animals, so they can perceive humans as predators if they feel threatened.
If you’re speaking to one, try to maintain a calm, quiet, and empathetic tone. Speaking loudly or aggressively can cause your horse to feel threatened or agitated. Pay attention to their body language from a short distance.
Don’t march into the area the horse is resting without its permission. It’s always important to be mindful and observant of a horse’s facial expressions.
How to Talk to a Horse Without Scaring It
Another way to communicate effectively with your horse is to watch how they move. Horses use movements such as circling, backing up, jumping, and head tossing to communicate with their owners.
Observing equine language and learning what they mean can help you to understand how horses feel and how you can help.
How to Talk to Horses Without Making Them Angry
Horses are amazing animals that can be highly sensitive and reactive to their environment. As such, owners need to know how to communicate in a manner that does not result in an angry horse.
While horses may not understand the exact words you’re saying, they are keenly aware of the tone of your voice and the emotion in your words. As a result, it’s crucial always to maintain a low-pitch, soft tone when talking. Don’t yell anything in front of them unless you want to spook them off.
If a horse is behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, take a pause and give them some space. Horses do not respond well to anger or fear. Reacting in these ways will only cause the animal to become more anxious and can even force them to act out in aggression.
Can Horse Training Teach You How to Talk to Your Horses?
Equine or horse language can be tricky to learn and takes some practice, so it’s essential for any horse rider to take the time to learn the basics and develop their understanding of how a horse communicates.
Getting a handle on a horse’s body language can help avoid unwanted situations. A horse in a state of aggression can be very dangerous and cause injury if not calmed down properly.
Aggressive body languages like teeth-baring, lunging, and snorting are all signs that the horse is upset, angry, or anxious. It’s important to understand how to recognize these indicators and take steps to defuse the situation.
The insight that training provides into horse body language helps you be more aware of and take into consideration the needs and feelings of your animal.
How Do Horses Communicate?
Not all horses express their feelings in the same way. Some breeds are more vocal than others. Other horses, like Arabians, are known to be quiet.
When trying to understand what your horse is feeling, pay attention to its expressions and body language.
It is always better to pay attention to your horse’s mood rather than just one particular feature. Pinned-back ears or narrowed eyes might mean that it is feeling anxious or uncomfortable. It could also mean that the horse considers you a stranger.
Horses communicate anger through snorting, kicking, and even biting. It’s important to approach the horse correctly and identify the root cause of the anger rather than punishing the animal.
How Can I Understand a Horse's Body Language
It is important to note the difference between an angry horse and a horse posing a threat. An annoyed horse will be hostile and openly aggressive with its ears back and teeth bared.
However, on the other hand, a horse posing a threat is usually looking for a fight – it will rear and stomp, stretch out its neck, snort, and make loud noises. Approach animals in this state more cautiously; move slowly, speak softly, and plan an escape route if the horse becomes too aggressive.
Horses use snorting to express their emotions. A gentle snort is usually a sign of alertness or excitement, while a forceful snort may indicate aggression or fear.
This is usually an act of aggression or dominance. If your horse is biting or nipping, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
What Does It Mean to "Speak Horse"?
Speaking to horses the same way you communicate with other animals isn’t always easy – but it’s possible.
In order for both you and your horse to understand each other, there has to be an understanding of what you’re communicating and a place where you both spiritually meet.
Language only takes you so far – it’s mutual trust and a good relationship between you that brings you to the same place.
Talking to a horse differs from talking to humans because it is done without using words. Instead, it’s done through nonverbal communication, which is often defined as body language and behavior.
From subtle head and ear movements to whole-body expressions, horses have a complex way of communicating with each other and with us. It’s important to be in tune with their various signals and understand what they are trying to say.