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11 signs that can tell you if your horse is happy or not

Keeping domesticated animals can be of great help for various reasons. Horses are one of the first of very few animals that were domesticated by humans. Since the dawn of civilization, horses have been tamed for farming, travel, carrying goods, and even used for war. So, humans have a deep relationship with horses and, even now, the value of horses has not dropped at all. The horses are still used for carrying products, traveling, and even for sports.

So, now that you know how important horses are for you, how do you keep your domestic horse happy and healthy? They can not talk so how would you understand? Horses have their way of communicating with humans.

Here are 11 signs that will tell you that your horse is happy and in a healthy physique.

1. Relaxed nostrils

Understanding the body language of your horse is a great way to know how your horse is doing. If he is feeling relatively happy, his nostrils should be round and relaxed.

There will be no signs of shaking, which happens when they are breathing heavily or having a problem breathing. This will show whether your horse is calm and relaxed.

If the nostrils become less round, thinner, and tight, it means the horse is not doing well.

Check your horse’s nostrils often because there are different respiratory diseases that can affect him.

2. The lip lines

Just as Nostrils, it is also a body language that tells you if your horse is doing well or not. If you see that the lip lines are relaxed, not dry, and loose, it will indicate that your horse is happy and in good health.

But, like nostrils, if the lips are tight, it means the horse is not happy or might be suffering from dehydration.

Horses sometimes can get anxious or nervous very easily, in that case,  use specialized horse supplements like equine nutrition to calm him down.

3. The lower jaw

If your horse is feeling happy and is in a good mood, you will see his jaws slightly loose and hung down. He will also drool a little if he is happy. It is important to be able to read your horse’s expression.

4. The ears

The ears can also tell you if your horse is happy or not if you notice it carefully. If your horse is relaxed or calm, the ears will move rarely and will be pointed sideways.

But, if you see your horse’s ears are moving frequently, it means that the horse is tense and anxious. An important characteristic of horses is that their ears will generally be pointing towards the source of their anxiety or tension.

So, check your surroundings to see if something is making your horse tense.

5. Pawing

We all know that animals move a lot when they feel happy or when they feel excited.

The same goes for horses. When they feel happy, you will see them stomping the ground. When they get excited, they rear up their front legs and neigh loud to show their excitement.

But if you see him galloping here and there frantically, it indicates that he is uptight and tense.

6. Head movement

When your horse is grazing, and relaxed and happy he will be calmly concentrating on the grass while eating.

If you see your horse interrupt its eating and looking around, moving his head frequently, that means he is unhappy about something and is anxious.

7. Grooming

When you have multiple horses out in the field and observe that one horse grooming another, and that horse responding back, in the same manner, that shows both of them are happy.

If one horse grooms but the other does not do so in return, it shows that one is not in a good mental state and needs to be taken care of.

8. Excrete feces

If your horse is in a good health and mood, it will excrete feces normally and regularly, which is six to eight times a day.

If you see any anomaly in this or you see your horse not defecating at all, that means that the horse is anxious and not feeling well or the food is not being digested well.

So in that case, it is best to take help from a vet as soon as possible. Because it can harm your horse’s quality of life.

9. Sharing hay with fellow stablemates

If you have a few horses in your stable and observe them sharing their hay and not attacking or pushing other horses away, it shows all are happy.

If you see any horse become a little aggressive, it is wise to keep him away from the stable for a few days and wait for his recovery.

10. Horse bedding

When you check on your horse, see the bedding not messed up, that means the horse is calm as they do not move much in their sleep. If you see it messy, it shows him to be anxious, and has been moving around a lot.

11. Breathing

When you are riding your horse, if he is breathing through his nostrils and not with his mouth and is making a snorting sound, that means he is enjoying himself and is happily being ridden.

To understand your horse better you need to have a good relationship with your horse. You have to be confident around him to make him feel that you are trustworthy and friendly.

Final thoughts

Just like humans, horses have emotions too and they can feel happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, and much more. But they cannot communicate with us verbally to express their pain and suffering. So it is up to the owners to take care and understand the needs of these domestic animals. If you want to benefit from them, then you must ensure that they are also in the best of state, both mentally and physically.

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