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How sensitive are horses?

Anyone that spends any time with these amazing creatures will know they are sensitive beings, as mentioned in the previous post they are this because they are prey animals and it’s those sensitivities that keep them alive.

But how sensitive is what I find amazing.

Horses live as herd animals, they work together to stay alive and therefore need ways of communicating, they have sounds but these are rarely used, most of their way of communication is trough body language, starting from the the obvious that were taught as a kid ears back means unhappy (although that isn’t totally true) to the deepest body language of all...the breath.

This is why what we do and emit with our bodies is so so so important, because ultimately we want to be part of their language and their herd, and so we have to get sensitive too.

To stay alive horses have developed their senses so acutely that they are aware of the other horses in the herds heart rates and breathing rates, of danger is sensed by one of the herd their heart rate will lift as will their breath shallow and this will pass through the herd in a matter of nano seconds so they all take flight together, no sound needed, no other body language just a faster heart beat.

As horses have welcomed humans into their life they have also tuned themselves into our heart rates and breathing depths, it’s been shown in studies that horses can pick up on your heart rate from the stable next door, so if your heart rate lifts, your breath is shallow the signal you give to your horse is DANGER, the simplest body language if all but the most forgotten about.

Awareness of our breath and ultimately our heart rate becomes key to keeping our horses calm, you know that saying “a horse will sense if you’re nervous” well this is why.

So when we say conscious movement the movement of our breath is just as important as the movement of our limbs.


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