Natural Horse Therapies

The World of the Natural Horse

Natural Horse Therapies

Communicating with your Horse

Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 12:21 am

From the Horse’s Mouth …

Ever want to know what your horse is really thinking?

To get inside your horse’s mind and really hear their thoughts?images-9

Anyone who is a horse owner will know how possible it is to read our horse’s body language and surmise what it is they could be thinking. But imagine not having to simply guess or predict, but to really know, to be able to have an intimate two-way conversation where you can really hear them, and they you.

Horses have a number of ways of communicating: facial expressions, the placement of different body parts, their individual behaviours and mannerisms, sound, their body structure, touch and importantly, their presence. It is possible to refine all of these means of communication, so that one can freely and deeply connect with your horse.

We can learn to heighten our knowledge of the different communication styles. And we may also find we are better at one style than another. If you are finding your relationship with your horse is not as good as it could be, you might want to experiment with growing your abilities to communicate visually, verbally, kinaesthetically (through touch) or auditorily (through sounds). By taking the time to watch and hear our horses, with an open and neutral mind, we are able to learn may things.

herd grazingI’ve always thought an important skill to develop is to practise removing our ‘human’ filters – the projections we have from a human perspective. For example, “wouldn’t it be so much more comfortable for my horse to eat from a feed bin on the fence?” (as I might prefer). The reality though is that a horse’s digestive system is most effective when they eat with their head down, as naturally horses do in the wild. This assists the gut, and also ensures even wearing of the teeth.

An important human filter to watch out for is where we may substitute ‘convenience’ in our own lifestyle for ‘care’ of our equines. Living in a modern lifestyle, most of us will do this to some extent. For instance, we may have one horse rather than two because it is more affordable. However as horses are herd animals they thrive on companionship. So, if we are keeping a horse on their own we must strive to give them plenty of companionship, entertainment and grooming – as they would do for each other in the paddock.

Being aware of the needs of horses is important. And it increases our relationship with them no end.

Unfortunately horses rarely get a choice about their surroundings. So by deliberately reaching out to any horses in our care, we can make the horses journey in a human world an easier one. If we attempt to think from the horses point-of-view we can learn a lot, and we can give our horses the very best circumstances to thrive in, both emotionally and physically. This sometimes requires us to step out of our way of thinking, our assumptions and our projections, to really tune into the languages of the horse. And we need to do this regularly, not just occasionally. As with any great relationship, it takes refinement.

It is possible to learn to telepathically communicate with your horse. Thisimages-8 may seem a foreign approach for people, but for the horse its everyday. Horses are in fact very good at this, as unlike people, sound is their least dominant form of expression.

Thirdly, the feel of a horse’s body can tell us a lot about their health. Tightness in certain areas or looseness, can reflect areas lacking in chi (energy) and can communicate our horse’s current state of health. Getting to know our horse’s bodies can help us make decisions about how to best help and support their wellbeing. Therapies such as acupuncture, massage, shiatsu, bowen, energy work, facia and muscle release therapies plus other such modalities can influence this vital chi and maintain your horse in great health.

I regularly enjoy hearing stories of ways you connect with your horse, so feel free to add your comments here to share with everyone.

Warmest regards


5 responses to “Communicating with your Horse”

  1. Garry Pratt says:

    Hi Zoe, I enjoyed very much the communication advice. Satu’s yard is next to the choock pen. I was nearby the other day when a carrawong landed in the tree above the chooks. The rooster did not see it but Satu did. She “spoke” to the chooks and they all fled under the bushes and the rooster looked up to identify the danger.
    So my conclusion is that Satu can talk chook and they understand her warnings.Also since we got the chook pen and Satu’s encloser after the fires next to eachother we have not needed to lock the chooks in at night time.No foxes have come because Satu watches over the chooks.
    In that aspect she has been better than any dog.
    Regards, Anja and Garry

  2. Garry Pratt says:

    Hi Zoe, Just sent you a little story.
    Hope you enjoy it.

  3. Zoe says:

    Thankyou Garry

    That’s a great story! And I thoroughly believe your lovely horse can talk “chook”!! Horses have such great sense of humour don’t they!

    All the best and glad to hear Satu is in good health also.


  4. Joanne says:

    Hi Zoe …

    I do not own my own horse but I have loved horses since I was a little child. I have had friends and relatives that have owned horses so I have been around horses over the years even though I never had one of my own. I am at home with all kinds of animals. And I find music to be a great way to connect with animals.

    A few years ago when I was being treated for mercury poisoning I had to spend several days every month in bed taking it easy while I detoxed. I bought a second hand acoustic guitar on eBay (for cheap because the neck of the guitar was broken. And after repairing it with gorilla glue) I started playing the guitar again (I hadn’t played it much at all after graduating college and getting into the working world and the everyday rat race that is life in suburban NY (Long Island, NY … which has become almost like living in Manhattan but without the sky scrapers).

    Not only did the guitar give me something to do in bed to pass the time but I found it very soothing health-wise. I started playing it near my two parrots who were getting up there in age (the older of the two just recently passed away). Both birds found great joy from listening to me play. They would sing and sway along with the music (and always wanted a few encores when I was ready to pack up my guitar).

    So … based on my parrots reaction … I decided to bring my guitar with me on a trip to the nearby horse stables. I play it while they eat their hey … I think the soothing music is good for their digestion … they really seem to enjoy being serenaded while they eat.

    It is sort of the country / folk music alternative to a strolling violinist at an italian restaurant. I especially try to spend time around an older horse that is over 30 (since it really seemed to make my older parrots last years sweeter hearing me play).

    So to those who play the guitar (or another instrument) you may want to try playing it around your horses and see how they like it. And those who do not play but always wanted to learn … here is another reason to start.

    … Joanne (NY,USA)

    PS: If you ride western style don’t forget to include plenty of those cowboy chords when playing 🙂
    (cowboy chords = open chords, and G, C, and D in particular … in my case I guess I should call them ‘cowgirl chords’)

  5. Zoe says:

    Music, a healing balm and creative inspiration for all sentient beings! Thank you for your sharing Joanne. Does anyone else shave any stories of how music and horses interrelate?

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