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Listen to Your Horse

What's My Horse Saying?

Horses don't make sounds that convey an exact single idea, but they certainly make noises to get across general ideas or emotions.

NICKER:
With his lips closed, your horse makes this soft "rat-ta-tat-tat" sound. It's usually, with a raised head, saying "Hi, I'm glad you're here".

BLOWING or SNORTING:
Usually this means he's afraid of something. But some horses will snort when they are excited and hoping that something good's going to happen.

NEIGHING:
This is high-pitched, long and loud. This sound can mean either anxiety or

confidence, depending on the tone of the neigh and the body language that goes with it.

When one horse neighs in a group turned out together, he is warning the group that he sees something unusual.

SIGHING:
There's a relaxation sigh that you watch and listen for when longeing to make sure he's calm before you get on. He will usually put his head down and exhale a deep, sort of fluttering, breath through his nostrils.

Watch Your Horse's Ears When You Ride

Here's what they tell you about what your horse is thinking.

By keeping an eye on your horse's ears the next time you ride, you'll recognize just how well your mount is "hearing" what you have to say.

A horse that is listening to its rider carries his ears in neutral, about in the middle and relaxed.

When a horse pins his ears while being ridden, he has heard perfectly well what you have said, but he is going to ignore you.

Sometimes the straining, forward-pricked ear positions means the horse is also going to disobey.



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The Right Saddle for Cutting or Reining

For cutting and reining horse events, you definitely need a saddle thatís designed to help you "ride in balance and sit the stop." First, you want a saddle that was designed and built specifically for reining or cutting. Both of these designs have their individual advantages but remember, just because the manufacturer "calls" it a reining saddle doesnít mean it was designed "well" for reining.

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