What's That Supposed to Mean?

What type of behaviors do you most often wonder about in your horses?
Send questions about behavior to Editorial@ TheHorse.com.

Maintenance (eating, urinating/defecating, investigating surroundings by sniffing, pawing, etc.)
General social commmunication (postures, expressions, sounds, etc.)
Intermale interaction
Reproductive behavior (harem formation, breeding, parenting)
Abnormal behaviors

Total votes cast: 830

Comments & Write-in Answers

4yr old filly lots of emotions hangs tounge out mostly when concerned and also snakes head.sire also

7/23/2007 7:50:26 PM

My three mares drag two very heavy hay racks around the paddocks and often turn them over at night

7/23/2007 4:09:27 PM

like "crazy mares" that kick and attack when in heat.

7/23/2007 2:47:18 PM

my mare backs into me, she loves her rear area to be rubbed, she is wormed regularily, why?

7/23/2007 1:26:55 PM

'camp horse' seeks an alpha (person or horse) in any situation though she's all mine after a ride.

7/23/2007 6:48:20 AM

eating manure

7/22/2007 6:29:30 PM

Why do some horse prefer outside to the barn?

7/22/2007 2:56:27 AM

Our 8 yr old gelding is jerking his head as though a bee is up his nose. Did it same time last year

7/21/2007 7:56:37 PM

behaviors that might indicate the horse is ill

7/21/2007 8:44:25 AM

What appears to be yawning at first but with more observation, looks like stretching of the jaw.

7/21/2007 12:33:33 AM

my horses are not gaining wait they keep geting skinner pls help

7/20/2007 11:27:56 PM


7/20/2007 10:56:18 PM


7/20/2007 9:44:15 PM

my hoses puts her feet in a small swimming pool that i have for my ducks

7/20/2007 9:17:28 PM

draft issues with bones and legs

7/20/2007 4:28:07 PM

Feeding the right food...

7/20/2007 2:21:22 PM

stallion calling and lack of focus in the show ring due to constantly looking for mares

7/20/2007 1:24:19 PM

I wonder if they are playing with eachother or arguing

7/20/2007 12:34:03 PM

I have a mare with Queen Bee issues. Is there any way to break the behavior?

7/20/2007 12:17:28 PM

fence walking

7/20/2007 11:50:38 AM

A lone elk tries to play with my horses

7/20/2007 11:47:44 AM

chest biting, sighting imaginary things

7/20/2007 9:35:28 AM

chewing wood. Quitt as a safe rremedy?

7/20/2007 7:03:12 AM

My boy is a head tosser. He does it under the saddle with or without a bit, he does it at pasture.

7/20/2007 3:36:11 AM

nice site

7/20/2007 2:28:26 AM

why does my youngest gelding still do baby mouth to his pasturemates at 2-1/2 yrs old?

7/19/2007 8:09:05 PM

How to be more in tune with my horse's body language

7/19/2007 6:43:41 PM

One of our geldings has gotten very agressive w/another gelding to the point we had to separate them

7/19/2007 6:14:44 PM


7/19/2007 5:22:50 PM

Why does a horse pick particular spot to do their business?

7/19/2007 4:32:56 PM

licking galvanized fencing despite having special salt blocks and supplements, good hay, room to run

7/19/2007 2:11:17 PM

I'm super interested in learning about establishing friendship/trust on my horse's level

7/19/2007 2:10:37 PM

I always wonder what they're thinking - or *if* they're thinking, lol...

7/19/2007 11:52:07 AM

My mare came into season and flirted heavily with another mare. Another mare mounted my gelding.

7/19/2007 11:01:39 AM

9 yr. old QH gelding shakes his head up & down really fast and makes his upper lip flop and pop.

7/19/2007 10:35:10 AM

Why does my horse explode sometimes when I saddle him?

7/19/2007 10:29:30 AM

I own 2 geldings, 6 & 9 yrs old. When should I intervene/separate them permanently?

7/19/2007 10:27:40 AM

mares that behave stud-like despite normal hormone profiles

7/19/2007 9:47:11 AM

horse bitting at his front lower legs then stomping the ground.

7/19/2007 9:35:49 AM

more articles about the "language" of horses, please!

7/19/2007 8:41:05 AM

Why don't stallions accept all mares?

7/19/2007 1:06:14 AM

I have a mare that deeply squeals(sounds like a bark). I would to live to know why she does that.

7/19/2007 12:40:19 AM

My friend's stallion has a distinctly different call to different mares..why?

7/19/2007 12:34:02 AM

My gelding who was gelded quite late in life is very dominant with natural herding (other geldings)

7/18/2007 9:26:17 PM

I wonder about my gelding's seeming deliberateness when he picks a hose up and squirts other horses.

7/18/2007 7:41:46 PM

Helping a horse gain confidence in his rider/owner

7/18/2007 7:36:27 PM

What does it mean when your horse licks you when you are grooming him?

7/18/2007 6:45:38 PM

Why is "halter tag" so much fun?!

7/18/2007 5:15:17 PM

Being bunted with my horse's head

7/18/2007 4:14:19 PM

do geldings and stallions play more than mares?

7/18/2007 3:20:53 PM

My 17.1h Perch/TB has to shift weight on his front feet every few seconds - what's with that?

7/18/2007 2:36:08 PM

Also wonder how human behavior, expressions and posture affects the horse

7/18/2007 1:24:21 PM

neurological issues (ataxia and what is happening in his spine)

7/18/2007 1:18:34 PM

Double Barrel Kicking at nothing when stallion can't see favorite mare

7/18/2007 12:45:50 PM


7/18/2007 12:28:07 PM

why does my horse sometimes dig the clay-like dirt with her teeth and eat it?

7/18/2007 12:21:53 PM

What would my gelding be like if he had never been gelded? Would he still be as mellow, I wonder?

7/18/2007 12:18:47 PM

My sweet gelding went nuts, reared while tied, bit me-bled. Took 40 min to calm & catch. WHY?

7/18/2007 12:16:14 PM

Being solitary even when out with the herd

7/18/2007 12:00:29 PM

All the above mentioned. I enjoy reading about behavior especially....

7/18/2007 11:45:59 AM

head rocking and snapping teeth when scratched

7/18/2007 11:43:29 AM

depression or what appears to be depression

7/18/2007 11:24:50 AM

I'm studying Parelli's Liberty and Horse Behavior to figure some of this out...

7/18/2007 11:10:28 AM

yawning a lot after eating grain

7/18/2007 11:08:44 AM

Extremely standoffish mare

7/18/2007 10:46:46 AM

My gelding licks on any flat surface when he eats his grain in a rhythmic fashion.

7/18/2007 10:36:06 AM

My mare occasionally eats manure. Ugh. Why? She is not deficient in any nutritional elements.

7/18/2007 10:34:51 AM

My mare strongly establishes herself in the group and then prefers to be a left alone by the group

7/18/2007 10:32:34 AM

Horse uses facial expressions and ears and tail a lot.

7/18/2007 10:22:04 AM

My welsh gelding is WAY more agressive then my two welsh stallions exc!

7/18/2007 10:21:13 AM

refusing to walk thru mud/water

7/18/2007 9:46:26 AM


7/18/2007 9:36:57 AM

Head tossing with ears up. Either in the field or in his stall?

7/18/2007 9:31:59 AM

I understand lots about normal behavior. The strange stuff baffles me.

7/18/2007 9:15:08 AM

Personalities, how 1 horse can bully another, ride great at home in the ring and act up at a show

7/18/2007 9:13:27 AM

eating bark from trees & chewing on EVERYTHING

7/18/2007 9:00:06 AM

why does my horse urinate when I come into his stall?

7/18/2007 8:40:01 AM

Mare who was an orphan foal tries to nurse herself after a treat. She is 10 now.

7/18/2007 8:39:40 AM

My Young breeding Stud 4 Is With Mares+Foals,If Kept This Way Will He Stay a Gentleman? or Why not?

7/18/2007 8:39:17 AM

Nipping but not biting owner/caretaker (almost as if for attention/play initiation)

7/18/2007 8:30:37 AM

separation anxiety is so difficult to deal with.

7/18/2007 8:23:05 AM

just experienced a freak pasture accident, how many others have suffered

7/18/2007 7:24:10 AM


7/18/2007 6:40:46 AM

ody language and herd ranking

7/18/2007 6:20:57 AM


7/18/2007 6:04:17 AM

normal 99.999% then 1x 3-4yrs freaks about girthing, once flipping over, once going down on knees.

7/18/2007 5:23:23 AM

I would love to know what my horse is thinking and what his expressions mean.

7/18/2007 3:27:34 AM


7/18/2007 3:06:34 AM

My TB mare will eat manure; pasture her, exercise her and she won't stop without a muzzle.

7/18/2007 2:45:41 AM

I have a QH that drinks aprx 50 gals of water a day! We're in AZ , that seems like too much!

7/18/2007 1:17:35 AM

My horses lick dirt, even though they have good pasture, mineral salt block, etc.

7/18/2007 12:19:20 AM

yawning - cause???

7/17/2007 11:46:32 PM

I love to watch the subtle interactions in groups, and how personalities are expressed in the herd.

7/17/2007 11:28:34 PM

head flipping

7/17/2007 11:11:13 PM

I can tell you this really quick you got to spend time with your horses and you will know what they

7/17/2007 11:09:30 PM

When they are "off", then I immediately start wondering what is going on

7/17/2007 10:12:33 PM

Cribbing/stress chewing

7/17/2007 9:51:44 PM

Do they get headaches like people?

7/17/2007 9:17:21 PM

When seeing a "wheeled" item our horse makes "raptor" like sounds through his nose.

7/17/2007 9:05:07 PM

geldings' aggression towards foals/yearlings

7/17/2007 9:03:00 PM

I wonder about defecation as far as why horses go where they go.

7/17/2007 8:36:16 PM

Seperation anxiety in horses (not foals). My nine year old mare clings to one horse..cannot seperat

7/17/2007 8:20:15 PM

Gelding that paws at fire (campfire, burning old hay and didn't think they would bother it)

7/17/2007 8:01:43 PM

my horse eats dirt. whats up with that?

7/17/2007 7:23:50 PM

Exagerated yawning

7/17/2007 7:13:11 PM

i wish i had a closer relationship with my horse so i could understand him better

7/17/2007 7:01:37 PM

do horses get hernias

7/17/2007 6:52:56 PM

yawning in stallions

7/17/2007 6:40:38 PM

They always have another animal they make friends with- rat, chicken, cat but never the dog.

7/17/2007 6:39:52 PM

Behaviors associated with depressed state of mind, subtle pain or illness

7/17/2007 6:27:29 PM

That moment of silent contact and nose sniffing followed by a piercing SCREAM

7/17/2007 6:19:01 PM

behaviors towards humans/predators

7/17/2007 6:13:00 PM

She will only go to the bathroom in her stall!

7/17/2007 6:03:24 PM

Any negative behaviors such as mean looks, ears back, red eyes, tail wringing... why all the time?

7/17/2007 5:53:50 PM

I have a horse who may or may not have narcolepsy.

7/17/2007 5:47:14 PM

Geldings urinating on hay on the ground.

7/17/2007 5:47:00 PM

Fight or flight instinct...a horse whose first instinct is to fight not flight

7/17/2007 5:41:28 PM

My horse is so sociable a sheep is his constant companion, in stall and in pasture.

7/17/2007 5:23:59 PM

my mare will sometimes stand with her head in the corner

7/17/2007 5:21:04 PM

The expression that looks like yawning, but isn't

7/17/2007 5:17:33 PM

How much does being in heat affect behavior?

7/17/2007 5:13:48 PM

digging holes for no apparant reason

7/17/2007 5:11:39 PM

Why do horses paw at the water when crossing streams?

7/17/2007 5:08:32 PM

WEAVING! She will weave out in field with herd!

7/17/2007 5:07:17 PM

I have a gelding who bullies my other gelding SOMETIMES...other times they are joined at the hip....

7/17/2007 5:03:57 PM

What is "Yawning" all about? It seems to happen a lot when my mares are in heat.

7/17/2007 5:00:50 PM

eating mud on trail

7/17/2007 4:56:29 PM

my horse likes to trail ride and gives me no problem there-but refuses to ring ride or pasture ride.

7/17/2007 4:52:54 PM

I love to watch horses play. Give us games that we can play with our horses.

7/17/2007 4:52:04 PM

chewing any type of wood when sufficient high quality forage exists

7/17/2007 4:17:37 PM

Wish I knew what some of their expressions mean.

7/17/2007 3:39:28 PM