Horse Behaviour

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by naughtydog63, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. naughtydog63

    naughtydog63 Well-known Member

    Hey guys, this isn't really a problem, I was just wondering if anyone had thoughts or suggestions about my horses behaviour. It's not nasty behaviour, I'm simply curious.

    Today I went and sat in my horses paddock, waiting for it to cool down before I rode. He watched me for a while, curious as what I was doing and then wandered over and stood and "played with me". He kept yawnning and holding his mouth slightly open to my arm, then he'd lick the salt from my sweat off my arm, then yawn again. He nipped me once, but he is a very good boy and very seldom does this. Then he'd move and his head and rest it on my back and then shoo the flies from his leg and just stand there, yawn, move his head and open his mouth at my arm, in the end we were just standing there. I think we just sat and stood for half an hour. Is this a social/ respect/ friendship thing? He didn't have his ears flat back, so I don't think he was annoyed at my presence of being there. But his ears are a little bit back, but I think this is just how he rests, he often looks grumpy. I was sitting on his feed bin, but when I sit on the grass in the paddock he does the same thing.

    I noticed that when he has another horse, he does much the same thing, just standing there, I dunno about the nipping thing though. I want to know if it's an invasion of space thing, or he is being dominant over me, or a respect thing, any ideas?
  2. Ears a little bit back is usually mistaken for grumpy, he was most likely relaxed. Yawning indicates he's very comfortable having you close to him and I would suggest the nip was him asking you to do a mutual grooming session with him!
  3. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    I would agree with Merrylegs.
  4. Diablo Equine Services

    Diablo Equine Services Well-known Member

    yes, my colt does this a lot, i have seen many stallions/colts do this. I think it could either be grooming, or it could be a little playful domination game..depends on the whole horses body language at the time...most probably grooming as Merrylegs and deschuur said.
  5. naughtydog63

    naughtydog63 Well-known Member

    So it isn't him telling me to get out of his space. Thanks guys. I thought it could have been this, but am not really a horse behaviourlist type person, so wanted to get some other opinions! I'm glad it isn't him telling me to get out of his space, and am very pleased that it's more a friendhsip/companion thing. It really makes me feel good about my relationship with my horse because he's not the come and give me a cuddle type.

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