Communicative Ears

How Horses Communicate Using Their Ears.

White horse in field

White horse in field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When horses pin their ears flat against their heads, it probably means the horse is angry or irritated.  Obviously, when working with or riding a horse this is not something  you want your horse to do as it usually means you are trying to make the horse do something it does not want to do. This is a warning that the horse is about to lash out (kick, buck, bite etc.)  If the ears are merely tilted back it does not mean the horse is angry, but is actually a good thing if you are riding the horse. Because it means that the horse is listening to you and waiting for a command.  On the other hand, if a horse’s ears are flat on the forehead, it means the horse is scared.  It may not be wise to approach a horse whose ears are like this.   And finally, when the horse’s ears are forward most people think the horse is acting friendly/contented.  But, this might not be the case.  Sometimes a horse will put its ears forward if they sense danger.  If your horse suddenly puts its ears up while riding (the horse might also slacken its pace) you should be on guard as the horse might spook at any time if whatever it heard or smelled moves.  So the next time you see or ride a horse, watch their communicative ears and see if you can tell what they are feeling.

3 thoughts on “Communicative Ears

  1. Lynn Searle says:

    This certainly gives a whole new meaning to ‘body language’! Reminds me of the time I was on a trail ride; the horse laid back his ears flat and off we went to the front of the line with me screaming and hanging on for dear life. And he didn’t stop until we flew through the stable doors.
    Good job, Joline.

  2. sewfunrita says:

    and all this time I thought horses only talked with there mouths……..

  3. sewfunrita says:

    I am so glad I read this, I did not know the horses ears could talk to much. I love horses and I love riding horses. Thank you for communicating the horses ears to me……………R

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