9 Signs Your Horse Is Happy

It is actually surprising easy to tell if your horse is happy, but you have to know what to look for. The signs of a happy horse are quite obvious, so we’ve outlined them here so you can ensure your steed is smiling!

1. Your Horse’s Nose

The nose is a great indication of happiness, and if it is soft, relaxed and rounded, your horse is happy as if he’s just won big playing Bingo in UK. If the nostrils are flared or have become taunt, tight and drawn, he’s not happy at all.

2. Look At The Lips

A happy horse will have a relaxed mouth that curls down slightly and is soft and pliable. If a horse is tense their lips will be drawn back and tight, and you may even be able to see teeth if they are particularly stressed.

3. Lower Jaw

A lower jaw should be loose and free, not tightly clenched shut. Much like humans, horses will clench their jaws if they are stressed and unhappy. If your horse has a very relaxed jaw he may even dribble a bit, but this isn’t a bad thing as it means he’s very chilled!

4. Tick Tock Tail

If the tail is still and flicking you’ve got an unhappy horse. A tail should be relaxed and loose and it should swing freely from side to side.

5. Examine the Ears

It can be quite hard to tell your horse’s mood from his ears, but if you know your horse well, you may just be able to work out when they express displeasure. If a horse is stressed he will usually flick his ears in the direction the stress or noise is coming from, and if they go flat then you know that he’s not happy and is listening hard.

6. Pawing the Ground

If your horse is rearing up or pawing the ground he may look agitated or ready to fight, but usually this is a sign of them letting loose and having fun. Horses won’t usually play unless they are happy, and if you have a horse that’s being playful, that’s a great sign as it means they re in a good mood.

If however they gallop up and down a fence line for an extended period of time, they may well be stressed and need to be distracted.

7. Mutual Grooming

If your horse is stabled with another or in the pasture or paddock with few horses and they are grooming each other, this is a good sign. Grooming indicates a relaxed horse and also shows bonding with each other.

8. Sharing Hay Nets

Similar to mutual grooming, sharing a hay net with another horse is an excellent indication of being happy.

9. Healthy Poop

Droppings are like a secret language and if you know how to read them, you can tell how your horse is feeling and if they are healthy or not.

Regular, firm but not overly solid poop is a great indication that a horse is happy and relaxed, whereas horses that do not defecate or have runny stomachs are stressed and not coping in their environment.


About Doreen Cohen