Can you read a horse’s ears?

You can tell a lot about what a horse is thinking just by watching their ears, and experienced riders swear by it. Ears forward, or back, or wiggling, do you know what they’re saying to you?

Here’s our essential guide:

1) Ears facing forwards: “I’m happy, confident, living in the moment and ready to go!”

Tells the rider that their horse is relaxed and that all is well.

2) Ears facing back: “I’m annoyed or frightened”

A warning sign, often triggered by another horse being too close, but can also be caused by something they’ve seen that’s unsettled them. Is that pink balloon by the side of the track about to attack? A rider fluent in ears will move away from horses that are close and reassure their horse that all is well. (Jiggling the reins is a useful way of distracting your horse and bringing him back to you.)

3) Ears wiggling: “These flies are really bugging me!”

They’re probably bugging the rider too, but they’ll also be preparing themselves for riding a full body shake. More of that later!

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