Horse Expressions ~ If a horse could talk ~ what do they mean?
- Head down - comfortable with the environment and receptive to the bodywork = I am OK with this
- Licking and Chewing - feels good, I understand this = I am very comfortable with this
- The Yawn - release and relaxation = I am able to release all tension and am totally relaxed (I must add here that we are talking about the 'yawn' in this specific circumstance, in other situations this expression may have a whole other meaning)
- Wrinkling at nostrils, tight lips = resentment = "uncomfortable, that area is a bit tight"
- Rigid ear flicking backwards = paying attention = "unsure about you touching me there"
- Pinned ear = don't do that = "if you must work there, ease me into this please"
- Arched neck = you have really gotten my attention = "it's really sore in there"
- Hard Squinting Eye = not really liking this = "run if I can, defend if I must"
- Increased Respiration = nervous response = "changes are processing internally"
- Pulling away, body or limb = extreme discomfort = "do not touch me there"
It truly does not matter what people think or say about the necessity for equine sports massage therapy ... your horse will tell you if it is necessary or effective. Combining modalities quickly creates balance. This new structural balance is effective as it improves attitude, demeanor and performance - your horse's non-specific outward expressions. This article is specifically talking about horse expressions, for more information regarding my applications of equine sports massage and related therapies (future blog topics), please visit our website.