Some Insight into the Behavior of Horses

Some Insight into the Behavior of Horses

People have been using horses for thousands of years, horses are incredibly smart animals with good instincts. Today most horses are companion animals or pet, we don’t use them for transportation or to plow fields for use.  When you get a horse either as a pet or just for riding you need to understand the horse.  Don’t underestimate the bond between a horse and rider.  First you are going to have to understand why horses behave the way they do.  Here is some insight into the behavior of horses.

  1. Horses act according to what motivates them, not so different from people really. They are heavily motivated by fear, horses are skittish by nature.
  2. Horses are herd animals they prefer to be in the company of others. They are social by nature and don’t always do well on their own.  When you form a bond with a horse it considers you part of the herd.
  3. Horses are not aggressive by nature, yes there are exceptions, but they do avoid aggression and will run away if given the opportunity. Running away  is a survival instinct to them.
  4. Horses learn quickly and they have very good memories. If you demonstrate behavioral patterns to them they can be trained, which is why we relied on the horse for so many thousands of years.
  5. Horses can fall asleep standing up or laying down, however most of the time they will sleep standing up. The composition of their legs allows them to do this, generally they sleep in short intervals throughout the day.  They do need to lie down in order to reach REM sleep but they need very little of that.  You will only catch them lying down for maybe two hours every couple of days.
  6. Horses are natural grazers and in the wild they will spend most of their day foraging for food. They prefer prairie grasses and they will travel in order to find food.
  7. Horses are very curious animals despite being as fearful as they are. They will check out things that are unusual or interesting.
  8. Horses are capable of acting, rather than just reacting. They will react to something that makes them afraid and they do that instinctively.  However they can be pretty stubborn and that is a horse acting out and not reacting.

Horses are incredible animals and humans would have never evolved like they did had they not domesticated horses.  Horses make excellent companions as any horse lover will tell you.