Horse Behavioral Notes [forever wip]

Nov 11th, 2018 (edited)
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  1. Table of Contents
  3. Horses on herd structure
  4. Horses on socialization
  5.     On verbal communication
  6. On horses and touching and grooming
  7. On horse and pleasure
  8. On horses and pain, anxiety, and depression
  9. On horse play
  10. On Horse fighting, warnings, and aggression
  11. On horses and their surroundings
  12.     On sight
  13.     On hearing
  14.     On smell
  15.     On touch
  16. On horse grooming
  17. On sleeping, resting, and stretching
  18. On horse diet and eating
  19. On horses and intoxication
  20. On mating behaviors
  21. On foaling
  22. On horses on interaction with humans
  26. Horses on herd structure:
  28. >Horses have a very complex herding system compared to other herding animals.
  29. >The hierarchy is never linear.
  30.         >A lot of times, there can be whole "love" triangles with horse hierarchy.
  31. >Horse hierarchy is very adaptive and can change on a dime.
  32.         >Horses can't wait around for a new lead horse to step up.
  33.         >Horses aren't just looking for predators, they're always watching other horses; if there's a hierarchy shift, everyone knows                
  34.         about it.
  35.         >There isn't a dedicated permanent alpha in the way predators handle hierarchy, rather a lead horse.
  36.             >Horses need to herd together to lessen the chance of getting picked off by predators and can't afford to branch off to                      
  37.             different territories to become dominant like predators do.
  38. >It's unclear if a lead mare is always on top of hierarchy.
  39.         >Mares will often lead the herd when moving.
  40.         >Dominant stallions will be protective for more mating rights/ protection of his mares within his herd/band.
  41.             >This usually includes "snaking" his mares, lowering the head to chase them, to get them moving and away from danger though          
  42.         they will try to push danger away if that isn't enough.
  43.         >This doesn't mean all mares are dominant over all stallions in the herd, and vise versa.
  44. >Higher horses get access to food and water first.
  45.         >They will guard over spots for feeding and drinking even if they're not hungry.
  46. >A large herd is often made of smaller bands.
  47.         >Bands meaning smaller mating groups.
  51. Horses on socialization:
  53. >Horses have a very big emphasis on pressure and release, as opposed to dominant and submissive behavior of predators.
  54.         >If a horse moves backs away from you when you put pressure on them, they're being respectful to you as a "higher horse"
  55.         >Walking away from a horse will create a draw for them to follow you.
  56. >Horses need socialization to keep sane.
  57.         >They are social prey animals. If they are isolated, they will be stressed out, anxious, and irritable.
  58.             >A horse that's singled out and alone can lead to abnormal behavioral ticks.
  59.         >Even two horses is a herd, though the relationship won't be as natural.
  60.         >If there isn't another horse they'll try to herd up with the next best thing to reduce stress levels. (A goat, sheep, dog, a
  61.         human ect.)
  62. >Horses will often buddy up with someone somewhat close to their herd/band standing for grooming and general bonding.
  63. >Horses tend to gravitate towards those of the same color, when moving or grazing so they don't stand out when predators come.
  64. >When a horse's head is upright in an alert position it creates pressure.
  65.         >Useful when letting other horses know there's danger.
  66. >Horses pin ears to tell others to take a step back.
  67.         >They never pin their ears to show submissiveness like predators do.
  68.         >It doesn't always mean they're aggressive or angry, they're just saying they need some space.
  69. >stomping counting, or pawing
  70.         >Can range from a sign of aggression, boredom, or to get your attention.
  71.         >Best to pair this up with another cue to see what they want.
  72. >Lowered head.
  73.         >Non-combative, relaxed posture.
  74.         >Horse blood pressure will naturally decrease when the head is lowered too.
  78. On verbal communication:
  80. >Nickering
  81.         >Low-pitched, gutturally pulsated vocalization.
  82.         >Akin to a pleasurable groan for a human.
  83.         >They'll nicker at other horses as a sign of endearment or to call them over.
  84.         >Mare's will lower their head and nicker much more softly when calling over their foals.
  85. >Snorting
  86.         >A Forceful quick exhalation of less than 1 second duration.
  87.         >Associated with olfactory investigation, prancing, posturing, and close combat involving rearing, boxing, kneeling, and circling.
  88.         >They'll do it when wary about something they're observing or meeting someone for the first time.
  89.         >Though, like humans, they can do it to clear blockage.
  90. >Whinnying or Neighing.
  91.         >Loud, prolonged call, typically of 1 to 3 seconds, beginning high pitched and ending lower pitched. The head is elevated and the mouth slightly opened.
  92.         >Associated with being alert and approaching from a distance, usually between an affiliated pair.
  93.         >Usually followed by a relatively friendly or relatively friendly or playful interaction as opposed to frank aggressive encounters.
  94.         >Longer ones could mean they're calling out to someone.
  95.         >A more shrill whinny means they're anxious.
  96.         >A louder reverberating one means they're being aggressive.
  97. >Squealing
  98.         >High-pitched vocalization of variable loudness and typically of less than 1 second. The head can be in a variety of positions, and the mouth is typically closed during the squeal.
  99.         >Typical during olfactory investigation, posturing, biting, and nipping as well as during both mock and serious fighting.
  100. >Scream
  101.         >Of similar high pitch as squealing, but louder and longer than the squeal.
  102.         >Associated with the same situations as squeal, but typically with more serious aggression.
  103. >Grunt
  104.         >Low-pitched vocalization of about 0.5 seconds. The mouth is closed during the grunt. As with the snort.
  105.         >The grunt is associated with olfactory investigation, posturing, and close combat involving rearing, boxing, kneeling, and circling.
  106. >Blow
  107.         >Strong, sharp exhalation.
  108.         >Communicate alarm to herd mates.
  109. >Groan
  110.         >Monotone hum-like sound produced during exhalation, typically lasting up to 2 seconds.
  111.         >Commonly occur during discomfort in recumbent animals, for example during foaling.
  112.         >Some individuals also normally emit a short groan or sigh upon lying down.
  113. >Sigh:
  114.         >audible prolonged loud exhalation following quick deep inhalation.
  118. On horse and pleasure:
  120. >When horses lower their head, it naturally lowers the heart rate.
  121. >Horse ears tend to drift back when relaxing.
  122. >When getting groomed, or when extremely comfortable horses will wiggle their snouts back and forth if it feels really good.
  123.         >Sometimes the lower lip will become floppy too.
  124. >Stallions can drop from their sheath when relaxed
  128. On horses and pain, anxiety, and depression:
  130. >If the lips press together with a flat chin, it can mean they're in pain.
  131.         >Usually accompanied by contraction of the upper eyelid and other tense facial features.
  132. >Prancing back and forth in circles helps horses calm down when they're anxious about something.
  133.         >It probably reassures them that they have paths to run to when in danger.
  134. >A lowered head could mean the horse is in pain if it's constant.
  135. >Can twitch the leg or stomp hoof if something is irritating the leg or if it’s in pain.
  136. >They will be anxious and possibly depressed when having a leg injury.
  137.         >Pones love walking and don't like getting left behind or possibly picked off by predators.
  141. On horse fear:
  143. >Horses will quickly veer and circle around things that spook them.
  144. >Common facial expressions include showing the whites in their eyes and slightly opening the mouth.
  145. >When the horse is in an alert or stare posture.
  146. >Rigid stance with the neck elevated and the head oriented toward the object or animal of focus. The ears are held stiffly upright and forward, and the nostrils may be slightly dilated.
  147.     >The whinny vocalization may accompany this stance.
  148.     >Alert posture may be followed by approach, followed by either friendly or aggressive interactions, or by resumption of the previous activity. described alarm as a stronger form of the alert stance, with eyes widely open and sclera showing.
  149. The behavior may include an arched neck and flared nostrils.
  154. On horse play:
  156. >Foal play is 100% non-combative.
  157.         >Push behavior like ear pinning is socially facilitated behaviors from the mother.
  158.         >Combative play starts when the horse is of breeding age and largely between young stallions in bachelor herds.
  159. >Play either includes locomotor play or some form of manipulative play.
  160. >Foals will typically start solitary play a couple hours after birth.
  161. >One important aspect to foal play is learning social dynamics of a herd.
  162.         >Foals will show off how fast they can run, buck, and move to impress their peers.
  163.             >you'll often see foals running alongside each other seeing who can go faster.
  164.             >Foals will also prance around in a circle and rear up when showing off how big and tough they are to their dams.
  165.         >During rougher play, they'll get nipped, kicked, pushed, and toppled over, usually by their dam. This is where they learn to respect higher horses.
  166.         >Foals will also start learning to groom others.
  167.         >Includes sexual behavior like mounting behavior with dams for colts.
  168. >In combative play-fighting with older stallions of breeding age "grasp" of the other stallion with jaws and teeth.
  169.         >Either on the crest of the neck or hind leg above the hock.
  170. >A good amount of horse play involves investigating things in the environment.
  171.         >This is so they can differentiate things that they need to run from, and things they can ignore so they can look out for things they need to run from.
  172.         >Often called "sacking out" which is desensitizing the horse to certain objects, namely sacks and bags.
  173.         >Horses will often knock unfamiliar objects around and play with it to become comfortable with it. This is why they go ham on yoga balls despite lacking typical chasing predator behavior.
  174.         >If spooked by a new object, they'll prance back and forth around it in a circular motion, and reach far to poke and nudge it.
  175.             >Once they're sure it's not dangerous, they'll start playing around with it. Chewing, pushing, swinging it around, and whatever else they can do with it.
  176. >Horses, especially foals, will animate their heads more when being playful.   
  177. >Foals and yearlings clack their teeth at adults to show they just want to play.
  178.         >Moving the lower jaw up and down in a chewing or suckling motion, usually with the mouth open.
  179.         >A sucking sound may be made as the tongue is drawn against the roof of the mouth
  180. Typically, the head and neck are extended, with the ears relaxed and oriented back or laterally.
  181.         >This behavior is usually performed while approaching the head of another, usually on an angle.
  182.         >Can also done to relax the foal in stressful situations.
  183.         >This behavior is seen with other ungulates as well.
  184.         >This behavior stops when older horses get tired of their shit.
  188. On Horse fighting, warnings, and aggression
  190. >Majority of horse fights include threats and retreats
  191. >Pre-fight posturing includes:
  192.         >Squaring up, ear pinning, neck-bowing, prancing, stomping, olfactory investigation, wheeling, and tail lashing.
  193.         >The participants may rub and push against one another.
  194.         >Stallions will approach the other with any of these postures in a straight or curving path.
  195.         >First close contact of males is typically nose-to-nose.
  196.         >One stallion may approach another, or two stallions may simultaneously approach each other.
  197. >Head threat is a less intense threat that includes neck-bowing
  198.         >The ears pinned, neck stretched or extended toward the target stallion, and, often, the lips pursed.
  199.         >The pointing extension of the head and neck may be interrupted with momentary tossing, rotating head tosses.
  200.         >The horse will bow it's head lower with more intensity.
  201.                 >also done to block bites to the forelegs during a fight.
  202. >Stomping is raising and lowering of a foreleg to strike the ground sharply, without the horizontal digging motion of a pawing.
  203.         >Usually done repeatedly.
  204.         >It is an auditory warning.
  205. >Olfactory investigation involves sniffing various parts of another stallion’s head and/or body.
  206.         >This behavior typically begins after stallions have approached one another nose to nose.
  207.         >After mutually sniffing face to face, typically one stallion works his way caudally along the other’s body length, sniffing any or all of the following: neck, withers, flank, genitals, and tail or perineal.
  208.         > During the investigation, it is common for one or both stallions to squeal, snort, kick threat, strike threat, or bite threat.
  209. >Parallel Prance is moving forward beside one another, shoulder-to-shoulder with arched necks and heads held high and ears forward, typically in a high-stepping, slow-cadenced trot.
  210.         >Rhythmic snorts may accompany each stride.
  211.         >Parallel prancing often immediately precedes aggressive encounters.
  212.         >Stallions often do this, more commonly neighboring harem stallions.
  213. >Lunge Swift forward thrust of the body from the rear position or charge from close range.
  214.         >Usually done when face-to-face
  215.         >most often displayed concurrently with a bite threat, with ears pinned.
  216.         >Horses will balk to avoid a lunge
  217.             >Meaning a halt or reversal of direction with movement of the head and neck in a rapid, sweeping, dorsolateral motion away while the hind legs remain stationary.
  218.                     >The forelegs may simultaneously lift off the ground.
  219. >Head Bump or head swing is A rapid lateral toss of the head that forcefully contacts the head and neck of another stallion.
  220.         >Usually the eyes remain closed and the ears forward.
  221. >Pushing, shoving, or bumping includes Pressing of the head, neck, shoulder, chest, body, or rump against another
  222.         >This is to displace or pin the target against an object.
  223. >Bite Threat
  224.         >The neck is stretched and ears pinned back as the head gestures toward the target.
  225.         >Mouth may be slightly open.
  226.         >If the horse snaps at the other, the miss will be deliberate.
  227.         >Bite threats are typically directed toward the target animal’s head, shoulder, chest, or legs.
  228.         >May be performed during an aggressive forward movement such as a lunge, or toward the hind end of an opponent being chased or herded.
  229. >Biting
  230.         >Primary forceful contact of horses.
  231.         >Opening and rapid closing of the jaws with the teeth grasping the flesh of another.
  232.         >Biting is often done at the opponents knees to impair the horse's ability to fight.
  233.         >If Stallions end up circling each other, head-to-tail they will bite at each others usually biting flanks, scrotum, rump, and/or hind legs.
  234.                 >With prolonged circling, the stallions may progress lower to the ground until they reach a kneeling position or sternal recumbency, where they typically continue to bite or nip one another.
  235. >Strike Threat
  236.         >A strike motion that appears deliberately abbreviated or gestured so as to miss contacting the opponent.
  237.         >Accompanied by a loud squeal or snort.
  238. >Strike
  239.         >One or both forelegs rapidly extend forward, while the hind legs remain in place. The strike is typically associated with arched neck threat and posturing. A stallion may also strike when rearing.
  240.         >Like a strike thread, is often accompanied by a squeal or snort.
  241. >Horses will turn/wheel their butts towards others as a big sign of aggression.
  242. >As a step up from that, they'll kick threat.
  243.         >The tail may lash in accompaniment and/ or he may vocalize a harsh squeal.
  244.         >This action is often indistinguishable from the preparation for an actual kick.
  245.         >Helps to maintain distance.
  246.         >Kick One or both hind legs lift off the ground and rapidly extend backward toward another stallion, with apparent intent to make contact. The forelegs support the weight of the body and the neck is often lowered.
  247.         >It is common for two stallions to simultaneously kick at each other’s hindquarters, often associated with pushing each other’s hindquarters.
  248. >Bucking
  249.         >The other horse can stand closer to minimize the snapping whip-like strike of the buck and reduce damage.
  250.         >Otherwise horses will usually be very good about distancing and staying out of strike range.
  251.         >Horses can kick to the side of them.
  252. >Kneeling
  253.         >Dropping to one or both knees, by one or both combatants in a close fight, or circling with mutual biting or nipping repeatedly at the knees (front and back), head, and shoulders.
  254.         >Protects the forelegs from bites by the opponent.
  255. >Neck Wrestling
  256.         >Sparring with the head and neck.
  257.         >One or both partners may remain standing, drop to one or both knees, or raise the forelegs during a bout.
  258. >Rearing up
  259.         >Lifting of the forelegs into the air, supporting the body on the hind legs only, resulting in a near-vertical position.
  260.         >In a fight, usually done to avoid bites to the legs and knee.
  261.         >They may attempt to bite one another on the head and neck.
  262.         >May start boxing, striking with the forelegs.
  263.             >Usually in an alternating pattern.
  264.         >If the legs interlock, it's called dancing.
  265.             >shuffling the hind legs, while biting or threatening to bite one another’s neck and head.
  266.         >Pre-fight it's done to show how big, strong, and how easy it is for them to balance.
  267.             >A standing human can get seen in the same light if the human is tense.
  268. >Chasing and getting the other horse to move.
  269.         >It is still fight, not flight.
  270.         >Pursuit of another stallion, usually at a gallop in an apparent attempt to overtake, direct the movement of, or catch up with the pursued stallion.
  271.         >The pursuing stallion typically pins the ears, exposes the teeth, and bites at the pursued stallion’s rump and tail.
  272.         >The stallion being chased may kick out defensively with both hind legs. Chasing is usually a part of fight sequences.
  273.         >Sometimes they'll make them move back and forth by getting into their "drive line,"
  274.                 >Meaning creating pressure on the area between the shoulders and withers.
  275. >Stallions might roll their eyes when fighting.
  276. >Horses don't stamp their opponent or attack excessively out of malice.
  277.         >Again, stamping for a horse is more of an auditory warning.
  278.         >Once the higher horse makes the lower horse move in a chase and that's the end of the fight.
  279.         >Sometimes kicks can maim or kill horses, though those are by accident rather than design.
  280.             >More often than not, this occurs when the other horse doesn't have space to move.
  284. On horses and their surroundings:
  286. >A horse will reflectively buck at something if they get touched by something they can't see, smell, or hear.
  287.         >A useful reflex when most ambush predators attack from the flank.
  288. >horses have a great mental map.
  289.         >Useful for getting away from danger or noticing something out of the ordinary.
  290. >Horses are very curious and investigative animals.
  291.         >When they see new stimuli, they'll investigate it until they know it's safe and it becomes familiar.
  292. >They'll go through many postures and generally like to get the smell, touch, and taste of something new.
  293.         >Often starting with standing and smelling at it.
  294. >Sometimes horses will paw and dig at objects they're curious about.
  296. On Sight:
  298. >Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal.
  299.         >The large eyes pick up movement very easily, which is why horses can be uneasy around many moving things i.e. a windy           
  300.         environment.
  301. >They have great binocular and monocular vision that help with looking out for predators.
  302.         >If they see something odd in their monocular vision, they'll instinctively look at it with their binocular vision, ears
  303.         perked.
  304.         >They cannot do both at the same time but instead shift in and out of them, often drifting toward monocular vision when relaxed or grazing.
  305. >When looking with binocular vision, they are able to see pretty well.
  306.         >They have a 20/30 vision, meaning they need to be 10 feet closer than the average human to see something  clearly.
  307. >Horses take about 30 minutes to adjust their eyes to dark or light while humans might take 2 minutes at most.
  308.         >They are effectively blind during sunset.
  309.         >Even walking indoors where light is being let in by windows they find it hard to see, and once adjusted will avoid light from  
  310.         windows.
  311.         >It's recommended to let your horse's eyes adjust before training them in large indoor areas.
  312. >horses have a cyan colored tapetum lucidum, giving them good night time vision.
  313. >Horses have two cone vision, and can see red and blue as well as we can, but have difficulty in seeing green
  314.         >In testing they are only able to pick up green when it's on a flat grey background to contrast it
  315. >Horses have a blind spot in front of the forehead.
  317. On hearing:
  319. >Ears will always trail towards where they're focused on.
  320.         >Sometimes is accompanied by nostril flaring.
  321.         >Again, the ears will also drift back when relaxed.
  322. >They reflectively turn their ear towards a sudden noise
  323. >If they are unsure about something they'll stand still and let their ears rotate.
  325. On smell:
  327. >Horses will lift their upper lip and raise their head, this is called the Flehmen Response.
  328.         >This allows smell to reach chemical receptors that are on the roof of the mouth.
  329.         >Usually done when a stallion smells a mare in heat.
  330.         >Mares can do it when smelling a newborn foal to memorise the scent.
  331. >Horses don't like smelling strongly, as it attracts predators.
  332.         >Horses don't like peeing on themselves and will spread their legs and even stand with the wind at their side to minimize it.
  333.         >Rolling in the dirt also probably helps with this.
  334. >>Horses will go up to each other and rub and smell at each other's snout, often called “sharing breath.“
  335.         >For foals, a mother will do this for a few days straight to memorize the scent.
  336.         >A stallion will do it to let it know he accepts the foal into his herd.
  337.         >Horses that groom each other often might also do this.
  339. On touch:
  341. >Horses are more sensitive to touch than people make them out to be.
  342.         >People can control a horse through very subtle posture changes through a saddle, and swish their tail or toss their mane if a single fly lands on them.
  343.         >They can even feel things through keratin on the frogs of their hooves.
  344. >Like humans the parts having to do with senses are even more sensitive.
  345. >Horses don't like to be touched in a way that affects their senses, moving the ears or covering the eyes.
  346. >Has very sensitive whiskers on the snout they use to feel around for things.  
  347.         >because of close nerve endings at each whisker it's one of the most sensitive parts of a horse and they release a lot of endorphins when rubbed there.
  348.                 >It doesn't mean every horse likes to be rubbed there, some shy away from it even if it feels good. Some have to warm up to it.
  349.         >Horses that have their whiskers trimmed are more prone to cuts and other injuries, especially on the face.
  350. >They'll generally bump their snoot or nuzzle at something they're curious about.
  351.         >Usually accompanied by fudging around with their dexterous lips.
  352.         >It's the equivalent of a human observing something by grabbing at it all around.
  353. >Horses will stay a bit back and opt for reaching way over by extending their neck when approaching something they don't know.
  354.         >It could be something on the ground that's unfamiliar to them, or food from someone they don't know.  
  355. >Foals seek general body contact.
  356.         >Adults will sometimes lean into people they like too.
  360. On horse grooming:
  362. >Grooming involves licking, rubbing, and light nipping with the incisors.
  363.         >They'll also sometimes rub their whole head on someone.
  364. >Autogrooming.
  365.         >Rubbing, nipping, and licking themselves, or rubbing against a fence or tree.
  366.         >Hoses can reach their neck and ears with their hoof for autogrooming or scratch their legs with their teeth.
  367.         >Foals learn to do this early on.
  368.         >Tail switching, tail swatting, or tail lashing and tossing of the mane is often done to get insects off of them.
  369.             >Likely why horses evolved manes and long tails to being with.
  370.             >Includes flexing the chin to the chest, swinging the head to the shoulder.
  371.             >flexing, jerking, or stamping a leg also helps.
  372. >Horses often participate in allogrooming too, meaning mutual grooming.
  373.         >For shedding help, parasite control, stress alleviation, and social bonding.
  374.         >Usually done in a position that's head to shoulder.
  375.         >Sometimes horses will stand head to tail so that a tail swish from another horse will get flies off of them.
  376.         >This is why horses will often rub humans back while getting brushed.
  377. >Rolling or dust bathing is a kind of grooming.
  378.         >Done by getting into sternal recumbency and rotating to sternal and lateral recumbency on it's other side while tucking the legs.
  379.         >Horses may do this in water too.
  380.         >Good for getting sweaty caked fur loose so the skin can breathe
  381.         >Also good for getting oils spread through the fur, making the horse more water resistant.
  382. >Shaking is good for getting dry or getting debris out of fur.
  383.         >Done by rhythmic twisting of the head, neck, and upper torso.
  387. On sleeping, resting, and stretching:
  389. >A horse's leg joints can lock up making it easier for them to keep standing.
  390.         >The tendons and ligaments as well as check apparatus in forelegs and lateral apparatus in hind legs.
  391.         >They generally bear weight on 3 legs and might even flex one leg upwards.
  392. >When rest standing:
  393.         >The head slinks level with the body.
  394.         >yes are partially or completely closed
  395.         >Ears turn laterally.
  396.         >Weight is on 3 legs.
  397.         >Horses will also stand rest in water or mud, this actually serves to moisturize the hooves, making them better shock absorbers.
  398. >When sleep standing:
  399.         >The head will dip lower than the height of the back.
  400.         >Eyes are completely closed
  401.         >Ears turn laterally.
  402.         >Weight is on 3 legs.
  403. >Horses only achieve REM sleep when recumbent.
  404.         >Sternal recumbency is when a horse lays on its belly legs tucked underneath. Head may be lifted slightly
  405.         >Lateral recumbency is when a horse is laying flat on it's side.
  406.         >A sleep deprived horse can fall over if they slip into REM while standing.
  407. >They always sleep in group shifts, with some as a look out, or they don't sleep well.
  408. >A horse only needs about 1-3 hours of REM sleep a day, and the rest of the sleep will be in standing "power naps"
  409.         >Most herbivores don't need much sleep at all, whereas carnivores can need from 8-20 hours.
  410. >Like young humans, young colts and fillies will sleep longer.
  411.         >Mostly actual REM sleep
  412. >When horses yawn, like humans there is a deep long inhalation, but they'll also move their jaws from side to side.
  413.         >They may yawn while in recumbent rest.
  414. >Stretching includes rigid extension of forelegs and arching of back and neck.
  415.         >Done to improve muscle tone and improve circulation.
  416.         >Often done directly after a rest.
  417. >Sometimes they'll only stretch the neck
  418. >Mares tend to stretch while recumbent after foaling.
  421. On horse shelter and comfort seeking
  423. >Horses will naturally turn their backs to the wind and direction of the rain use other horses and terrain
  424.         >It fucks with the senses less and reduces heat loss
  425. >Horses huddle when they're alerted to something.
  426.         >They'll bundle in a group facing all directions, with foals in the middle
  427. >Basking or sunning
  428. They will seek comfort under the sun when it's cold by resting or stand resting in the sunlight
  432. On horse diet and eating:
  434. >Horses are non-ruminant animals whose ancestors were likely mostly browser animals.
  435.         >Mon-ruminant meaning having, not having multi-compartmented stomachs.
  436. >Horses are more prone to stomach problems like colic and ulcers.
  437.         >They don't have a large variance of good bacteria at their disposal like humans and cattle do.
  438.         >If a horse gets picky about the freshness of it's hay, the owner will usually throw it to cattle
  439.         >Horses will actively avoid things like clipped grass in favor of fresh sprouts.
  440. >Horses will produce between 20-80 litres of saliva per day.
  441.         >Saliva contains bicarbonate which buffers and protects amino acids in the highly acidic stomach.
  442.         >Saliva also contains small amounts of amylase which assist with carbohydrate digestion.
  443. >Because of less bacteria to process food, it's recommended to be careful about the proportion of certain food, especially food high in calories.
  444. >Grazing is good for the mind as is the body.
  445.         >They release a bunch of stomach acid so frequent large feedings of low nutrient hay is needed to cushion some of that.
  446.         >Very prone to ulcers when they don't get to.
  447.         >When a horse is chewing on something it means they're relaxed and more receptive.  
  448.         >Sometimes they'll work their jaw as if they're chewing even when they're not. It's still a sign of relaxation or processing
  449.         information.
  450. >Horses do a sweeping motion of their jaw when eating.
  451.         >The lateral, forward, and backwards motion serves to thoroughly grind and mix saliva with the food.
  452.         >Can cause sharp edges in the teeth that have to be "floated", filing down the sharp edges to make them flat and better for chewing.
  453. >Horses have over twice as many taste buds as humans.
  454.         >They can differentiate the taste of subtle mineral content in water as well as plant toxins.
  455. >Horses generally like sweet and salty flavors, and dislike bitter and sour flavors.
  456. >Horses, as well as herbivores in general are more sensitive to the taste of salt.
  457.         >This is because they can't get sodium from meat like carnivores can.
  458.         >What's a little salty for a human is very salty to a horse.
  459.             >Horses still need a lot of salt in their diet due to sweating.
  460.         >Horses tend to overdo salt when they have access to it, though it's not harmful for them as long as they have water available.
  461. >Horses often show specific facial expressions when they eat things they like and don't like.
  462.         >When they eat something sweet or a flavor they like, they relax their facial muscles, bob their head, lick their lips, and          
  463.         move their ears forward.
  464.         >Horses will also use their tongue to clean their teeth and lips, though they can't lick their snout.
  465.         >When they eat something bitter, or generally something they dislike, they move their head forward, slightly pin their ears,
  466.         gape their mouths open and stick their tongues out.
  467. >Horses don't take capsaicin well.
  468.         >They can't correlate the pain with something they just ate.
  469.             >They will trot around trying to release pressure from the pain.
  470.         >Humans are one of two animals that actively seek capsaicin.
  471.         >Things like chili or pepper spray are banned from race tracks because it makes the horse movements faster and sharper.
  472.         >It's like horse dope.
  474. On horse intoxication:
  476. >Like humans, there will generally be a lack of coordination and lack of awareness.
  477.         >Sometimes the horse can even stumble.
  478. >Stallions will drop further from their sheath.
  479. >Ears will sink backwards in a relaxed position
  480. >Lips will droop or be overly relaxed.
  481. >Eyes will appear sleepy
  485. On mating behaviors:
  487. >Nipping frequently on the back of a mare is usually stallion "foreplay".
  488. >Mares in heat are very irritable and bitchy.
  489.         >Only thing more bitchy than a mare in heat is a mare with a new foal.
  490. >They can be unnaturally pushy and snappy.
  491. >When showing interest they'll flag their tail at you and widen their stance, before urinating.
  492. >Mares will also backup and try to pin a mate and it can be dangerous if it's a human in a confined area.
  493. >Stallions will pee and poop around their area to let other stallions know they're in charge.
  494. >The tail will flag during mating, for both stallions and mares.
  498. On foaling:
  500. >Horses are precocial animals, meaning the young are born fully cognitive and can hear, stand, and open it's eyes right away.
  501.         >Humans are altricial like other predators and rodents.
  502. >Mares will separate themselves from a herd to make sure they memorise the scent of their foal.
  503. >Mares with foals can be very aggressive, and will even retaliate to basic snaking behavior of a stallion.
  504. >Mares will snake their own foals to teach them to move away from danger.
  508. On horses on interaction with humans:
  510. >Horses always see humans as predators due to body language and other factors.
  511.         >Domesticated horses still see humans as such but as an unaggressive predator.
  512.         >When humans act aggressive, this can change and initiate a fight or flight response from a horse.
  513. >Humans can have a place in the hierarchy of a herd, and higher horses will try to push one around if a human lets them.
  514. >Walking up to someone head on and reaching out to them is something that predators do and creates a lot of pressure.
  515.         >Approaching from a side angle will make the horse less likely to step back reflectively.
  516.         >Walking away from a herd will create a draw and pull others toward you.
  517. >Patting, grabbing, playfully shoving, petting is more predator behavior.
  518.         >Predators do this to establish dominance through touch, while still enjoying it.
  519.         >Horses can be desensitized to this and will take any interaction available, but it's generally something most horses don't get pleasure from.
  520. >If a horse is uncomfortable around a human, and the human doesn't noice the usual signs, pinning ears, squaring of posture, or swishing of the tail they'll often treat the human as if it were a retarded foal that hasn't learned social dynamics of a herd.
  521.         >Includes typical foal correction behavior, being nipping and pushing, though it can cause a human to get kicked.
  522.         >Once the human learns they will stop immediately.
  523.         >If they view the human as higher, they won't typically do any of these and keep a respectable distance, though this can change if a mare has a foal or if a horse feels cornered.
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