When you visit our Gatlinburg horseback riding stables, you’ll make a brand new four legged friend! Guests at Five Oaks frequently ask us about the best way to talk to their horse, so we’ve put together 3 easy tips for communicating with your trusty steed.
(See Related: The Secret to Mounting and Dismounting a Horse)
1. Act like the leader of the herd.
Horses are herd animals, and in the wild there is always one horse who is designated as the leader. The head of the herd makes decisions for the entire group about when to move, when to stop, and where to go.
When a human rides a horse, they form a mini-herd of just two. To get your horse to see you as the leader, be confident, firm, and enforce your boundaries. At Five Oaks, our horses are used to treating humans as leaders of the herd, so they are very well behaved! To see pictures of our friendly horses, visit the Five Oaks Riding Stables Facebook page.
2. Communicate with tone rather than words.
Obviously, horses don’t understand English! While a horse can be trained to recognize words like “whoa”, they generally respond more to tone and emotion than what is actually being said. So if you are trying to soothe a horse, try talking to it in a low, dull voice to put him at ease.
3. Learn to read your horse’s body language.
If you want to know what your horse is thinking, pay attention to his body language. Here are a few things to look out for:
- A tail that is swishing back and forth rapidly can indicate that your horse is irritated.
- A raised perky tail means your horse is in a good mood.
- Flat backward facing ears means your horse wants to be left alone.
- Forward facing ears and bright eyes means your horse is paying attention.
Ready to strike up a conversation with one of the horses at our Gatlinburg horseback riding stable? Visit our Reservations page or give us a call at (888) 353-4926.