Mar
20
2006

How to say 'Hi' to a Horse

in

When a horse blows into the other horse's nostrils it is saying 'hi' and when the other horse blows back he or she is returning the greeting. You can also say 'hi' to a horse by doing the same thing: get a little-just a little- to the side of the horse, take in a deep breath and blow directly into the horse's nostrils, if the horse blows back he is saying 'hi', if the horse dosn't blow back keep blowing until it does, it takes awile for a horse to get used to a human saying hi. I did this once to a horse that didn't even know me. It took about five trys before she blew back. After I say with my oun eyes it worked i told my friend to do it. It took her about five times two. When I got home I was so exited. I LOVE horses!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

From the Museum Floor's picture

Horses often make that "blowing" noise to each other, yes, but I don't think there's any conclusive evidence that it means "hi." In some cases, it might, but about 80% of the time it means "I've got something itchy in my nose and I'm trying to get it out." Most often dust, flies, or just a tickle. Some horses even have allergies. Just witness the amount of snot that comes out of their nose when they blow if you don't believe it. Of course I don't know that there is scientific evidence to back up my 80% claim, but I'm pretty confident it's close to that. Chances are pretty good that if you blow in a horse's nose like this girl does, it will blow back- probably because it tickles. I can get my cat to scratch his ear if I stick my finger in his ear and mess with him. He's not reciprocating a greeting, he's just going "aack! that's uncomfortable." I'd probably caution against blowing in the nostrils of a horse I didn't know. A nice horse shouldn't mind at all, but all horses are different and if you don't know the horse, don't do anything weird around it's face. If a horse raises its head and pins its ears, watch out! The best way to greet a horse is to speak to it while you are approaching and approach it from the side, by its shoulder. If you accidentally startle a horse, you probably won't get kicked. Once it is aware of your presence then it's ok to pet it.

Horses communicate from a distance by vocalizing (neighing) when they can't see each other well. If one horse is in a barn and others are out in the pasture, the horse will neigh to it's pals, as in "Hey, are you guys still out there? I'm stuck here all alone!" Mares often vocalize to their foals in the form of a "nicker." And fighting horses often make a neigh that sounds like a blood curdling scream. But a lot of horse communication isn't verbal at all. Some is through smell (they will sniff and eat each other's manure) and most is through movement. Dominant horses push others around. They do this by stretching out their heads (like a snake) and making menacing movements towards each other (ears pinned, teeth showing), That means "get moving." If a horse ignores the threatening moves of another and doesn't move out of the way, it will often get a bite from the aggressor. The horse that gets bitten will probably turn tail and kick in retaliation. This happens all day long in a herd. Dominant horses reinforce their status in the herd by "testing" others. Some will fall into line and others will say "You aren't the boss of me!" and fight back.

posted on Wed, 03/22/2006 - 9:25am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

does the same thing work with dogs?\r\n \r\n

posted on Thu, 03/23/2006 - 2:09pm
Nemo my horse says niegh's picture
Nemo my horse says niegh says:

Acually, this is a VERY danguress thing to do , especilly if you don't really know your horse that well. A person has been knocked out getting her horse to trust her. After 69 times, she succsefully did it. So DON'T TRY WITH OUT A PROFESSIONAL THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 9:36am
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

no it doesnt because dogs never lived in herds... they are very different from horses and ive done it to my dog before and she just sneezes not blows

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I want to say hi to a horsse. This article is cool I think more people should hear about it. -Moo (age 15)

posted on Thu, 03/23/2006 - 3:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is a very neat article. I am glad to hear that you seem to care for horses\r\n

posted on Wed, 03/29/2006 - 10:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think horses say "hi" by moveing there head up and down

posted on Wed, 03/29/2006 - 1:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

me too

posted on Wed, 03/29/2006 - 5:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Yeah, that's what I hear, too.

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 4:04pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

ive never heard of a horse saying hi by nodding its head but there could be more than one way. i mean, how many ways do we say hi?! lol

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do you know? You're not a horse, are you?

posted on Wed, 03/29/2006 - 4:10pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

yes, i am a horse.
i know because people have tested that theory and it proved true. horses do it to each other all the time and ive had horses do it to me too. even if i dont do it first

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I didn't know this, I love it! I found out that my husband already does this to our horses. He smiled when he read this because it was new info to him but not surprising. When I asked him, "why do you do this?" he responded, "because they do it to each other." Ha! Now I'm gonna try it, thanks!

posted on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 6:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You are definately right when saying that horses blow in each others nostrils to say hello. It's a fact. Sorry, "From the museum" but it's very true. You were right about dominent horses bossing other horses about though. Horses often ONLY use body language to talk and show respect. Some things like being able to groom each other means that 2 (or more) horses are very close friends. I do Pat Parelli Natural Horsemanship and there are 7 games you do with your horse to do with body language. You use a carrot stick (like a whip but not hard of all of those other things whips are), and i'll tell you all the games. First of all there's the friendly game in which you toss the end of the carrot stick (also a carrot stick is not a stick with a carrot tied to the end)and you slowly bring it back towards you. Next is porcipine game-where you go up to the horse on one of it's sides and put your hands on the shoulder and cheekbone of your horse so that your hands are like claws and push against it. This causes the horse to go against the pressure and should move only the front feet (pivot) and if he/she moves his/her back feet then slap (and i'm serious(slap))him/her on the chest. Third game is the driving game which is exactly what you were talking about when the dominent horse will boss the other horses around. Exept with humans instead of both horses. Now you get the carrot stick and hold the string against it and then bring it up to the neck of the horse exept not against it. Medium speed you will lift the carrot stick up and down and ask the horse to movein the direction of the side in which you are not on. Do this on both sides. Also do the porcipine game both sides aswell. The fourth game is the yoyo game in which you need a rope leadrope. You go about 2 and a half metres away from the horses head and swing it from side to side(you have the end of the leadrope in your hand). Get bigger and bigger untill the horse finally starts moving backwards, then straight away make the leadrope squiggle small again. Game 5 is the circle game, (like lunging but you don't use a whip), first of all you do yoyo game and ask your horse to move back so that you are about 2 and a half metres away from him/her. Then do this with the carrot stick- point with your hand in the direction you want your horse to go and make sure that is the hand with the leadrope in it, and then lift the carrot stick, and then swing it , and then hit the horse with the end of the carrot stick. once the horse had started going then stop whichever action you are about to do next. I have to go now but will come back here sometime and write the next 2 games. if there are any quesatians about natural horsemanship that you would like to know then ask me and i'll get bsck to you. (how do you mount a horse bareback, etc.)

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 12:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If your horse dose not like to be caught you have to go evrey day and groome and love on them and give them carrots.I have done that to my 4 year old horse and she all ways wants to be caught.Now I lay down whith her in the stall and read a book and sleep whith her.

posted on Mon, 04/10/2006 - 6:06pm
Quarter horse fan's picture
Quarter horse fan says:

Gotta love it. There are few things more rewarding than being able to approach your horse while they are lying down and in their most vulnerable position. It is a HUGE compliment to me that both of my geldings will allow me to approach them. I pet them and talk nicely to them and they let me stand "taller" than them. My one gelding isn't too sure of it but I approach him where he can see me and I leave him before he stands up so he can see that "mama" isn't a threat. He gets up before I get near him if it's at night so I leave him alone when he feels at a disadvantage. I'm just thrilled that I get an occasional moment with one of my horses allowing me to enter their primal-fear space. As for my other gelding, he'd sit fully reclined on the couch and drink a beer with me if he could.

Quote: There are times when you can trust your horse, times when you can't, and times when you have to.

posted on Fri, 07/28/2006 - 11:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Is that not dangerous? I would be afraid that she would roll on top of me or step on me when she was trying to get up...Wow. Happy you can be so close to your horse! :-)

posted on Sat, 11/26/2011 - 7:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I love horses!

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 9:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think horses are great animals. I would like to have one.

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 9:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

horses are very fun to ride and own but are very hard to take care of you might think there easy to take care of but there not

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 9:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

horses are great

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 9:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that horses are incredible. They are fun to ride. I love to watch them run. Dreamer is a great story about horses.

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 10:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I love horses too!!! Dreamer and Black Beauty are my favorite horse movies!!!

posted on Sat, 01/06/2007 - 9:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that horses are really neat!!!!!

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 10:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hello there little Buddy

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 11:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Are you sure the horse was not telling you to back off? LOL

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 4:01pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

yes i am sure

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm getting a horse in the summer, so I will try it out. But I sure hope no one is watching me while I'm doing it or they might think I'm a little weird.

posted on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 4:03pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

don't worry what people think about you! if you listened to what people told you to do all the time if you did piano or drawing or something you wouldn't beable to do it because they said not to!

posted on Fri, 06/09/2006 - 5:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you are right. you can't just not fo it because you're afraid of what other poeople think.

posted on Sat, 01/06/2007 - 9:52am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

One thing to remember is that you WALK NOT RUN around horses or you will spook them. Don't yell around horses eather.

posted on Sat, 05/06/2006 - 1:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the muzzle sniffing action is more like exchanging a bussiness card
than saying hello.if to horses smell each others breath,it helps them identify the other as friend or foe.it is an equine greeting andin some ways is like saying hello so i guess your about wright
with that.

posted on Sat, 05/20/2006 - 5:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Blowing up a horses nose really is affective.

I've recently done it to 4 different horses. Three stallions and one mare. Two of the stallions made a little nickering noise afterwards. All of the horses were all over me afterwards, it was amazing!

BTW wouldn't recommend anyone doing this to a stallion that they didn't know very well! Could be dangerous.

posted on Mon, 05/29/2006 - 2:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey, im just adding my two cents to this funny horses page. i dont own a horse, never will or anything, but hey...

posted on Tue, 06/13/2006 - 5:16am
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

lol awesome:)

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Umm... Just so ya'll know, people blow in a horses nose to get the horse to accept the scent of a human. They will quickly come to recognize your scent if you do this. A lot of people start working with a horse they are going to break by doing this.

posted on Tue, 06/20/2006 - 7:49am
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

well apperently theres alot of reasons to blow in a horses nose but as quite a few people have said, it is used to say hi. of course blowing in a horses nose makes them reconize your scent too but when you say hi to someone they normally remember how you look too right?

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hello,i am the same person who typed "muzzle sniffing action".who
here thinks that horses are highly intelligent?I DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
they don't sell horse proof locks for nothing!!!!!!!!!!i've also
seen them listed in the top ten most intelligent animals.i think
that horses are a perfect balance of speed,strength,intelligence,
and beauty in an animal.

posted on Tue, 06/20/2006 - 9:25pm
Tony Drew's picture
Tony Drew says:

I am a new horse owner of a 17 month pld stallion, i have been around alot of horses but never owned one of my own until about 4 months ago. He has been very good until today i went out to care for his stall and put down some new straw, clean up , water ect, he cut me off about half way the pasture and reared up and pawed at me. This really frightened me , i am a 43 yr old man with serious wrist and back problems .He cut me off 3 more time and rushed me ,could someone e mail me or call me that could possibly tell me some helpful advice thanks TONY DREW PRINCESS ANNE MD

posted on Fri, 09/08/2006 - 6:32pm
Stroller2's picture
Stroller2 says:

Hey there. Well whats wrong with that horse? You already said the answer. A 17 month old Stallion. That guys in a rut and well watch out they can be dangerous.

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:40pm
Stroller's picture
Stroller says:

Hi there. Well you answered your own question. A 17 month old Stallion. The guy is um well he's a stallion and to tell the truth I would be very leary of another. I had a buckskin that I could not control so I sold him to spend the rest of life as a very contented king of stable so to say. Sure do miss him and he will still come over to the fence to say hi but I will not got out in the field with him.

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Blowing into a horses nostrils is an indian horse greeting to a horse.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 12:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Just wondering, who has heard of Monty Roberts?I think it's pretty cool how he uses equine body language to gain a horse's trust and work out problems. It's cool that you can ask questions on his website.

posted on Sat, 04/21/2007 - 1:25am
levi's picture
levi says:

horses a really special type of animals. you must respect the horse in order to get the horses trust but never abuse a horse because horses can go through traumas.

by LEVI W

posted on Wed, 05/02/2007 - 8:44am
Stroller's picture
Stroller says:

Hi there folks. Kinda cool site. Anyway I have owned a mare a traded for almost 9 years ago now. She is absolutely the tamest most gentle horse I have ever seen. My kids were young when I got her and she was only 3 then. They still go out in the field with her and play foot ball, throw frisbies, kick soccer balls what ever including running tractors around and yelling. I admit I worry about trampling issues and they were littel, my youngest was 1 year when I got her. However this horse goes against any truths about horses.

First the belly issue and spookiness. She freezes when they run under her and run there hands as they do. Now some of nieces and nephews are out there when they come visit. Her name is Lily and she is a 16 1/2 hand tall baby. She is part Morgan and Appalusa. When we talk about horse laying down and being spooked easy, she lays down to have her hooves cleaned. lol I think she's lazy and doesn't want to stand on 3 legs. When she is standing and you need a hoove all I have to do is tap that leg and there the hoof.

Anyway I could tell stories about Lily, but. If anyone is thinking of getting horse they are work, work and when your done, more work. Make sure you have adequate facilities before you bring one home. I have neighbors and here's the problem with them. They had one and lousy conditions, now they have 2 full growns and a new fole. If I could would go over and take them, I would. The property the house sits on is less than 1/2 acre and the horses are penned in a 10X40 pen against our fence. The pen doesn't get sun because the fence blocks it so the ground is mub. That will destroy a horses hooves. Infection can develop in the frog and if a horse gets leg and foot problems it about the end, perhaps far pre-mature.

Horses will need dental work and it isn't cheap. This is called floating the teeth and I do not like doing it, you file down their back teeth. Want a hores to get good and sick? Feed them plenty of nice sweet alphalfa and 4 way. Horses are like kids they like sweets. But heres the problem if you give them too much. It can be a condition called Fallowed. This is deadly to a horse. I feed mine a 60-40 mix in the winter and 70-30 in the summer. I cut the corn back to half a regular campbells soup can and about half a flake. They eat all day so they don't need much.

Many people may go take trail ride and yes they are fun, but the story changes at home. It's called the newness wearing off. In the dead of winter you have to have water tank heater and still go break ice in the morning, very early. Now what I worry about are snakes, mountain lion and bears. They jump the fences and get in the field. There is nothing like hearing a horse going bizarck at 3 in the morning and kicking the living day lights out of a barn stall. Now back to feed, the prices change and depending on what you have to haul with may dictate what types of bales you buy. I buy about 150 bales a year at an average cost of 6.50 pr bale. Summer cheaper if I can go load it in the field, winter it gets trucked in, IE fuel costs.

Tack is another issues. Priced a good saddle lately? Now where are you going to ride or will you even? Horses are very inteligent animals make no mistake and they have excellent memories. Now I have a tid bit about the blowing in the nose thing. When you saddle a horse they will inflate their lungs so the cinch strap doesn't squeeze too tight. Me personal I don't like have the saddle roll. Well the easist way to get the starp tight is get the horse to exhale. The tickle the nose things works sometimes to get them to snort. This does not hurt them and in a way is better when saddling. The saddle will not be slipping thus causing chafing. Sores on a horse are challenging at best. Stable's, field and barns aren't exactly the most sterile of enviorments.

Well I guess thats enough now for now. Just remember your horse will outlive almost three healthy dogs, so prepare for a long, happy relationship.

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 1:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that horses are horses, and that they taste delicious on a bun, im not kidding ive actually eaten a horse, u should try it sometime, it kinda tastes like dried beef but a little bit saltier.... hope y'all try it sometime!!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 1:27pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

gross

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

well u dont treat ur horse for only riding it u take care of them like ur there pets okay... if ur hurt a horse bad...u should stop its like a human its like u sweating,crying,hurting or even likeee i dont now

posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 10:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think when horses blow into each others noses it is to say hi. I also think it means other things because sometimes after horses blow into each oters noses they fight,play,become friends,or spook. But usually when the horse already knows you and you blow into their nose it is to say hi, i do it with my horses all the time.

posted on Wed, 05/30/2007 - 5:28pm
Trina's picture
Trina says:

Hello all. I was on the puter trying to find an answer when I came across this site. I am in need of an answer here PLEASE. We where looking for a horse for our family and we did buy us one, he is quarter horse and his name is Jimmy. He is 14 yrs old and we love him already. I live in a very small city no horses allowed :( So we have him right down the road from us. We do go out there every night to ride or play with him. Well my question is. Tonight my 11 yr old son and I went out there and noticed he had looked like he was crying?? Tears from the ducts of his eyes, just like us humans do. Is that tears or something else??? Please need an answer soon. Thanks much.

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 10:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

tonight i was sitting in the stall with a 6 month old horse she laid down and rested her head against my back ...does this mean she trusts me or what?

posted on Sun, 11/18/2007 - 10:13pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

first, if she lays down in your presence she trusts you because that is a very vonerable position. and second, horses rest their heads on each other and it means that their friends so thats realy cool the horse did that for you!

`HorsyHollyGirl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:47pm
hellogoodbye's picture
hellogoodbye says:

horses are big and magical creatures.

posted on Wed, 08/13/2008 - 10:22am
MasonicCavalry's picture
MasonicCavalry says:

I did it once. I was riding a seasoned horse as a cavalry reenactor. As a seasoned rider, and an experinced animal we made a great team that weekend. The first thing I did was blow in the horses nose and he actually inhaled has I was going it, then he blew out. Needless to say I groomed him spent a good hour fussing over him and his hooves and we were best friends for life :) I think the carrot helped too.

I cant wait to get my own.

posted on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 9:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've found the best way to greet any animal is to announce your presance with a soft vocal tone. It doesn't have to be any word in specific just be friendly and move slowly but be careful to not look like you're getting in position to pounce like a cat. They'll see that as an agressive gesture and expect a fight. If they let you get within arms reach hold out your hand in a manner that is least likely to allow any biting (IE: back of hand toward their nose) and allow them to smell you for a minute and catch your scent. Let them take their time. If they back off at first it's ok. If you are pushy it can make the finiky ones think you may have ill intentions. Best thing to do at that point is stay put for a minute, maintain eye contact and stay calm or just slowly walk away and try again later. If they seem somewhat accepting of your moving closer then then letting them smell you usually does the trick and will gain trust. After they're done getting to know your scent they will often be much more likely to allow peting but make sure you make contact gentally and move slowly. No jerky movements or it could scare them away and you're back to square one. Just keep in mind that some animals are not friendly to anything and could simply consider you a threat or better yet their next meal. So choose your encounters wisely.

posted on Mon, 01/05/2009 - 5:48pm
Silver Lining's picture

I can't back up the factual nature of this post, but it definitely put a smile on my face. Any time I see this type of passion for horses I get a kick out of it.

posted on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:51am
ruxyrux's picture
ruxyrux says:

My father is a horse racing champion and besides giving me some Horse Racing Tips he also taught me the body language of these animals. Horses are one of the most intelligent animals and they are also very loyal to their master.

posted on Mon, 11/21/2011 - 2:55pm
halie(;'s picture
halie(; says:

awwwww. i just love this. actually i read it in a book when i was younger. i had ridden for likkke 6 years when my dad bought my current horse as a surprise. it was actually kind of funny because before i knew she was mine me and my friends at the stable would obsess over her because she was the absolute prettiest in the barn. so i was very surprised when i got her but she was ALOT bigger than any of the horses i had been riding so i was a bit scared of her. i started reading the book again and came across. the nose blowing. i walked into her stall the next day and she kind of backed away. i was a little hurt but i just took a few steps back and crouched down. i talked to her and she came over to me and breathed out close to my face so i blew back...i swear you could see all the muscles in her body relax and she rested her head on me. i still say hi to her that way almost every time i see her to this day and its been 3 years. were closer than ever and idk what id do without her. i agree this totally works. my instructor says that a horse can sense who you are when your around them and especially when they smell your breathe. i llove this trick.(:

posted on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 7:28pm

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