Talking Hooves

4 months ago

Simply Healthy Hooves

Super interesting article opens up a new way to communicate with your horse 😉What if your horse could run up to you and say, “I’m cold, may I have my blanket?”

That’s exactly what a group of researchers at Norwegian University of Life Sciences and their team of 23 steeds have accomplished in two separate stables in Norway. Anyone who has ever had a relationship with a horse knows how intelligent they are, and that they often understand what the human wants – but now we may have an entry into better understanding what it is a horse may desire.

The team trained the horses for 10 to 15 minutes a day to learn the meaning of three symbols. After just 11 days, all 23 horses were able to recognise the meanings: Blanket on, blanket off, or no change. What’s beautiful is that not only were they so easily able to learn the symbols and then they put that knowledge to work, but the whole thought process involved. “I’m hot, I want this blanket off, I’ll nudge the “blanket off” symbol to have my blanket removed" – which is what participating horse Poltergeist is indicating in the photo.

Results show that choices made, i.e. the symbol touched, was not random but dependent on weather. Horses chose to stay without a blanket in nice weather, and they chose to have a blanket on when the weather was wet, windy and cold. This indicates that horses both had an understanding of the consequence of their choice on own thermal comfort, and that they successfully had learned to communicate their preference by using the symbols.

What may be the most heartening aspect of all, however, is that once the horses understood they could express themselves, they seem to have loved it! "When horses realised that they were able to communicate with the trainers, i.e. to signal their wishes regarding blanketing, many became very eager in the training or testing situation," the researchers write. "Some even tried to attract the attention of the trainers prior to the test situation, by vocalising and running towards the trainers, and follow their movements."

Read more about it here...

For more, you can read the study in the journal

Super interesting article opens up a new way to communicate with your horse ;-)

4 years ago

Simply Healthy Hooves

Wonderful site and a great starting point for natural hoof careWe’ve just released a major update with some dramatic upgrades. For example, take a look at the improvement to the rendering quality. If you haven’t already, download Hoof Explorer and let us know what you think. For a detailed list, go to

Wonderful site and a great starting point for natural hoof careImage attachment

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