What Are Horses Thinking?


The day is overcast, snowy, and cold. It’s a dreary day, no other way to describe it. The clouds are gray and hug the surrounding mountains in a shroud of somberness.

The snow wafts down slow, softly and quietly. I even stick my tongue out to catch a flake or two like I did when I was a kid.

These are some of my thoughts, but I wonder what the horses are musing about.

All the horses are standing around turned this way and that way. Their heads are drooping. What are they thinking? Are they wondering when warmer days are coming? Or maybe the next flake of hay?

Are They Bored?

The snow falls on them and they are wet, but they don’t seem to mind.

Some horses at this barn have blankets on, some don’t.

Are they bored? Do they wonder where their person is? This is the one I’m curious about. I feel sorry for a couple of the horses living here.

I’ve been at this barn for over a year and have never seen the owner of these horses. Another horse out in the pasture is in the same predicament. It brings up the question of why have a horse if you don’t spend time with them?

A couple horses are chewing at what grass there is which isn’t much this time of year. I just saw one start to chew on a post, that’s not good. I try to discourage her. She ambles off in a huff.

Living in the Moment:

I’ve heard a horse lives in the moment; they don’t really know or comprehend the passing of time. What do you think of that comment?

It seems they know when it’s feeding time because they will be at the gate or their feeding bin waiting for the food.
Poppy, my little mare, is all bright eyes and looking longingly at me when I bring her feed to her. Then it’s all business of eating and I’m totally ignored.


What I’m thinking is when a horse is out in his pasture he’s comfortable. Nothing is bothering so he eats or if he’s not grazing, stands with head hanging. He’s happy.

Of course, I know there are horses that are standing with head in a corner that is not happy. They may even be sick or injured. I’ve seen pictures of rescued horses starving and in need of help. I’m grateful for the horse rescue places that care for these horses.
The other day I was getting my horse her grain and I heard all this commotion. I looked out and could see her neighbor horses kicking at each other and one reared up.

Then my little mare went into a tizzy and was running and bucking too. By the time I got back to her with her grain it was all over; whatever “it” was.

They all looked at me like “okay that was fun; we’ve had our excitement for the day.” I put her grain in the bin and she’s munching as if nothing was going on. I have to chuckle a bit.

Fluffy Poppy
Fluffy Poppy

I think it’s fun to watch horses being a horse.

When In Training

It’s different when you are working with them. Their attention is on you, their leader. I haven’t done a lot of training. There is a lot to learn. There is a finesse in the timing. When the horse does what you want, let go of the pressure. When they realize you quit with the pressure they learn to do or stop doing what you were putting the pressure on. It’s so easy to not let go soon enough or too soon then the horse is confused. The horse is a forgiving creature. Try again and you’ll learn together.

But when the horses are on their own you can learn a lot about their behavior and bring it into the training process.

What are some of your thoughts about horses and their thinking? I’d like to know and learn.

Thanks for stopping by my hitching post. Please leave a comment or ask a question and I’ll do my best to answer.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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8 thoughts on “What Are Horses Thinking?

  1. Wow! Your post is great! I have never close to a horse before because of my country here very less horse, but I wish I have a chance to ride on a horse.
    You are so awesome that you can together with horses. I wish I could. ^^

    1. Hi Dino,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. I sure hope you get a chance to ride and be around a horse sometime. It’s a great experience. 🙂

  2. My introduction to horses came through reading mills and boon romantic novels! Ever since I have associated horses with romance. This picture also goes with cowboys on horses but something else came into play when I watched horses racing.

    I started wondering if horses like racing. All that push to win. I always wonder if they feel the excitement or they run because they have been broken at some point and they just obey.

    When I stand near a horse I am in awe of the power that I perceive and for that reason I am also afraid to ride one. Lol!

    I always think. “What if it doesn’t like me riding it?”

    I do get your thoughts as I have my own along the same lines.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    1. Hi Danielle,
      Thank you for stopping by. Much appreciated. I like your thoughts. I think at least some horses like to race because they like to run, it’s in their breeding. Of course any horse will run to get away from danger they perceive. They are a flight animal.

      When I ride my horse I too wonder is she thinking, “Oh, man there’s that old woman going to ride me again. Ugh!” lol But we have a good time riding. When we go up on the hill she is eagerly looking around to see what there is to see. It’s something different and she’s out of her pen and regular day. Then she is just as happy to be back to the barn and her bin of oats. 🙂

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Judy,

    What a wonderful and well written piece on one of my favorite animals the noble horse.
    As is with dogs and most other domesticated animals I too often think about what they may actually be thinking.

    While I doubt they have any sort of rational thought process involving a great deal of “Human Type Logic”

    I do feel comfortable that we as humans may actually not realize just how smart or in-tune animals can actually be.

    Thanks again for this wonderful post, my best,


    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my site and for your kind words. Yes, sometimes when my little mare looks at me with her big brown eyes, I’m sure she knows what I’m saying to her. Glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

  4. Hello, Judy. I really love horses. My grandmother had a farm when I was young, with cows, chickens and of course a few horses. I loved riding, my hair blowing and the horses mane & tail blowing, what joy. I often wondered what they were thinking. Enjoyed reading what you have to say, thank you. Peggy

    1. Hi Peggy,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, I love that feeling of the wind blowing through hair and mane. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

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