What Are Your Horse’s Eyes Telling You?


I gazed at my horse’s eyes and wondered what she was trying to tell me. What are your horse’s eyes telling you?

Those big, usually brown eyes, are the screen to his mind and what he is thinking at any given time. They can tell how he is going to act for the day or at this point.

Gentle Eyes

When the eyes are soft and mellow, seeing you, being expectant, then you probably have an idea he’s in a good mood. They may even be saying, “Hey, let’s go for a ride.” Well, maybe not, that would mean work. Most horses don’t like to work, being kind of on the lazy side. But again you never know. Horses like to do different things, they get bored. Getting out on the trail and seeing new sights makes them think about something other than grazing.

Wild and Spooky Eyeshorse-305510_640

If your horse’s eyes are wild, scared, showing white, it’s time to take some caution. Figure out why he’s acting out. Is he hurt? That’s always my first thought. Did something frighten him, that’s usually my next thought.

After checking for any possible injuries it would be a good idea to lunge him on a long rope. Get him going in circles. Walk, trot, canter; change direction and keep the hooves moving.

Talking to him could help as well. A good brushing and rub down, itching those scratchy places couldn’t do any harm either.


This one looks more anxious than scared.
This one looks more anxious than scared.

Poppy and Me

There’s been a time or two when I couldn’t get my horse to sufficiently calm down. I did all of the above and even went out for a ride thinking she was okay. But I had a spooky, jumpy horse and we went back to the barn and called it a day. I brushed her, fed her grain, and of course talked to her. While she was eating her grain everything was great in her world. The spookiness all forgotten. So go figure.

One time we rode by a hog that was on the other side of the fence. I didn’t think anything about it, but Poppy sure did. She sensed that hog laying there, tho he didn’t do anything, she knew he was there. I rode back and forth trying to calm her down, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with that. She wanted out of there and right now.

We finally rode back to the barn. Later I found out that hogs are carnivorous and a horse may think it’s going to eat her. She was scared to death and I shouldn’t have tried to make her accept it. I learned a lesson that day.

The next time she was her little Poppy self again, calm, gentle, and respectful. So maybe they just have moments like the rest of us. And sometimes they know that something is wrong and we need to get away from the scary thing, such as a hog.

A Couple More Ideas

The horse owner could also lead the horse around the barn area or out on a trail close by. I have thought maybe to start teaching the horse a trick. These things are different and might be the thing that will get his mind on you and away from what ever is bothering him.

Those big gentle eyes. Love it.
Those big gentle eyes. Love it.

Stay Safe

The main thing is to both be safe. A horse is so much bigger and you can’t fight ’em. I try to end the day on a good note. If she has been cooperative in one way, I’ll leave it at that.

Take note of the look in your horse’s eyes before you start your day together. Also watch the ears. They are another indicator. I wrote about ears here.

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

Images courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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2 thoughts on “What Are Your Horse’s Eyes Telling You?

  1. This sensitive article really taps in to how horses, and other animals, have some of the very same feelings, emotions and ups and downs we humans have. And so often it’s all in the eyes. I am excited to come back and learn more here. God created such incredible animals, I just stand in awe.
    Lynn Drew

    1. Hi Lynn,
      I agree with you, totally. When my horse looks at me at times I just absolutely adore the look she gives me. Of course there are those times when she gives me other looks, but that is the “ups and downs”. Horses are truly amazing I learn much more from her then she does from me, I’m sure. I for one am sure glad God created these beautiful creatures.
      Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂

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