Expressing Emotions

I’ve heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul, but today I saw how the ears are the window to emotion. A horse’s emotion, that is, not my own.

I hack out this horse every week and he’s lovely, you can walk on a long rein and then pick up the reins to have a canter, which he’s always game for.

Anyway, today he seemed a little reluctant to leave the yard. Well, it was raining and he’d had a hard dressage lesson the evening before. 

We set off through the woods, stretching and warming up his muscles, before coming out in the valley.

I trotted the first track, and was pleased to feel the horse eagerly pick up trot; he’d realised he wasn’t going to dissolve in the rain! Anyway, I suddenly thought of capturing this horse and his obvious pleasure from our hack. I could feel his energy and the spring in his step, and wanted to share his elation.

Even in the jolly walk, you can see his ears are pricked and he’s really interested in his surroundings – especially the sheep! The walk felt like that of an office worker at 5.30pm on a Friday.

Once we had our steady canter, with his ears forwards the whole time, we had a little breather, before I glanced up at the hill. The ground was good and he loves that patch for a gallop. 

He needed no encouragement from me, and as soon as I relaxed by hands we were off!

This one is harder to keep his head in shot as I was out of the saddle, so had a more wobbly arm. 

I hope that whilst watching this you can all feel the happy vibes that we both felt on this hack. It was the first time I’ve really paid attention to the ears of a horse without using their facial expression to help read their emotions. And possibly one of the few times I’ve felt a horse is really upbeat and happy, not content happy or excited happy, but pure elation for life. It was just what I needed after a rubbish week of getting rained on, blown away, and having a cold. 

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