Horses and ponies are herd animals and used to living as part of a group, feeling secure in the company of other equines and familiar surroundings. They are timid by nature and their natural reaction to danger is to flee.

The horse's sense of hearing is very acute and its sense of smell is also good enabling it to sense danger some distance away.

A horse is a very sensitive animal and able to sense the feelings of those nearby particularly hesitation, fear, confidence and anger.

The horse can indicate its own feelings in a number of ways and the ears are a good indication of what is going through a horse's mind.

Ears Alert and Forward

Ears pricked alert and facing forward indicate the horse is happy and interested.

Ears Flat Back

Ears laid flat back against the neck show the horse is unhappy or annoyed.

Ears Lowered

Ears lowered slightly to the sides show the horse is relaxed, bored or could indicate that it feels unwell.

Flickering Ears

Flickering ears indicate the horse is listening and attentive.