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Bobbing his head at me..
#1
I have a 6 yr old gelding that I've had for only two months now. Initially he would not show any signs of enjoyment while being petted or scratched. Even the vet couldnt get him to give in when she tried to befriend him when trying to find a favorite itchy spot. He would just stand there with his head held high and body stiff. He is finally warming up and I've found a couple spots that he enjoys being rubbed or scratched,.. though he still has his days of ..'Stupid human'...'I Dont need you'!
Recently when I turn him out while cleaning his stall he whinnys loudly to me when he spots me outside the barn.. of course I whinny back to him and wave,....excited that he now acknowledges my existance [Smile]
Yesterday after getting my attention he stood there staring at me intensely and bobbed his head in an up and down motion, which I replied back with a head bob of my own. We repeated this conversation about 4 times before I went on to empty the wheelbarrel. It seemed like a friendly 'how ya doing' conversation.. but...does anyone really know what this means in horse language? I wondered later on if it meant 'walk on over here' since his head went up and down like a horses head does while moving.
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#2
"Yeah, that's right... muck out my stall like I told ya."

Isn't it neat when they start to act like they are bonding with you? Especially after they seem to be kind of standoff-ish, like they don't trust people yet, but now you are starting to gain that trust. It just gives me such a good feeling when my horse acts like he wants to be with me, or is looking to me for some guidance or protection.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#3
I wonder if your horse was bobbing his head in order to get a better focus on you. Since horses will drop their heads to see 'more' of something they are unsure of. He may have been thinking you 'evolved' into a strange looking animal '2 legs and a wheel in front'.

In human perspective I relate it to myself and when someone shoves something in my near vision to read and I have to grab it and move it back and forth in order to try to focus.

Of course he could have been checking you out and thinking "yup, she is cleaning out my stall, I got this one trained just right!"
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#4
When I worked as a guide there was this beautiful palomino QH/Arab cross. Huge build mare. Her name was Shalamar. She had a full sister there named Misty. Both mares had long thick white manes. I just loved them but Shalamar was my favorite. This trail ride place was at a ski hill and we fenced in the ski hill for the horses. Every day after work I would take the horses from the hitching post by groups of 2 or 3 and Shalamar was normally in one of the first groups. She would wait by the gate until the last horse was out there and watch me lead all of the horses and put them out. They would wander up the hill and I would refill the water tank. She would go a ways and then come back and nicker at me. She would do that head bob thing and then shake her head and whip it up towards the hill like she wanted me to go with her. A couple times I would go towards her and she would head up the hill and then stop and do it again. She wanted me to go with them. Why I don't know but if I walked up into the herd she was happy. The second I headed back down the hill she would start it up again. For some reason she thought I was to be with the herd all of the time.
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#5
ILoveJoe and hmeyer your responces made me laugh!!
Stormie I loved reading your experience. It sounds like that horse really enjoyed your company and saw you as part of the herd and didnt want to leave you behind. It seems that you and I have come to the same conclusion that it is their way of asking us to come to them. I wish that I had realized what my gelding was trying to tell me at that moment and not later in the day. My family thought I was nuts when I relayed to them what had happened and what I believe he was trying to tell me. Like, apparently I watched too many Lassie episodes as a child!
At some point I will try to use the head bob or nod to see if he will come to me. I've always been fasinatied with how each of my animals try to communicate with me in different ways and I really try to pay attention and understand them. Thanks for sharing your story!
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#6
It's really hard to tell what he's thinking. When we went to the six-horse draft hitch competition at the state fair, I noticed that, as they stand waiting for their turn to move, almost all the horses would bob their heads. I heard it was because they like to hear all the fancy hardware they are wearing jingle like bells. Don't know if that's true or not.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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