*ahem* ... such an ugly face on a usually pretty girl, I hate to post it, but here it is - for your writing-details pleasure.

WITNESS is a wonderful little mare, gentle with people and very maternal, but she doesn't put up with nonsense. She'll ask nicely, and then insist. In spite of her (lack of) size, 13.3hh, she's pretty highly ranked in the herd and this is why.

She'll pull her first punch, but not the second and in this photo, she's telling MARAH, "You just got on my last nerve!"

MARAH is a pocket-pony and jealous of the attention the babies are getting so she's been trying to sneak in close to the visitors who have come to see little YODA.

Contrast the mare_ears shot with the on-alert photo, where the ears are tightly forward and the eyes are alert, but the nostrils are not flared as if she were smelling or blowing(warning). She's very interested, but not overly concerned.

In the mare_ears photo, you see the ears are back, although not flattened. She's serious, but not out for blood, yet. Her eyes are narrowed, if you can see it through the mane, her nostrils and lips are tight. Compare the photos and see how the anger actually changes her profile when she tightens up her nose like that.

The next stage, an instant before a charge would be to completely flatten the ears against the neck so tight you can't even really see them and to bare her teeth. If she's after another horse, she'll likely bite them on the barrel or rump if they are too slow. Anything smaller, like a wolf, and she'd likely strike with her forefeet and then bite as they dodged.


Leah Braemel said...

Oooh, a pic of angry horse! Thanks, Sue, I'll have to remember this post when I'm writing about how horses react. And Marah certainly does look ticked off!

Shae said...

Is it unseemly to post comments against older posts?
This is one hell of a useful insight into behavioural realities only people like you could possibly ever have.
I'd give a year of my life to learn to read and comprehend the nuance of a horses body-language...

Becky Burkheart said...

I'm always delighted to get comments on older posts. It lets me know people are finding them useful.

I agree I love just spending quiet time watching the horses. It's one of the best ways to learn about them, and to learn from them.