Many equestrians enjoy talking to their horses. Though it may seem silly to some, both you and your horse can benefit from it.
Talking to your horse is not only therapeutic, but it can also help strengthen your bond. In addition, your horse will enjoy your companionship and find your voice relaxing. It is also a great way to learn more about your horse’s body language.
Here are 5 reasons why you should talk to your horse.
1. It Strengthens Your Bond
Talking to your horse can help strengthen your bond. Not only are you spending quality time with your horse, but you are also getting to know each other better.
Your horse will learn to recognize the sound of your voice and get excited to hear you when you talk to them. Many horses get excited by the sound of their owner’s voice and may even nicker when you greet them.
In addition, the longer you spend with your horse, and the more you talk to them, the more they will trust you. This trust will help your relationship grow and improve your riding.
2. Horses Enjoy Companionship and Attention
Horses are herd animals. They enjoy spending time with company, both horses and humans alike.
By talking to your horse, you are providing a sense of comfort and companionship. Your voice can be soothing, and reassure them they are safe with you. They will see you as part of their herd and even as a leader.
3. You Will Understand Your Horse’s Body Language Better
When talking to your horse, you can get a better understanding of their body language. By talking in different tones, such as a serious tone or soothing tone, your horse will have different reactions.
When talking to your horse, watch their body language. Watch what they do with their eyes, ears, mouth, and legs. By learning your horse’s body language, you will get a better understanding of them.
If you are talking sternly to correct your horse’s behavior if they are acting up, watch their body language to see how they respond. On the other hand, you also want to watch how they act when you are praising them for good behavior.
4. Talking to Horses is Therapeutic
Talking to your horse is good for your soul. After a long day, sharing your feelings with your equine best friend can help lower your stress and anxiety.
Since horses won’t judge you, you can tell them anything, as they will happily listen. While talking to them, you can also pet and groom them as well. This can help lower your blood pressure and allow you to relax.
In fact, studies have shown that spending time with horses and talking to them can help people identify and process their feelings. This is especially true for people who suffer from PTSD or are abuse victims and don’t feel ready to talk to a therapist. Horses make people feel safe and comfortable, free from judgment.
5. Talking in a Pet-Directed Voice Can Improve Communication and Help Your Horse Relax
Researchers have found that talking to horses in pet-directed speech (PDS) can improve communication. PDS has the same qualities of “baby talk,” with a distinctive vocal signature, which is a high pitch at a slow rate.
Talking with a PDS voice has been shown to work better at gaining a horse’s attention. In addition, horses are also more likely to follow a pointing gesture when being talked to with PDS.
Talking to horses with PDS versus ADS (adult-directed speech) has been shown to make them more relaxed and calmer when grooming. Horses are also more likely to groom their owners back when they are being talked to in PDS.