Did you know that your horses’ greatest assets are his ears? Although small, the horse’s range of hearing far out performs that of his rider, and we are generally unaware of what they have heard.
Does your horse suddenly stop or spin around out hacking, or snort and spooks unexpectedly — usually when there is nothing there? Well did you know that horses can detect sounds as far as 4km away and that they can even detect the ultrasound of a bat?!
In fact, horses’ ears are so incredible that the can detect low-frequency sounds whilst grazing, via vibrations transmitted through the ground that he picks up with his teeth. The vibrations are conveyed to the middle ear through the jawbone. Hooves also pick up on these vibrations, thus warning of possible predators. Simply amazing!
The ear shape, can even help them to focus on the sound that they really want to listen to, and fade out other distractions. Now don’t you wish you could do that?!
There are 10 muscles in a horse’s ear — compared to three in a human’s — which control movement. That is why a horse can turn each ear in a separate direction to listen and communicate. After the ear tells a horse which direction to look in, his almost 360-degree field of vision determines the exact location of the sound. If the source of sound is identified as non-threatening, the horse will usually remain calm. But horses are prey animals and if it is considered threatening — or he cannot see the source at all — he will want to run in the opposite direction.
Next time we’ll help you to identify what your horses’ ears are telling you, so that you can even better connect with your horse.
For more information please feel free to call Morag on 01698 886 492 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org