Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses: Recognition and Application

Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses Recognition and Application PDF

By Rachaël Draaisma

Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses Recognition and Application PDF is a practical book that helps you interpret and connect the physical signals that horses display in response to their environment. These signals are evident in the everyday actions, gestures and attitudes that horses communicate to each other, but are often so subtle that they can go unnoticed by humans. This book aims to rectify that, offering horse lovers and equine professionals an opportunity to gain a unique insight into their ‘horse’s world’.

After reading this book you will be more astute in spotting calming signals, displacement activities, stress signals and distance-increasing signals, and better able to see which stimuli your horse can handle and which he cannot. This means you will know what to do to calm your horse before his stress rises to an unmanageable level. Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses is both fascinating and important reading for any equine veterinary practitioner, student or nurse, as well as horse owners and trainers.

Table of Contents

1 THE DISCOVERY OF A LANGUAGE
1.1 Communication signal or not?
1.2 It all starts with a stimulus and a reaction

2 CALMING SIGNALS TO APPEASE AND CALM
2.1 What are calming signals?
2.2 Communication ladder calming signals
2.3 Body posture
2.4 Facial features & Tail carriage
2.5 Blinking
2.6 Half closing the eyes
2.7 Looking away
2.8 Chewing
2.9 Tongue-out chewing
2.10 Yawning & a Jaw stretch
2.11 Head turn
2.12 Neck turn
2.13 Neck Shake
2.14 Body shake
2.15 Lowering of the head and neck
2.16 Curving
2.17 Splitting
2.18 Showing the hindquarters
2.19 Showing the flanks
2.20 Eating
2.21 Immobility and slowing down
2.22 Summary Calming signals
2.23 Displacement Behaviour and Calming Signals Alternate
2.24 Communication ladder Displacement behaviour
2.25 Faces and behaviours
2.26 Displacement activities
2.27 Rolling
2.28 Head Swing
2.29 Example series
2.30 Summary Displacement behaviour

3 TENSION SHIMMERS THROUGH CALMING SIGNALS
3.1 Tension rises due to increasing stimulus intensity
3.2 Communication ladder Stress signals
3.3 Body posture and facial features
3.4 Clenched lips and different shaped lip and nose
3.5 More frequent defecation and urination
3.6 Rushing: eating, drinking and moving
3.7 Example of behaviour sequence
3.8 Tension leads to creation of distance
3.9 Communication ladder Distance increasing signals
3.10 Chasing away
3.11 Bite Threat
3.12 Threatening to kick
3.13 Bucking
3.14 The arched neck
3.15 Posturing behaviour
3.16 Flight signals
3.17 Example of a behaviour sequence
3.18 Fight or Flight
3.19 Communication ladder Fight/Flight
3.20 Recovery after mounting tension and shocks
3.21 Communication ladder Recovery after tension and shocks
3.22 Summary Rising tension and recovery

4 NO COMMUNICATION
4.1 Just not that interested
4.2 Communication ladder No communication signals
4.3 Withdrawal and stereotyped behaviour
4.4 Communication ladder Withdrawal
4.5 Summary No communication

5 APPLICATION OF CALMING SIGNALS: HOW DO WE HELP THE HORSE?
5.1 Communication ladder as an assessment tool
5.2 Planning and management
5.3 Creating relaxation opportunities
5.4 Do not leave your horse alone & use the hand signal
5.5 Using calming signals yourself
5.6 Splitting
5.7 Curving in an arc
5.8 Showing the flank or back
5.9 Standing still
5.10 Making your horse more independent: empower your horse
5.11 Chapter summary: tips

APPENDIX
1.1 Eyes
1.2 Ears
1.3 Notes
1.4 Bibliography of personal favourites

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