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Thursday, 22 November 2018

5 Equestrian Myths That You Thought Were The Truth

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So many horse myths are taught to us as kids and we grow up thinking that they are true.  In reality, these myths are completely untrue!  As you continue to spend time with

Let's find out which equestrian 'facts' are not true!  

1.  Horses communicate with neighs 

Yes, horses do sometimes call out to each other (usually when they are separated) and they may also call to you.  That being said, most of their communication with other horses and their owners is through body language.  Pulling faces and turning their butt towards other horses are an example of a horse being not happy with another.  They will lick, groom and follow horses that they like.

A bay cydesdale and a chestnut warmblood looking at eachother face to face

2. Horse's can only sleep standing up

I think most people know horses can stand up while they sleep.  This is because of ligaments and tendons in the horse's legs that allow them to keep standing while completely relaxed.  This helps the horse get away from danger quicker in the wild.  Why don't horse's lie down while sleeping?  They do!  Even in the wild, horses need to sleep while lying down to get REM sleep.  They can do this for short periods of times because while one horse lies down to sleep, the others keep standing to look out for danger.  Domestic horses lie down to sleep much more than wild horses because there is no danger.

Close up of a White horse grazing in a field

3.  Horse's can't see well in the dark

You may have seen a horse not want to load into a dark trailer or you may have noticed your horse seem 'blind' while walking with you in the dark.  This is not because he cannot see in the dark but because his eyes take much longer to get used to light changes.  Horses have a membrane at the back of their eyes that reflects light which acts as night vision.  So when you are walking your horse in the dark while pointing a torch, your horse will be going from a dark field that they can see perfectly to a bright torch being pointed at them.  Imagine sitting in the dark and someone suddenly turns the light on, this is how your horse feels!

A bay horse with white markings with his head over a stable door in the dark

4.  You Shouldn't allow your horse to drink after a ride

You have probably been told 'don't ever let your horse drink after exercise'.  This is completely untrue!  Just think of working out without any water and then having to wait for an hour afterwards to finally drink.  It has been proven that a horse can also get colic from being dehydrated but chances of both are low.  I personally have a horse who never drinks after a ride and one who drinks even after the shortest ride.

People are now offering water after a ride which has added electrolytes like this one to help the horse to recover quickly.

Grey horse with bridle and saddle on standing at the stables after a ride

5.  English and Western Are completely different

When you first watch an English rider and a western rider doing their thing it will look completely different.  With English riding you want the horse's head to be much higher than a western horse, they move in a different manner and the tack is so different.  When you start to break down the training of each, however, you will discover that they are quite similar!  They both follow the same kind of training tree, the same basics of bending, balance, aids and much more!  I am personally an English rider focusing on show jumping but my yard owner is a western rider.  I have learnt so much from her which works for both riding styles.
So if you get the opportunity, try talking to the opposite rider and finding out what things you have in common!

Close up of a bay pony being ridden in a grass field


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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