The BOTTOM LINE On Horse Sounds In Words

Horse Sounds

Ever wondered about the meaning of horse sounds in words? All horses make noises, but you should know that each sound has a specific meaning. We will discuss various horse sounds along with their purposes.

Horses are attractive, calm, and simple to handle creatures. But if you know what they’re trying to tell you when they make a particular sound, it’s much sweeter. 

Rodeo Horse

What Sound Does a Horse Make?

The Neigh

Many people know it as the whinny. The noise will begin and end with the horse speaking softly. A neigh lasts only 1.5 seconds and is audible from a mile (a meter) away. So, when you hear a classic neigh, what should come to mind? This is the sound a horse makes when it wants company and care.

Why do horses neigh? The horse will neigh if you isolate it from the rest of the herd. A self-assured neigh indicates that your horse is making a demand at that particular time. It will express a “now” need for food if it’s by itself. And if you hear the neigh while the animal is in a herd, be aware that it is a warning. Most likely, something is off.

Horses are aware of their social groups. Horses respond to neighing members of their herd more favorably than other horses. Additionally, a mare reacts to neighing foals more so than other horses.

It demonstrates that horses belonging to the same group share a neigh. Each horse has a distinctive neigh that serves as a means of group identification, much like a local accent. You might also discover that different breeds have different neighs.

The whinny varies depending on the gender of the horse. So it is easy to determine whether a neigh comes from a male or female horse. Make sure you hear the tone all the way through.

The Snort

Horse management is simple. As a result, snorting is a means for them to convey their mood. Therefore, it will indicate that the horse is content, under stress, or has a problem nearby.

How does that work? The horse forcefully exhales via its nose, but only after shutting its mouth. The vibration of the nose causes an erratic heartbeat.

The horse will raise its tail and head as it snorts. The entire body will either be in a state of enhanced joy or prepared to flee from peril. A horse will therefore recognize anything that piques its interest rapidly.

Remember that the snort is audible from 40 miles (64.4 kilometers) away. It implies that the herd can hear the enemy’s snort before they do. The horse will snort in the direction of the threat, causing the others to turn to face it. Not foolish of the horses, is it?

Additionally, snorting is a sign of suffering in a horse, which is not good. It could develop due to an infection like colic or a wound.

Let’s examine the encouraging message that a snort conveys. A horse will snort to communicate to the other horses that it is content in its new surroundings or with its new possession. The horse will also have a relaxed expression and swish its tail. Always remember that a horse can snort when greeting individuals in its vicinity.

The Squeal 

Both mature male and female horses squeal. Therefore, don’t anticipate hearing this noise from the young horses. The sound demonstrates the horse’s displeasure with the current situation.

A stallion squeals, but how? The horse will shriek after closing its lips, like a snort. The horse will hold its head and tail high while it produces the sound. 

Additionally, the horse accompanies squealing with back legs kicking out and ears flat. You can hear squeals up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) away from the horse. The sounds fluctuate in loudness and duration, unlike neighing and snorting. The difficulty of the circumstance will determine it.

Therefore, a shriek can last up to 1.7 seconds or as little as one second. How loudly, though, can a horse squeal? The mare and stallion’s sexual interactions are when you may anticipate hearing the loudest squeal.

In both male and female horses, the cause of the scream is never the same. A mare’s behavior indicates that it is experiencing discomfort, difficulties, or agony. A mare will squeal to show pain as you are looking for injuries in its foot; you should halt it.

A mare will also shriek when it sees a stallion making sexual advances. It will converse with it to stop the approaches yet keep the male horse company. When a stallion squeals, what is it saying? It will demonstrate that there is a threat that makes it hostile. The horse will therefore be ready for anything in a state of flight or fight.

A Nicker

The horse’s most frequent sound is a nicker, followed by a neigh. It demonstrates the horse’s happiness and desire for your attention. Your ears will also like the sound.

Now tell me, how does a horse nicker? It has a low pitch and an average heartbeat and emanates from the horse’s stomach. A horse neighs with its mouth closed, its nostrils moving, and its ears pointing forward to pay attention. You can hear the roar up to 30 yards (27.4 meters) away.

When will the sound be audible? When you are feeding your horse, be ready for it to nicker. ‘Come here’ or ‘I’m glad to see you’ will be its message. The horse will occasionally nicker to show that it is begging for food but is content.

When a mare and stallion make love before mating, they will nicker. The stallion will therefore approach the mare and give her a unique greeting that has a taste for sexuality. It will be similar to saying, “Hey, pretty.”

Keep in mind that a male horse will bow its head, keep its nostrils open, and keep its lips closed while making the sounds. This nicker is perpetually slow and long. Additionally, stallions’ nickering pulses differ from one another. Without looking at the stallion, a mare can easily detect his presence.

The mares nicker at the calves as well. You can hear it clearly and softly from a certain distance. It will create the noise to demonstrate that it has a concern for the welfare of the foals as a mother. To the foals, the horses will call, “Come closer, my children.” Foals will also be familiar with this sound from birth. The foal will nicker in response if you also imitate that.

Horse Neighing

The Groan

Horses don’t typically make groans. In most cases, horses groan in agony, just like humans do. So, when you ride, exercise, feed, or get on a horse, you should know whether it is moaning out of pain or joy. What noise does a horse make like this? Low-pitched and emanating from deep within the gut, the noise. It takes place while the horse closes its lips and vibrates its nostrils.

Horses groan deeply and shallowly. It will depend on how resilient or healthy the horse is. So, if it is in great agony, you can anticipate a great groan. The moan, however, will be brief if the heart is content and the state is cheerful.

Some horses grunt naturally. So even when there is no difficulty, a horse may sigh. The horse will be content, but it will groan if you mount or ride it.

After a workout or race, a horse will groan when it returns to its stable. “The end of the day; I’m going for a bath, some water, and dinner,” it will be announcing. A horse can also roll over the grass, dirt, or sand as it is unwinding. You’ll hear a groan as it happens.

How, though, will you be able to tell whether your horse is in pain? Therefore, when you are riding on it or getting it ready for hanging, it should sound an alarm, and you hear it groan. Because the saddle or clothing is overly tight, the horse will feel some discomfort.

When afflicted with colic conditions, a horse may moan if the saddle and dressing are not an issue. So, you should see if the horse is thirsty, exhausted, or lame after a long day. Remember that a young horse may groan while you are riding it. But first, see if there are any physical wounds.

A Roar

You might be in shock if you think that lions are the only animals that roar. Additionally, your horse has a roaring voice. And if it does, be aware that anything is amiss. A horse can make this sound when angry, perplexed, scared, or in pain. Therefore, it will either be getting into a heated argument, unhappiness, or even both. When its jaw is open, the roar will continue.

It’s also known as a trumpet. Additionally, a roar in pain can sound like a scream due to how loud it is. The sound a horse makes is abhorrent. Besides, unless you put your domestic horse in a sizable herd, it’s uncommon to hear such a sound.

Additionally, a running horse that roars indicates that it has a voice-related issue. A horse that roars while any vet will hear running since it has poor vocalizations. You should examine your horse’s health because it is an illness.

The Scream

A roar is comparable to a scream. It has a louder sound than a roar. It’s uncommon to hear your domestic horse scream, just like when they roar. A horse will also scream when opening its mouth. It will have erect ears. As a result, if you hear it screaming, it’s either in pain or danger. Additionally, you won’t feel any comfort from the sound.

You can hear one or perhaps both horses screaming when they are fighting. It implies that one horse has an injury and lost the battle. The two horses will then start to behave peacefully after that. Horses that regularly fight shouldn’t stay together.

A Sigh

Sighing is a common human emotion. Horses, though, may also sigh. You shouldn’t worry about the sound, which is extremely audible coming from a horse. How does a horse sigh, though? It will take a deep breath before gently exhaling via its mouth and nostrils.

The horse conveys different things when it sighs. A horse may sigh due to good grooming or a massage. Don’t worry if you notice the horse farting while giving horse therapy. It means that as you handle your horse, it is calm and comfortable.

The horse also expresses exhaustion and relief from a bothersome action when it sighs. And just like people, a horse will moan to indicate that the mood is depressing. A horse may have a wonderful time even when they aren’t sighing. Keep in mind that not all horses have the ability to sigh.

Some Horse Sounds in Words

What do horses sound like? Although horses communicate mostly through body language, they also create sounds that have meaning. We need to learn about horse sounds and their meanings. 

Equine vocalizations come in four varieties: whinny, nicker, snort, and squeal. Each sound used in equine vocal communication has a specific purpose, and every horse understands what it means every time.

Sound: Nicker

nick•er; /nikr/

A soft, low, breathy whinny.

What it is

Your horse’s quiet purring communicates, “Come to me.” If a stallion is strutting his stuff in front of a mare, it might also signify, “Look at me.”

What it Means 

The relationship between a mare and her foal is the most intentional; if the foal wanders off, the mare will nicker at him to get his attention. It also sounds like “Come bring me the food,” which you hear daily at mealtime.

How to Respond

It is the dominant horse when, in a wild herd, one horse commands another around and snatches its food. Your horse may perceive itself as dominant if it nickers at you to request specific goodies. This can hurt all facets of your relationship. What you should do is:

  • Refrain from interpreting the nicker as a request for more feed or a treat for your horse.
  • It’s acceptable if the nicker only occurs when you feed all the horses at the scheduled meal hour.
  • When a horse exhibits hostile behavior, do not feed it. Please wait for it to settle before feeding it, even for a brief while.

Sound: Snort

snort; /snrt/

An explosive sound made by the sudden forcing of breath through the nose.

What it is

Snorting is a warning. A horse recognizes a threat if it does it while keeping its head held high.

What it Means

When extremely startled, the horse may ratchet its snort or blow as a sign of moderate alarm. It may also snort while playing; to practice its flight response, it frequently snorts before running. On a trail ride, your horse could snort if it picks up an unfamiliar scent. The horses frequently snort as you approach elk on the route in the Rocky Mountains.

How to Respond

Stop and take stock if you hear a horse snort. It might be either of the following:

  • Look in the same direction as the snorting horse. The horse can be afraid of anything harmless, or it might be because of a real threat in the distance.
  • The animal may snort if you’re performing new groundwork or set limits with an untrained horse. The horse must respect the handler (and it will trust you in time). But remember that a horse snorting is feeling threatened and can behave out.

Sound: Squeal

squeal; skwl

A long, high-pitched cry or noise.

What it is

Although mares shriek the most frequently, any horse can. Horses typically squeal as a warning sign before engaging in horse-on-horse combat.

What it Means

What does a horse say when it squeals? A mare will squeal in response to a stallion’s approach, but it can also signify the first encounter between two horses. After giving each other a quick sniff, one of them will shriek aggressively. 

After a squeal, one horse frequently retreats, but if they both continue to engage, a strike or kick may follow. Being in the center of horses can be extremely risky when they grow aggressive.

How to Respond

  • Get everyone near horses that are shrieking out of the way.
  • You don’t have to break up loose horses in a field getting to know one another if you hear squealing, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them.
  • Make sure that everyone, including the horses and people, is safe by assessing the situation and using your best judgment.

Sound: Whinny

whin•ny; /(h)win/

A loud, high-pitched neigh.

What it is

It’s a social call to whine. The whinny is how horses communicate with one another in the wild. You can distinguish one horse from another by their distinctive whinny, as can other horses.

What it Means

Where are my friends? Is the call’s intended meaning? Alternatively, “Who wants to be my friend?” The horse is hunting for a herd of horses it knows or any horse willing to join it because it is lonely.

How to Respond 

Don’t chastise it because it is uneasy. When their horses whine nonstop, horse handlers frequently feel ashamed or frustrated. Refrain from getting angry and ask the horse to work calmly. This is how:

  • Put your horse to work when it starts whining, so it has something to concentrate on. Keep its thoughts active and constructive. Don’t be abrupt or hurried, but give instructions.
  • Ask your horse to back up, turn right, and turn left. Please give it a gentle, consistent direction until it turns its attention to you. Allow it to rest after it has calmed down. Repeat if it whinnies.
  • Your horse won’t feel lonely if you can experience the same level of comfort as it does with the herd. The horse will feel secure and stop whinnying around you as your bond develops.
Horse making noise

The Word’s Out!

Horses are consistently kind, quiet, and relaxed. As a result, when you hear them making sounds, they try to communicate with you or themselves. The sounds can indicate that a horse is content, having trouble, or under stress. Learn about the many noises your horses make if you want to handle and treat them better.

You’ll benefit from all the noises and their meanings in this article. You’ll understand the horse in different languages. This will help you handle your horse better.