Horses know more than we think



I give my horses a lot of credit and believe that they are teachers, healers, best friends, and family. But sometimes we humans don’t give them enough credit.

I’ve heard lots of wonderful stories and read lots of research that shows horses can intuitively see right through a person and know who we really are. Horses know how we’re feeling, and sometimes they know even more so than we do ourselves. They can even hear your heartbeat before you come around the corner to see them. Horses also have a way of naturally calming us down and making us feel loved.

They are amazing. Just like humans though, horses have different individual personalities and different intellectual abilities. Some smarter than others and some more opinionated and vocal than others. But nonetheless, all of them are wonderful creatures that most of the time, we don’t give enough credit.

My boys always know how I’m feeling. They will be soft and gentle when I’m sad or not feeling well. They are energetic and playful when I’m happy and energetic. We seem to feed off each other and help each other.

This week one of the Stallions that I’m training did something that really surprised me. If you’re following along with the Stallion Series videos you’ve met Kit. A sweet, gentle, 24-year-old Egyptian Arabian stallion that has an incredible lineage. He has done very well in his training and he is very smart. He seems to always be watching closely and thinking about everything that happens. He is a fascinating horse to observe. And I guess he has been observing me too.

As many of you know, when you hurt yourself sometimes your body compensates and makes adjustments naturally. For instance, when you badly sprain your ankle and you limp on your left leg, your body compensates and will put more pressure on your right leg so your left leg can heal. The bad part about that natural adjustment is that your body can put too much pressure on your right hip which could cause other problems.

Well, when I had surgery on my shoulder, somehow when my body made adjustments and it moved my back out of alignment. Not too badly, but enough that when my shoulder healed I decided to go to a chiropractor for help. So, I made an appointment. On the day of my appointment, I went out to see the horses and groom them. The first horse I went to groom was Kit.

I’m used to my horses grooming me while I groom them and Kit is a very cuddly horse. So, it was no surprise that while I was grooming him that he was gently touching my legs and my arms. What surprised me was what happened next.

Once I started brushing Kit’s legs and was bent over, Kit started to sniff my back. This was different. I started to pay more attention to what he was doing than me actually brushing his legs. I continued but was focused on his mannerisms. Kit was very calculated now. He had finished sniffing and was now gently touching a few areas on my back. Then when he got to my shoulder, the backside of my shoulder, he stopped. He then started pressing down as if he was massaging my back. All of this with his nose and lips.

I wish I had brought my video because I wouldn’t have believed what happened without it happening to me. Kit was now pressing down in very specific spots on my back with varying degrees of pressure. It wasn’t just randomly touching and pushing. This was very calculated and specific. Kit was on a mission to fix what was broken.

Somehow, he knew that my back was hurting and exactly where it was hurting. I just sat there bent over as he massaged my back and it felt wonderful. Then before I knew it, Kit pressed on one particular spot and pressed hard and “pop” went my back. But it was a good “pop”. He actually had put my back into alignment. I felt the shift in my back all the way up to my eyes. Kit adjusted my back just as well as my chiropractor.

Right after he fixed my back he moved his head and just went back to being a normal horse getting groomed. He knew exactly what he was doing and now that he had fixed my back, he was done. He didn’t touch my back again. I was very grateful for his fix as I was now out of pain and felt much better.

I know that some horses are able to see illness or injury in humans and that they are very healing to be around, emotionally, spiritually, and physically through energy. But, I never would have thought that they were capable of physically fixing injuries as Kit did for me. But I wouldn’t have seen it and probably wouldn’t have noticed if I had not paid close attention to what kit was doing and why.

The lesson in today’s story is to never underestimate your horse, his abilities, his intelligence, or his love for you. And to really observe your horse in every interaction because he might have a surprise to show you too.

I’d love to hear your story about what your horse has shown you in the comments below.

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  • Gina Danna says:

    How fascinating! Wow! My back, too, needs help. Would he do mine? Seriously?

    And your post here is rather interesting on timing. As stated, I thru my back out – silly me. Couldn’t get into chiro for 5 days, thanks to weekend and my work. He helped but it’s still not all the way right. He said I’d be sore, and I am, though I might have helped – I went to gym.BUT I was planning on going to see my horses (they’re boarded) and, on top of 28 out when I woke (but it’s TX so to hit 51), I was starting to lean towards not. I mean, no one wants to deal with an Arabian (or any horse) when you’re not up to par, right? Physically, I mean. Well, you’ve kinda got me going back to going. My boy, Shetan, and I have been together for 11 years. Not that I expect him to do what Kit did (though I wouldn’t stop him! LOL), from an emotional point, it may be what I need at this moment. Thanks!

    • Absolutely Gina. Go out and just be with him and see what happens. I never would have imagined that Kit would even think of putting my back in place. I just thought that maybe the physical action of grooming him might help me. Little did I know. 🙂

  • I have three Paso Finos and love them all. However there is a special place in my heart for my “soul mate” horse, Mateo, who seems to understand English very well. I have many stories about Mateo but I only have time to share one right now. A couple years ago I was caring for two rescue mares until I could find them homes. I kept my horses in corrals but often let them out on our 18 acres so they could play and eat grass. My three horses and the rescue mares were out grazing one day and I went out to bring them in. As soon as they saw me, my three horses started walking toward me as I stood next to the corrals. The rescue mares ignored me. The other two horses went into the corral but Mateo turned and stood by me and also was looking at the disobedient mares. As the two of us stood there shoulder to shoulder, I called to the mares again and again. They continued to ignore me. Finally, out of frustration, I said to Mateo: “Mateo, go out there and get those mares in here!” At which point he bolted toward the mares, circled them a couple times and then started biting their butts and then herded them into the corrals. Like you, I wished I had my phone with me and could have recorded this and again, this is just one of several amazing stories about Mateo. I might add that I trained him and I never trained him to heard cattle or any animals for that matter.

    • Love it Janet! Mateo sounds amazing. It really is amazing how many stories we can think of about what our horses did that no one would ever believe because they are just so mind-blowing. Horses can be so brilliant at times. 🙂

  • Pamela Taylor says:

    What a wonderful story. As yet, neither of my horses (Asha, 14; her son, Cody, 9) have shown any inclination for healing, but they’ve certainly demonstrated other abilities. I tried to decide between two stories, but couldn’t, so I’ll share both.

    A couple of months ago I went into their 3-sided run-in shelter to give them lunch. They were snoozing with Cody standing on Asha’s left, his head about even with her flank. In order to get to his feed dish, I needed him to back up a couple of steps, which I asked him to do with the word “back” and a hand signal. Both of them understand this request. He just stood there, so I asked again, thinking that he was still a little drowsy, maybe, and hadn’t wanted to move. Still nothing. Ordinarily, at that point, I’d have stepped closer and gently pushed on his chest and said “back” again, but instead I just asked again. I felt sure that he’d move, but he didn’t (and neither did I), but I asked him a fourth time. Still no movement. Then, before I could move closer and say “back” a fifth time, Asha’s left hind foot shot out and connected with his right leg several inches above his knee—no damage, but he got the message and moved!!! She knew what he was supposed to do and apparently had decided he needed a little extra encouragement from Mom to do it. And, I needed a reminder to go ahead and GENTLY increase the pressure, after the first or second request, rather than allowing him to ignore me.

    I don’t want to give the wrong impression about Cody, and so, the second story. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the shelter with them, sipping a cup of coffee, while they ate breakfast. I was facing out, they were facing me, Cody on my left, Asha to my right. We’ve been starting the day together this way for the last couple of years. It was windy out, and for some reason, Cody decided to move his feed dish with his nose so that he was within a foot of my chair. I gave him a pat and went back to my coffee. Suddenly, Asha jerked her head up and spun around. Cody immediately started to do the same and I thought my morning was about to become very painful because I was where his rear was going to be. But, instead, he kept his hind feet in place and did the most beautiful turn. Not by crossing his front legs, though. His adrenaline was so high, that he marched himself around his hind end, piaff-like, keeping me safe, while satisfying his body’s need to run. Really wish I had a video of it. I was delighted to know, finally, that Cody not only has the ability to think in an emergency, but that our relationship is as good as I have hoped. With his Mom’s do-it-or-else style of teaching, and me not emulating that, I think that it’s been challenging for him to do what he knows, at times. But, I know now that we’re on the right track.

    • Thank you for sharing Pam. Great stories. You are on the right track as they definitely are trying to take care of you. 🙂

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