The best place to practice reading a horses body language is by studying horses interacting with other horses.
This is one of my favorite episodes…I can’t watch it without laughing! Horses ‘say’ so much when you learn to read them. Keep in mind I am narrating this live from just out of camera view…and every once and awhile you will see Popcorn looking to me…asking me questions.
Look at how horses ask other horses questions! In just over one minute Jac struck Popcorn…just to ‘ask’ a question. Then Jac proceeds to nip and nip and nip repeatedly…no wonder he tried taste-testing me in Episode 9.
Isn’t it amazing that Popcorn tolerates as much biting as he does? Do you know why Popcorn does this? It is because Popcorn is saying that he is willing to have a conversation. Popcorn is willing to allow Jac to ask questions. Willing to hear what Jac has to say.
Having said that, I also state at 10:20, ‘If Popcorn follows his normal pattern, he will get more firm over the next few days…which is the same training that I try to do.” Again I am learning from the horses!
In the last segment ‘One month later’ keep in mind that Popcorn is in the back and Jac is in the front (sorry, iPhone video here). Watch as Popcorn nearly drops Jac to his knees by biting his neck/whithers! It is easy to see that Popcorn is being pretty clear and VERY firm with Jac, yet notice as they separate Jac is turning back towards Popcorn.
Popcorn is a great example of a leader. Willing to discipline firmly yet still respected. Learn from these great leaders.