A human can gather information on how a horse is feeling, what a horse is thinking and how the horse may react to a situation by understanding their body language. One area to watch is the horses eyes. There are differences in what your horse is telling you when they have eye tension, rapid darting eyes, wide eyes and relaxed eyes:
When a horse is tightening muscles around the eyes, eyelids or corner of the eyes, this is a sign of stress, fear or discomfort.
Rapid darting eyes
When the horses eyes are flicking from side to side, this can be a sign of fear. The horse will likely be looking for a way to escape and may even bolt. If the horse feels trapped and unable to flee, using their flight instinct, they will likely bite or kick, using their fight response.
When a horse has wide eyes, and/or showing the whites of the eyes, the horse is in fear or angry.
-Wide eyes are a sign of fear, and the horse will usually have a raised head and pricked ears.
-Whites of the eyes showing more severe fear and the horse will usually be snorting or even quivering.
-Whites of the eyes showing can also be a sign of anger if the horse has pinned back ears.
When a horse has relaxed eyes with no wrinkles on the brow, and blinking more frequently, the horse is relaxed. The horse's eye may be open or partially open when they are in a state of relaxation.
A human can gain a lot of insight about what a horse is thinking by watching the horses eyes. What is your horses eyes telling you?