Dude Ranch Quiz: What is This Horse Saying???

Colorado Dude Ranch horses communicate very clearly!

Dude Ranch Horse Stevie

1. What is Stevie saying here?

This quiz is part of a series of articles that we have written in the  Sundance Trail Guest Ranch Horse Safety and Horse Communication collection, including Speaking to Your Dude Ranch Horse Part 1 and Speaking to your Dude Ranch Horse Part 2.

When at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, either for a summer dude ranch vacation or Fall/Winter/Spring B&B stay,

Ranch Vacation Horse Mocha

2. And Mocha?

you will spend lots of time with our horses (and donkeys!).

Horses communicate with body language. (Is this why women so often understand their horses immediately, and why guys are so often clueless?) Their faces, and especially their ears speak volumes, once you learn how to read them.

Colorado Ranch Vacation Pony: Rose Blossom

3. And Rose Blossom?

Here’s a quick primer on some easy to recognize “expressions.”  Have fun!

Answers to each of these facial expressions are listed at he bottom of the page!

Family Vacation Bed and Breakfast Horse: Apache

4. What is Apache saying here?

Family Dude Ranch Horse Khalli

5. What is Khalli doing?

Family Vacation B&B Rusty

6. And Rusty?

Guest Ranch Donkey - Calamity Jane

7. What is Calamity Jane saying here?

1. Stevie is ANGRY!!! She is having a bad hair week. Spring snow has melted and she want’s to party, and the geldings around her are all nerds or something!! Dude ranch horses are supposed to be romantic!!! None of these guys want to dance!!! Best to just leave her alone for a few more days…
She is clearly saying: “keep your distance or I will bite you!!!”
2. Mocha is taking a nap, or maybe she is meditating. Nope, she’s sleeping, in fact, she is snoring! One of her back hooves is up on the toe, her ears are flopped off to the sides, and her eyes are soft, gently starting off into the distance.
3. Rose Blossom is definitely sleeping! She’s still a baby, so she sleeps a lot. She even has her eyes closed, which only babies do – adults sleep with their eyes open.
4. Apache is awake, alert, and wants the cookie in my pocket. He is demonstrating interest and is interacting.
5. Khalli also wants the cookie in my pocket, but at the same time she is listening to some interesting gossip BEHIND her! Yes, kinda like radar dishes, horses’ ears can pivot front to side to back; even in different directions. Yes, if she wanted, Khalli could listen to two different conversations at once!
6. Rusty is actually sleeping. one of his hind feet is up on the toe, his ears are flopped off to the side, and his eyes are softly staring off into space…
7. Calamity is not happy that she is the last picture. She is small, but she is VERY bossy!

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