In the horse world you can pretty much tell a horse’s mood by the slant of her ears. Upright and perky usually means life is good. It means “I’m curious, interested, attentive.”
Some horses can actually tilt their ears toward you, which means they are super engaged, or amused as heck. I often get the latter when I am with the horses.
They find me funny, though for the life of me I don’t know why!
The opposite of all this happy, happy is ears flattened close to the head. When a horse lays her ears back it almost always means, “Back off Buddy.” It’s a warning to others to stay away. It can be the prelude to a nip or a kick.
It’s serious business.
Our sweet Miss P. is an expert at flattening her ears.
These days, she doesn’t hesitate for a moment about letting the other horses know when she’s not a happy camper. There is a whole crew of horses from the larger herd for whom she has no time. And when they come near, she unleashes the old flattened ears.
Sometimes she snorts for extra emphasis. She especially does NOT like any of these bad actors around when she’s eating.
Or when she’s going through the gate. That’s when we see something we’ve playfully dubbed, F**K eyes. And boy oh boy is she good at that. It’s “Back off Buddy” in spades.
Pepper has always been a no-nonsense kind of girl, but her lack of tolerance for her herd mates has escalated as she’s aged.
I can relate.
My husband tells me I have a human version of Pepper’s flattened ears.
When he sees it, his typical first response is “Uh oh.”
Which, come to think of it, is probably prudent!
How about you? Do you have your version of “the Look?”
Wish you could flatten your ears like Pepper?
There are certainly days I wish I could.