How Does Your Horse Play?


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Just curious on your viewpoints.

Today Jack and another horse played in the school, they are both extremely playful types.

They practically mirrored each other, i wondered does a certain personality type play the same way, since horses are simple and the brain is the size of a walnut (i think) For nh peeps they are both left brain extroverts.

My pony went one further and bowed on two knees. I took that to mean submissive, but friend took it as lets play, what do you think? Does your bow down?

Wish i'd got photo! I'm kicking myself now!


Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
North west
Im not sure what sided mine are as Ive not looked at the chart for ages...

She bucks and waves her head about but doesnt necessarily have to go anywhere.. Rascal runs like the wind, not really bucking, just cantering with head held hgh making his pig noise :D She then runs after him. She gets him all excited when she bucks about or rolls, and then he goes bananas!

Ocassionally he goes bananas by himself, but she rarely chases him or even ackowledges him going bananas. Shes changed a lot over the last nearly 12 months, is it possible to change left/right brain etc? Shes become really materal with little man, its tres cute.


Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2003
My horses don't play with each other, I don't really think they like each other much apart from Ceryn and Kiki.

Sofi P

New Member
Jan 2, 2008
my horse is funny when she first goes out after a day or two in, she has a desperate desire to roll, run, jump, and eat all at the same time and clearly cant work out which to do first! So she runs and jumps and bit, then throws herself on the floor to roll, then immediately jumps up and runs some more, complete with stag jumps and plenty of farts then she'll eat for a second, then run again... and repeat!

She'll also run up to another horse, snort at it as if she's asking if they want to play with her, and either they run around with her too or they go back to eating and she runs on to the next horse to ask the same question. Eventually they all settle down but it's really funny to watch at first!


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Popularfurball yes they can change from lb to rb in an instant, but they will predominately one or the other.

When Jack is scared he's rb, shoots backwards, head down silent, worried is a head down snort, i call it hypochondriac snort (no offense if anyone is on here)

We hacked out together and i could see they were itching to play, mirroring almost when we were out.

Jack will play with any horse that'll play with him.


New Member
May 25, 2008
My daughters pony will play with anyone that wants to play, he really likes to nip another horse on the bum, so that he will chase him, he is like the equine version of Julian Clary, "oh go on chase me":D:D
My shetland Surprise usually obliges.

My boy Bertie doesn't hardly ever play, if the others are playing he looks on rather disdainfully, or has a kip.


I think geldings play and mares don't generally, it's certainly the way things are in our herd. You never see the mares stallion fighting or nipping each other, the only time they normally get excited is if they have a gallop about :)


lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
New Zealand
Yann's theory definitely fits our lot! We've currently got 1 stallion, 8 geldings and 11 mares. Most of the mares are not playful in the slighest - the only exception is one of the female Shetlands, whose "play" involves lots of galloping but not much by way of physical interaction with the other ponies.

The geldings, on the other hand, are a VERY playful bunch. Moreno and Jazz's idea of "play" is beating up other horses :rolleyes: Harvey attempts to play with his two fieldmates, who are both mares, with little response! The only opportunity he gets is when he's loose in the school with other geldings, when we use him in our Equine Therapy sessions - he and Piccolo do some boxing, some nipping, some kick-and-squealing, and Harvey loves to drive Piccolo around the school until Piccolo's out of breath! The three Shetland geldings are also extremely playful. The only gelding who isn't playful is Perdido who is an OAP and a gentleman and prefers to watch the action from a distance :cool:

Macho the stallion (who is only 12hh but thinks he's much, much bigger :p) mixes very well with the Shetland geldings and Piccolo so we often put them in the school together so they can all have a good old play. Macho and Stardust are good buddies and follow each other around like lovesick puppies :eek: while Piccolo occasionally butts in and initiates a play-fight involving plenty of half-hearted kicking and some seriously loud squealing. The other two Shetlands will join in when something kicks off but they're never involved in initiating it.

The mares much prefer to stand around gossiping :D

Sparky Lily

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2008
Yell, Shetland
I once saw 2 horses (my Harvey was one of them) mirror image playing along the electric fence line between them - they kept this up for several minutes. Harvey used to like rough games when he was turned out with geldings. He is now turned out with one mare, with another 2 mares in the adjoining paddock, separated by electric tape, though it not always switched on. He will roll, buck and gallop a bit to start with, but then settles to grazing while the mares let rip all round him.

The shetlands, Grace and Eggwub, play tag. One tries to bit the other's bum and the other tries to escape. They take it in turns to be chaser and chasee. The game involves a lot of rushing about and quick turns. Grace usually wins as she can stop and turn quicker than Eggwub, and can outstrip him at gallop!


Active Member
Mar 8, 2007
Knee deep in muck
Beau goes up to others and bites them: if they don't respond, he ambles off for grass (or runs the heck away when the huge 17'2 WB gallops after him!) He and another cob neck wrestle and rear at each other and if he's with a youngster in the school, they'll run flat out together.


Active Member
Mar 1, 2005
My boy is very playful with his best mate, they bite each others neck and wrestle each other to the ground, lots of running around and rearing at each other :rolleyes:

The 2 others in the field aren't that playful, ones an older TB and the other prefers to be eating ;) When I go and get my boy in sometimes he will run to the horse that prefers to be eating and goes to bite his back legs and then runs off (to me this seems a pretty dangerous place to be!) but he does it quite often. Anyone know why he does this? :confused:


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Laura i can only think it's about who moves whose feet, so maybe he is trying to make the other horse move, or he wants a new set of teeth when he gets kicked in chops:)

Does anyone know why my pony bows down onto his knees, i've used this to my advantage though, i know you go down so s t r e t c h for that carrot!


Active Member
Apr 25, 2008
My boys love to play. They will nod their heads up and down at each other and play bite and then Victory will rear up playfully and then they both run around, Victory chasing Harvey. Then Harvey will start the head nodding thing again and start it all off again.

Lovely to see :D


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Our pair play, first thing when they are turned out together. Lovely to watch, Joe goes down for a roll while Storm circles him at a mad gallop with her tail up like a brush! Then she does the rolling thing and he does the same!!! They generally buck up at each other for a while then settle to eat together.


Well-Known Member
May 27, 2007
Well Harvey likes to play with me more then Piccolo :eek: His version of playing is to run around with a pansy welsh trot with a lot of suspension, head in the air and tail kinked over his back, nostrils HUGE. He also likes to make 'pig' noises. He also likes to gallop up and down and do a really elevated canter (that he reckons he can't do under saddle)

Piccolo...LOVES playing so sort of throws the mare thing out the window. She nips Harveys neck and bum, also pulls his tail if he isn't taking any notice or tries to bite his legs. Oh and she likes to gallop as fast as she can while bucking and squealing. Sometimes she runs so fast she falls over her own feet lol. Add to that a few sliding stops and she suddenyl makes you look like this:eek: when you think of her as a future lead rein pony (although she doesn't behave at all like this under saddle). Both ponies also like to play who can run who into the fence:D

oh and she also likes to wait until Harvey is laying down or rolling and then loves to unexpectadly roll on top of him

the only time I've seen a horse kneel down was when it wanyted to play with something a lot smaller then him, Harvey will do it sometimes if Pic bites his neck he'll kneel down to encourage her to play.


New Member
Nov 11, 2008
I have four mares and one gelding. The two big mares will rear, buck, bronc, twist and gallop, the two little mares tend to run about throwing the odd buck in although the Shetland mare will rear and bite and try to initiate play with our gelding who generally tells her to 'go away'. I think he is the sanest out of all them :D


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
the only time I've seen a horse kneel down was when it wanyted to play with something a lot smaller then him, Harvey will do it sometimes if Pic bites his neck he'll kneel down to encourage her to play.

Jack is 14hh other horse is 15.2hh, someone said it's what colts do, Jack does like to think he is a stallion at times.

He does the bambi canter all legs off the floor all at same time and skips across the field.:confused:
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
a+e does your horse play up when flies about? General 17
J Does horse-riding require a cell phone 'hands-free' microphone? Horse Care 14
Penny4thot Why does my horse clack her teeth and fidget when I groom her? Horse Care 28
N How does a horse decide if it likes another one or not? Cafe 11
Star the Fell How long does it take your horse to dry? Cafe 4
N How much does your horse think? Cafe 11
G Does your horse discriminate against other coat colours? Breeds, Colouring and Genetics 11
V Why does my horse put his head down when I canter him.What do I do with my outside leg when turning Cafe 2
N How does a boy horse know it's seen a girl horse :) Cafe 7
N What does your horse lack confidence in? Cafe 16
N Does Your Horse/Pony Groom Others? Cafe 29
Hope Price How much does your horse cost a year? Cafe 8
N Does your horse get "excited" Training of the Horse and Rider 19
Mary Poppins What evasions does your horse have? Training of the Horse and Rider 15
chunky monkey Standing in saddle whilst horse does business Metabolic 11
N Ok So I Have A Fat Arse! So Does My Horse! Cafe 26
tikkitti Does anyone enjoy reading horse ads. Cafe 0
tikkitti Does anyone enjoy reading horse ads. Cafe 20
sophie33 does your horse eat while spooking? Cafe 6
Trewsers Does the horse smell go or do we become immune?! Cafe 18
Trewsers How does your horse show their displeasure?! Cafe 23
N Does Your Horse Do This Head Swirl? Training of the Horse and Rider 22
sjp1 Does Anyone Else have an Unpredictable Horse?? Cafe 18
N What Does Your Horse Say About You? Cafe 25
WeeBarraxO Little things your horse does that make you smile Cafe 6
Mary Poppins What does your horse find the most exciting activity? Cafe 17
squidsin What does the term 'a sharp horse' mean to you? Cafe 20
Mary Poppins What does your horse wear for traveling? Transport and Travelling 19
T Does your horse protect you? Cafe 31
squidsin Loaning a horse - does tack go to? Cafe 51
Ale Does jumping harm your horse? Competing 20
N Does anyone's horse hate the schooling whip? Training of the Horse and Rider 33
Gattino How long does it take horse to dry after a bath? Horse Care 6
Dark Storm How does your horse tell you when it's time to come in? Cafe 25
N How do you see changes, how does your horse? Cafe 14
Mary Poppins Does everyone use a horse physio on a regular basis? Horse Care 24
Ale why does my horse fall onto his knees? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 21
N if your horse does this when you get on Cafe 14
Mary Poppins Does a fitter horse always mean a sharper horse?? Training of the Horse and Rider 45
N Does Your Horse Make Odd Noises-video Cafe 9
Mary Poppins Why does my horse wear front shoes? Hoof Care 14
Kite_Rider Horse body language - what does this mean? Cafe 7
Ale Does anyone else like horse 'transformation' vids?? Cafe 8
N What Does A Horse Learn From Watching? Training of the Horse and Rider 8
N What Does Your Horse / Pony Wear To Hack, Lead Out? Hacking 20
F a good hacking horse -- what does that mean to you? Hacking 15
Sparklie Does anyone have a horse named Solo?! Cafe 7
liz_scarlet Does nursing your horse make your bond stronger?? Cafe 19
EquineObsession How much does it cost to feed a horse Metabolic 19
Ale Does anyone want to share my horse? Cafe 0

Similar threads