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Horse behavior and expression


This article is co-written by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliot, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and the treatment of companion animals. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. He has been working in the same animal clinic in his hometown for over 20 years.

The number of sources used in this article is 53. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

Have you ever thought about what a horse is trying to tell you or another horse? To communicate with people and other horses, horses use body language and sounds. To properly educate the horse and achieve favorable results, you will need to thoroughly study the habits and body language of the horse. By learning to understand the behavior and signals of a horse, you can establish a closer relationship with it and improve your relationship.

Every part of the body says a lot

To express their emotions and communication, horses use absolutely all parts of the body (ears, head, legs, tail, torso), as well as voice and smell. The horse, which lives in natural conditions, spends most of the time in the circle of relatives, slowly moving and eating grass. In these conditions, the most informative for relatives are changes in posture, such as:

- Changing the position of the head, neck, tail
- Change in torso position
- Changing the position of the limbs

A high head, a tail laid back, tense muscles, active forward movement, high jerky leg movements characterize activity, arousal, attention or stress.

A lowered head, relaxed muscles, slow, smooth, as if lazy, movements characterize passivity and relaxation, the absence of strong emotions, tension and stress. The tail of a relaxed horse hangs quietly.

However, a lowered head is not always a sign of relaxation and peace. The horse's head may be down, but if it keeps the neck tense, the muscles are not fully relaxed, and the tail is tightly pressed, then, together with a state of passivity and detachment, the horse may experience great stress, pain, stress or, for example, discomfort from bad weather.

A tense neck does not always mean discomfort. Pulling it forward, making wave-like movements with it, the mowing stallions (which have their own small “herd” of mares) collect the females scattered in different directions in a group (jamb). The tail laid back means tension, agitation, and the ears laid back show a threat to the rebellious mares, but the stallions usually do not show real aggression towards them.


Even today when The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was patched several times from head to toe and managed to acquire a GOTY-edition, Roach behavior sometimes causes undisguised surprise and misunderstanding. And only the players who tested the final part of the witcher’s virtual adventures trilogy in the first week after the release remember that the situation was even worse then. Unresponsive management intersected with the absolute absence thereof; the filly could out of the blue drop the rider and dash off into the distance and so on and so forth. The next patch, the developers have eliminated most of the problems, but the community does not forget misconduct. Fortunately in CDPR approached this with humor and recorded a video making fun of their own mistake. Also in it, the developers promised to give Roach an interesting role in complementing Blood and Wine. We’ll talk about it in the framework of this guide, passing the quest along the way What are the horses talking about!

Pinastree Desert

The side task is considered secret, that is, the game itself does not give any hints either in the form of an announcement on the board, or in the form of rumors. To start it, go to the mark Fork at Dun Tynne and move strictly to the northeast until you come across a lonely hut near the shore. An alternative is the mark Farm Bazan and the path northwest of it. Approaching a lonely hut, you will see an exclamation mark on the minimap ! , which marked an elderly dark-haired woman in a shabby hoodie. Her name is Pinastri and here is a surprise, she has a problem that only the witcher of level 44 and above can solve. The misfortune of Pinasti is connected either with a demon, or with a ghost that keeps you awake at night. The hermit knows for sure that the creature wants something from her, but cannot understand what exactly? Naturally, Geralt will have to deal with this. Before you take the order, take care of the presence of oil against ghosts, a more or less good silver sword and the best saddle for Roach.

First we need to wander around the Pinastri desert and look for clues. Inspection is limited to four objects: a bloodied pillow, a manifesto of flagellants, an ordinary fuselage, and dead moths at the threshold and under the window.

  • Bloody pillow. Let's start with the most important. On the recluse’s pillow, the witcher sees dried blood. Leaving the hut and following the bloody trail to the elven arch, where it breaks off, Geralt states a fact: a ghost really exists,
  • The manifesto of the flagellants. From the table, Geralt will pick up a leaflet of flagellants urging everyone to turn to faith and practice the Good Book. In fact, the philosophy of fanatics in the Witcher universe is fully consistent with that of our world. In the XIII century there was a movement with exactly the same name, the followers of which believed that by self-flagellation they blot out the sins of all mankind,
  • Common fusel. A strong hallucinogenic mushroom lying near the manifest. Geralt believed that they had died out a long time ago, but Pinastri explained to him that she had grown several from dried mushrooms. She believes that a decoction of them allows you to see the ghost, and therefore uses it in exorbitant amounts,
  • Dead moths. Two piles of dead moths lie at the entrance to the hut and under the window. According to popular beliefs, moths flock to the traces of an otherworldly presence like a fire.

After ascertaining the presence of an astral pursuer, the witcher will again turn to the hermit. Fight an adversary who cannot be seen at least difficult. Pinastri admits that for an ordinary person the ghost is invisible, but manifests itself to those who drink a decoction of special mushrooms. The recluse herself is tormented by a swill and tormented by headaches, but only in this way is she able to keep her eyes on the astral being. The obsession looks like a huge horse with black eyes, banging its hooves in the darkness, runs back, looks at the woman, and runs away to the unknown place in the morning. So we, it seems, can not do without broth. Aware of all the possible risks, Geralt will ask Pinastri to prepare a portion of the decoction for him from the remaining mushrooms and drink, because of which he will lose consciousness.

Side effects and more

It is not known how many Geralt fainted, but did not remain without kidneys. On the other hand, the decoction clearly influenced the witcher's mind in an unexpected way, because the first thing he hears would be a gruff male voice. Roaches. And how do you think the mare should sound ?! Alas, the scriptwriters apparently forgot that as a reward for finding Ciri, the emperor Nilfgaard will give Geralt a stallion. But this is so, nitpicking. The whip can be asked about why the witcher should whistle, and will she appear right away? In response, the horse only vaguely counters with a phrase like "we horses are like that", and in the appendage will also sing! For each variant of scoring, the corresponding motive was selected. For example, in the Russian version, Roach will sing an excerpt from a song call me with you, which gained wide popularity in the Soviet and post-Soviet expanses due to the performance of Alla Pugacheva, in English - the hit of David Bowie As the world falls down. Actually, from this moment the investigation will come under the control of the Roach and she will order Geralt to follow her, trying not to trample anything at the crime scene. So let's do it!

The roach will spin around the hermit for a short while and stop near the window. The smell emanating from the dead moths is familiar to Plotva - she sensed it in the Vozimsky cemetery, during the hunt of Geralt for the ghouls bothering the grave digger. This implies that since the events of the first game, the witcher did not change the horse and, in principle, this would be possible if it were not for one “but”. As I already said, under a certain set of circumstances, the hero will transfer from a bay mare to a black Nilfgaard stallion, who certainly does not know about the adventures of five years ago. It will also turn out that Roach all this time saw a ghost. And now Geralt noticed him. Oh yes, one more thing. I know that the temptation to visit the nearest farm and check the effect of the elixir on local livestock is great, but do not go far from the Pinasti hut, otherwise fail the quest. But when you return to the hermit you will find out that Plotvichka managed to solve the problem on her own.

Hassle (Eng. Umbra) - mythical creatures that appear in Slavic and European mythology as evil spirits that cause bad dreams in sleeping people. Geralt had previously met a relative of the hassle, Marasaving wife Blood Baron from the clutches of the Witches from Krivoukh Marsh. In the Witcher’s universe, their concept has somewhat changed for the sake of the plot: the souls of the dead become tormented, tormented by guilt for the acts committed during life. They can take any form, in this case, the trouble seems to us to be a steed, which raises a reasonable question: how did he drink Pinastri’s blood at all? I mean, the very fact that he made his way inside the hut every night is easily explained by a ghostly essence, but the hermit couldn’t confuse a horse bite with a klopin or mosquito. And anyway, why. Oh look, Morok is leaving! On the horses!

The pursuit of Morokh is a real storehouse of jokes. If you rush straight from a conditional start, Roach will advise you to save energy, because it is not known how long it will take to run. Looking ahead, I’ll say that it’s not so far, but the ghost will not make any concessions to the pursuers and will also make a career ride all the way. That is why at the beginning of the guide I advised you to prepare a good saddle. In the case of hiding Morok from sight, the task will fail and, having given the last joke, the horse will return to the usual “prrru” and “yoke”. Among other things, the aforementioned unresponsiveness of the control and the time to become a local meme phrase will fall under the ridiculeStir, Roach "!

Evil takes on a face

In the end, Morok will lead us to the desolate cemetery at Moncran. The segment personally reminded me of the game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimor rather, the Easter Headless Horseman, who ends his journey at the place of burial of his own darling. The ghost horse will dissolve in the air, and two panthers will appear to replace it. They are frail, but dexterous - this is what they take. Try at the very beginning of the battle to put on a protective sign Quen and oil the blade against ghosts. As soon as the first pair of overgrown cats die, the exact same second pair will appear. To kill them, again, is quite simple, the main thing is not to swoop in and stay in the open, not allowing yourself to be driven to the wall of the crypts. This action will be accompanied by the comments of Plotvichka, albeit not helping in the battle, but providing moral support to "his man."

Having quenched the fury of Morocco, we must examine the grave in the center of the cemetery. Here one found eternal peace, one Marcello Clerici, the same age as Pinasti, who died last year. And it doesn’t matter that the Skelling warrior is engraved on the tombstone of the Tussent knight, this is just another nitpicking. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a couple of steps from the witcher materializes the ghost of this same Marcello. During the dialogue, it turns out that Marcello knew Pinasti from childhood and was in love with her. A native of a peasant family saw that the future follower of the flagellant philosophy was always sad, fearing the world around her, so he did everything to get the object of sigh out of poverty. Trying to impress, Clerici took part in the races, but lost and blamed the horse for everything. Kara was harsh - the miner scored a beautiful stallion Lysko with a whip in front of Pinasti. The hermit casually mentioned that she became a flagellant hoping to atone for the suffering of a living creature who had once been the victim of the vanity of another, so that everything converges. She still has not forgiven her old friend for his cruel act, which is why Klerichi involuntarily turned into Moroka and could not leave the other world correctly. Only forgiveness can free him from a terrible ghostly mask. The witcher has to decide whether to grant pardon to the knight on behalf of Pinastri or not?

  • It’s not for you to ask for forgiveness → Forgive him if you can. Geralt will turn to the Roach and leave the choice for her. The filly will condemn Marcello’s deed, but will also say that the horses are not vindictive by nature and will generously forgive the knight.
  • You did not deserve mercy. The witcher will consider that Marcello does not deserve forgiveness. To expel the ghost will have to be more traditional methods.

Marcello in terms of health is similar to the leader of the bandits close to your level and is armed with a long spear, therefore blocking his attacks is pointless. Bounce better (default left Alt) and deliver quick attacks with a silver sword, previously oiled against ghosts. All witch signs work on the astral knight, they will prove especially useful Aard and Axy . Why they? Yes, because they knock the enemy off balance or stun him, not allowing them to strike. In general, Marcello is driven out without unnecessary difficulties. Despite the fact that after defeating the flayer Geralt immediately went to Pinasti, without the possibility of covering up the remains and rummaging around the cemetery at Moncran, the witcher would not leave empty-handed - the trophy from the Nightmare miraculously materializes in his inventory . It looks like a whip, referring to the story of a horse stricken to death, and with a 5% probability it will add an additional instance of any plant selected by the witcher. The bonus does not apply to herbs and flowers purchased from merchants, but it will come in handy for avid florists.

So, the thing is done, it's time to return to the hermit. I note that there is no difference as such in the outcome of the meeting with the spirit of Marcello: Morok will retreat, and the bag of the monster killer will be replenished with 60 potatoes. Nevertheless, the “military” denouement of history will not permanently drive out the ghostly pursuer and Geralt will warn Pinastri that he may return in time. Upon learning that the flayer was tormenting her all this time, she will declare that she will continue to suffer rather than forgive him. But the peaceful ending gives the woman complete freedom. The effect of the decoction will cease, Roach will be silent, and the task will end on a happy or not very good note. It remains to figure out where to put the potatoes? Pinastri provides trading services and sells various ingredients of plant origin, but initially does not have a single crown in stock. Either buy something from her (and the assortment has a rich assortment) and sell a substantial reward as part of barter, or use the food for its intended purpose. By the way, opposite the pier there is a cave converted into a cellar. There, in baskets, about the same amount of potatoes is littered as the witcher will receive from Pinastri.


So the developers laughed at themselves, and even gave the faithful fans the opportunity to laugh with them. Despite the shoals and inaccuracies noticed by my picky eyes and described in the article, it is clear that the side quest was created and worked out with love, so considering yourself an avid witcher and not passing it is a real blasphemy! Well, when will you have another chance to have a word with a faithful Plotvichka who has passed fire, water and portals with Geralt?

Yawn and more.

Faced with an unusual, unfamiliar, interesting smell, the horse extends its head upward, the upper lip rises strongly, opening the upper incisors and gums, eyes and ears rotate on the sides. A blinking membrane appears in the front of the eye. At the peak of movement, the head occupies an almost horizontal position. In less than a minute, the head takes its usual position.

However, this is not a smile, as we would like to think. This is called a Flashman reaction or “flemen”. The fact is that inside the horse’s nose is a “Jacobson’s organ,” which can pick up odors even in the smallest concentrations. The same organ helps in the assessment, recognition of smell. For example, stallions sniff very carefully if they suddenly discover the smell of a mare in estrus.

Horses, like humans, can yawn. In this case, the head position relaxes, both in standing and lying position, the mouth begins to open, while raising and stretching the head, the horse takes a deep breath.

She closes her eyes or slightly covers them when the yawn reaches a peak. When the mouth is wide open, the lower jaw can make lateral movements from side to side. Relaxed ears move forward. Когда зевок завершается и следует выдох.

Тактильные ощущения

Удовольствия тоже не чужды лошадям. Кожа – один из самых восприимчивых органов чувств лошади. Такие животные чувствуют мельчайшие прикосновения, например, когда на нее садится насекомое. Лошади любят прикосновения и умеют наслаждаться тактильными ощущениями. Почесывание – вот что нужно для блаженства.

Это могут быть и легкие прикосновения, и почесывание с сильным нажимом. Many horses love to be scratched in different parts of the body: behind the ear, on the withers, on the neck, on the back, etc. At the same time, the upper lip stretches and shakes the horse, the ears are oriented sideways, can be slightly brought together and directed upward, head elongated and possibly turned to the side. The horse is leaning on a stimulating object. She can scratch herself, for example, about the fence, or she can “ask” to scratch a fellow. In this case, the horses become close and scratch each other's teeth, starting from the withers. This "mutual grooming" usually offers the youngest in rank, and ends the procedure - the eldest. A person can also bring tactile pleasure to a pet.

How the horse relaxes

In order to rest calmly, horses must feel absolutely safe. It is carried out in the herd by sentries who do not sleep and do not eat food, but vigilantly monitor the surroundings. After some time, the sentinels are replaced by other horses. So the surroundings always remain under surveillance.

In a new place, the horse often does not go to bed, but only snoozes. Such animals can doze both standing and lying on their chest. The neck drops horizontally, the eyes are half-closed, the ears relax, take a lateral position and stop moving, the lower lip protrudes. It is believed that the phase of deep sleep occurs only when the horse lies on its side. Therefore, with stable housing, it is very important that the stalls are large enough so that the animal can lie on its side freely, with legs stretched out to the sides. Only then can she really get enough sleep.

Since in the modern world a horse is wholly and completely dependent on a person in its existence, our first duty is to provide it with the most comfortable conditions. Moreover, comfort by horse standards can differ markedly from comfort in the human sense.

In addition to proper horse nutrition, you need a lot of light, sun, air and especially communication with other horses. These animals are social and for their physical and psychological health, contact with each other is much more necessary than with humans. A horse communicates with people the way it would communicate with another horse. And in the equine community, hierarchy plays a huge role. Authority gives security, and hierarchy prevents confusion. Absolutely equal relations with the horse as a partner are not possible. A person must be a leader in these relationships. And for a relationship to be productive, trust is needed, which is based on understanding, “feeling” each other.

Horses are good observers; they have long learned how to "read" the language of the human body. To speak the same language, one must learn to understand this animal. With the help of a developed body language, the horse will always show us what emotions she experiences. It is only necessary to show patience and attention.