The “Tell-Tail” Signs

The way a horse carries its tail is a big clue to how the horse is feeling. There are six basic emotions the horse will reveal by the carriage of the tail.  A softly curved tail means the horse is relaxed and content. A tail clamped tight to the bum is a horse feeling fearful. A swishing tail signals annoyance while a wringing tail is definitely anger.  A tail carried high or up straight is a “yippee”, “I’m hot stuff” tail.  A stiff, slightly angled tail is a horse that is suspicious or lacking trust.  When working with a horse, awareness of these “tell-tail” signs gives insight into his expression so that we may respond with appropriate body language.