Tuffy – the miniature horse, jamming to Elvis music until he realized he was being filmed

Did you ever see a dancing or jamming horse? If not, look at this cute one enjoying a good song. Also, if you didn’t know, horses hate jazz — and apparently, they are not that keen on rock music either. They find jazz particularly distracting and upsetting, with rock also increasing stress levels. Classical and country music, however, have a calming effect, and they can really enjoy it, like this cute miniature horse.

By correctly using music, we can help our horses be more docile and willing to work with us. Although horses’ hearing is similar to humans’ hearing, they can detect sounds at higher and lower pitches than we can.

Moreover, horses prefer being in a barn with music as opposed to one without. Playing music helps balance equine behavior because it helps mask outside sounds and vibrations, such as tractor engines, high-pitched tools, thunder, and other intense sounds. They can dance to classical music. Some horses, like Lipizzaners, can be trained in advanced dressage movements and do complex, choreographed routines. Dressage is called “the highest expression of horse training” and involves the rider and their horse performing a routine.

One benefit of playing music for your horse is the calming effect. A calm, relaxed horse is not as likely to display dangerous behaviors, thus keeping themselves and us safer. Music can be a useful tool for keeping horses calm. If we teach our horses to associate music with being relaxed, we can use music during stressful situations to help our equine friends cope with stress. Also, playing music in the barn can help mask irritating sounds, such as thunderstorms and fireworks.

You want the music to have a calming effect. Remember, they have better hearing than we do, so do not have the volume up loud. Blaring the music at the top volume will have the opposite effect of calm. Once your horse starts to associate music with being calm, you can use it during different situations to help them stay relaxed. Examples are farrier and veterinary visits, or hauling in a trailer, like in the video.

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