While horses rely most on body language to communi- cate, the noises they make are also meaningful. There are four types of equine vocal communications: the whinny, nicker, snort and squeal. Each one has a precise meaning, and the sounds mean the same thing each time, for every horse.
whin•ny; /(h)win /
a loud, high-pitched neigh.
What it is: The whinny is a social
call. In the wild, the whinny is how
horses find one another. Each horse
has a distinctive whinny that you
(and other horses) can tell apart.
What it Means: This call means,
“Where are my friends?” Or, “Who is
willing to be my friend?” The horse is
When your horse is talking,
here’s how to listen and respond.
BY JULIE GOODNIGHT WITH HEIDI NYLAND MELOCCO