Training Translations: What Your Dog Can Learn From A Horse Whisperer

Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Allison Price

Horse whispering may be a new term to you or something you already know. It’s not often that you come across a horse whisperer.

A horse whisperer can’t simply converse with a horse, dog, or other animal and get it to do what he wants it to do magically. It’s much more complex and requires training, time, and effort. 

If you are new to horse whispering, here is a guide on who a horse whisperer is, how horse whispering is related to dog training, and what your dog can learn from him.

Who Is A Horse Whisperer?

A horse whisperer is a horse trainer who has mastered the non-verbal communication technique of horses and can understand and respond to it accordingly. It is a beneficial skill that can help traumatized horses conquer deep-rooted anxieties. 

A horse whisperer masters this skill with years of knowledge and experience by closely monitoring and observing horses in the wild.

Through observations, they create behavioral patterns that enable them to identify and imitate a horse’s body language.

A horse whisperer aims at correctly interpreting a horse’s emotions that it doesn’t show through sounds and other audible indicators.

The Origins Of Horse Whispering

Horse whispering originated in opposition to the abusive training techniques used in the early days to ‘break in’ a horse.

The goal of horse training in the early days was to dominate the animal using aggressive and forceful methods.

Some of these cruel methods included tying up the horse, blindfolding it, whipping its back, and many other aggressive forms of treatment.

The evolution of animal rights and foundations related to this subject stopped these barbaric acts and training methods.

Horse whispering is said to have been around since the 1900s. However, Monty Robers popularized horse whispering as a method of natural horsemanship in his book “The Man Who Listens to Horses”, written in 1996. 

The Foundation Of A Good Horse Whisperer

A good horse whisperer should take a calm and confident approach to handling horses.

Horses are intelligent animals, so you must act and communicate confidently by being an effective leader that doesn’t resort to aggressive disciplinarian methods.

Here’s how you can prove that you are an excellent horse whisperer.

Your Body Language

The use of correct body language is crucial to win the heart and respect of the horse. Use gentle pressure when giving commands to it. Avoid kicking and using unnecessary force on it to get its attention.

Use low, hushed tones when communicating with the horse to confidently show exemplary leadership skills and use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.

Horses love it when you gently massage their nose, mouth, and ears and give them a treat now and then.

Listen To Your Horse

A good horse whisperer looks for subtle features that indicate changes, even in complex animals. He is committed towards understanding and responding to the animal’s needs.

He should spend adequate time with the horse and pay attention to its body language to understand how they sense things and behave accordingly.

Observe Your Horse’s Facial Features And Expressions

Here are some of the facial expressions that give clues as to how horses are feeling at that moment:

  • A horse holding its head high means it’s afraid or anxious about something, while it feels relaxed if its head is hanging low.
  • Widely-opened eyes indicate that the horse is alert, while half-opened eyes suggest that it is sleepy.
  • A horse that feels threatened or alarmed will flare its nostrils and prick forward its ears.
  • A horse that is alert and listening to something will have its ears to the side or one ear back, while a relaxed horse will have its ears slightly forward.

Horse Whispering Basics

Horse whispering basics come down to three things:


Experience and education go hand in hand, as experience is nothing without education and vice versa.

Experience and education, coupled with factors like critical thinking, can significantly enhance a person’s ability to become a good horse whisperer.


Empathy is another vital factor to consider when you are a horse whisperer. You should not be heavy-handed to understand better how your horse is feeling.

A horse whisperer should be able to show empathy and balance the dog’s and his needs in a complimentary manner.


Leadership is the critical factor in horse whispering. However, it should not occur in a dominating manner. Instead, a horse whisperer should focus on a more cooperative and empathetic approach.

The horse should not be confused as to who the leader is. A horse would prefer and be comfortable with a compassionate owner and leader.

Horse And Dog Training Similarities

Some essential features of horse training can also be used in dog training. For instance, horse training encourages trainers to be mindful of keeping horses from running over them once they’ve established a relationship with the animal.

Horse training methods focus on understanding how these animals see the world and converting what you want them to do into signals they can understand.

The same ‘body blocking’ technique can be used in dog training. You can ask your dog to ‘stay’ by first reinforcing a short break in its behavior with food. You can also use your body as a shield to stop it if it begins to get up before being asked to.

Dog training is best done using the correct tools, as dogs are stubborn as horses when training. Click here to learn about the best dog training tools to use. 

Final Thoughts

A horse whisperer is not simply a person who can magically speak to horses and understand them. Becoming a good horse whisperer takes a lot of training, effort, and dedication.

A horse whisperer should possess specific leadership qualities that exude confidence and compliments his empathetic characteristics.

Horse whispering is all about understanding how a horse is feeling at that moment: whether it’s feeling sad, anxious, afraid, or excited.

Techniques used in horse training can be used in dog training to conduct successful training sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Meaning Of Horse Whispering?

A horse trainer adopts a sympathetic outlook of the horse’s needs, motives, and desires based on modern psychological factors.

What Is The Use Of A Horse Whisperer?

A horse whisperer is a perceptive horse trainer who has mastered the technique of nonverbal communication with horses to conquer deep-rooted anxieties.

Can Anyone Be A Horse Whisperer?

Horse whisperers should be able to put the horse’s needs before their own and handle it empathetically. They should study and become a horse trainer apprentice or get a specialized diploma in horse training.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!