Horses And Music

by Elaine Polny
(Palgrave, Ontario, Canada)

Tibetan Singing Bowl

Tibetan Singing Bowl

Tibetan Singing Bowl
The wooden hammer used to make the bowl sing!

Have you ever wondered how horses react to music? Do they like music? If so, is there a preference to the kind of music genre? Well, I have done some experiments regarding this and here are my findings thus far:

Horses do not play musical instruments. Well Duh! They do not create instruments of any kind for use. (i.e. Or like the monkeys who discovered that a rock can break open a food source, this falls more under the use of tools, but you know what I'm getting at.)

The most natural thing to consider then is to Horses music is just noise!


When I play music in my arena (which is totally wired with a great sound system, thanks to my son Dayne who is a musician and has his own recording studio in my barn!) here's what happens..........

The music becomes a bridge of the resonance or vibration of the energy I am omitting as a result of hearing it. In other words, if I was to play something I do not enjoy (for me that could be classical genres or a song that makes me feel sad) the result is a horse that feels what I am feeling and reacts to it. There is a common saying these days that "horses are our mirrors". It's true with many other avenues as well.
Yet, when I play something that really resonates with me and makes me feel good, the reaction from the horse is noted with the same reflection!

In general, really hard rock, punk rock etc, appears to be just noise to horses, they do prefer something more calming when forced to listen to it. :0) (I do not advocate those who leave a radio on in the barn, it's ridiculous to think that horse love any music we have produced! Peace and quiet is what they love most!) But I have notice how they can tune out, the sounds they don't resonate with. I respond positively to most classic rock, so when I put something on that makes me feel inspired, jacked up and happy, my time with horses is a blast! And they don’t seem to mind one bit about the noise!

I also enjoy some (very specific not all under this category) called new age music for me this is the music that sounds like a choir of angels singing or Tibetan bowls singing. Speaking of Tibetan singing bowls, I have one and this is what I did with it.......

Oh, but maybe I should explain what a Tibetan Singing Bowl is in case you haven't heard of them.

Singing Bowls are often used in meditation and/or ritual practice. It is said that they produce the sacred sound of "OM". They come in many different sizes causing them to give off a different musical note. To make them sing, you use a wooden hammer and place it on the rim while circling the top of the bowl with it. The sound is very hard to explain, but it really makes you feel at peace while hearing it! Always reminds me of angels singing!

Okay, back to the pasture.....

I went out amongst the herd and started making the bowl sing. At first, all the horses looked at me with wonderment and curiosity because the tone is so specific and so different than what they would normally hear in the pasture. Within seconds they came closer, then as we all took in the calming vibration, a sense of "being as one" fell over all of us and the whole area. The horses lowered their heads just for a moment as if to acknowledge and agree in the positive vibration felt. Then all went quickly and quietly back to what seemed like every day life. It was quick, but very powerful moment of just feeling life in the most peaceful state.

For me, what was noted most obvious with music and horses is the same for mankind. When I feel good and offer positive energy then those around me mirror the same positive energy back. The Law of Attraction; that which is like unto itself is drawn, becomes very evident.

Please share with us your experiences with horses and music that you have discovered too!

Elaine Polny

Comments for Horses And Music

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Sep 30, 2011
Horses and Music
by: Trish

I too have a sound system in my arena and I play music all the time for the horses, even when riding. I myself love music and always try to play instrumental music be it sound tracks from musicals or just quiet and angelic. I have a 28 year old Arabian who actually walks in beat to the music bobbing his head and lifting his gorgeous tail as though he is in a musical show or something but all my horses love the music. I was told by an old time horse person years ago that horses love music, at first I thought this person was a bit "off the wall" but not so. I also find when I have quiet music playing in the house that the dogs seem to really enjoy it.

Oct 04, 2011
How can we know for sure if horses "love" music?
by: Elaine Polny

I tend to be a deep thinker so what I'm endeavoring to look more closely at is the idea of "why we think horses like" or "love" music.

Does a horse walk to the rhythm of the music, or is the music in harmony with the rhythm of the horse that is being played? Since many horses have a different rhythm while walking and such, do we need a different song for different horse gates? Don't get me wrong, I do think they enjoy music but I think it is more than just the music but the harmony or positive vibration given off or being heard that they find enjoyable. Could there be a relationship to the rhythms of nature like the rain falling, leaves rustling, breeze blowing or the sound a babbling brook makes? Those are sounds I think our horses are naturally connected to and our music could be another resonance of this (at least I hope it is). Could it be the music that offers the noises that respond in nature to be of most value to our horses? I wonder if people have become quite disconnected to the rhythms of nature.

I'm curious Trish, what makes you feel your dogs enjoy the music in the house? Would they do the same thing if the music wasn't playing? Dogs and horses may react differently to this subject all together I suppose too. Any thoughts?

Nov 28, 2011
by: no name

I am going to do an experimaent on this.

Nov 28, 2011
Please share your findings
by: Elaine Polny

Looking forward to hearing about your experiment! Do share your discoveries.

Nov 29, 2011
my daughter sings
by: Anonymous

my 6 year old daughter recently began horse riding lessons here in the UK and straight away she had no fear at all about being close to the horses. I've noticed when she is standing next to the horse waiting for the teacher to help her onto saddle my daughter sings to the horse. Last week she was stood for 10 minutes next to the horse holding it reins (the paddock lights had gone out and the teacher and I were trying to fix them) and she spent the whole time singing songs about God and Christmas to the horse. It was very sweet and I noticed the horse lowering his head and closing his eyes slightly as she sang to him. The woman standing behind me who normally rides him said she'd never seen him look so happy. The horse was definately enjoying my daughters calm sweet energy she was sending him through song.

Nov 29, 2011
Children and horses
by: Elaine Polny

Oh, I just love this story! Thank you for sharing it!
Children are so connected (and stay longer)to their pure loving inner energy and offer it up more often and willingly to all beings. We can learn a wonderful lesson from this beautiful little girl who shows us the way to a horse's heart, through harmony and pure positive unconditional love!

Apr 02, 2012
singing to horses
by: Janiene NZ

Thank you Elaine for your comments on my story re Spencer - horses do have reasoning power.

Annoyomous, your daughter sounds like my kinda person. That is so sweet. We had a horse on a the equine course I did who was the King of SPOOK. I came off him the day before,(A barrel was going to eat him) so decided that I would sing to him, to see if that would help. "You are my sunshine" worked a charm. I got around our 600 metre track twice with out one look. Absolutely amazing for that horse. He was definitely a one person horse. I tried it on my horse at a later date when he got a bit uptight. He didn't like that song- he preferred Bob Marley's "Every little things gonna Be alright." (he actually got worse until I found a song he liked.) They obviously have their preferences.

Jul 14, 2012
I always thought that they might like waltzs
by: Anonymous

A lot of trainers speak about dancing with your horse. They have not exactly explained to me the exact "beat" of the dance.

I have always wanted to study 3 quater timing or waltz when sharing equine space. I have a hunch that this rhythm might be better than 4-4 beat or cut time.

A lot of stuff happens in 3's when one is around the equine.

Apr 09, 2016
by: Anonymous

Absollutly agree with your comments about the bowls and diferent meditation instruments.

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