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The Language of Ears

Alert and interested

Alert and interested

Sleepy, tired, unwell or

Sleepy, tired, unwell or submissive

Relaxed, unwell or bored

Relaxed, unwell or bored

Angry and aggressive

Angry and aggressive

Horses are very sensitive to sound and can hear high and low pitched noises that humans cannot hear. Their hearing is also sharper than that of humans. They can hear things before a human does and pick up sounds from further away.

A horse's ears are very expressive. Their position tells us what sort of mood a horse is in. The diagrams on the left show the four main ear positions and what they mean.

Ears in the Museum

  • Can you find examples of each ear position in the Museum?

  • Look at the statues, models, pictures, paintings and photos. When you have found an example of each, write down where you found it. One or two ear positions are more difficult to find that the others!

Ears Online

  • Have a look at the 'Language of Ears' gallery. Look closely at the horse's ears. Can you tell what sort of mood each horse is in?

  • Choose one picture and make a list of words to describe how you think the horse is feeling. Explain to a partner why you think the horse feels this way.

  • Your face gives a message. Draw the expressions you would make if you felt like the horses in these pictures.

  • What else do you do to let other people know what you are feeling? Make your own list and then discuss with your partner.

Classroom task: Discuss 'body language & communication'.
As a guide this pre-visit activity can link well to the following National Curriculum programmes of study: KS2 Science - Sc2 Life processes and living things KS2 PSHE KS2 English - 1.2e & 1.3 KS2 Literacy Links KS2 Art & Design / Breadth of Study 5.d KS2 History - Historical interpretation.

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