A horse hello is a test of leadership.
How do horses say, “Hello”? A new gelding (a male horse) has come to the Kenner Ranch, and is being introduced to the horses that live on the ranch in a herd.
When they first meet, the horses arch their necks and snort. They paw and strike out into the air. Sometimes a horse yells. At other times one of them squeals. Sometimes they bite or kick at each other, although they don’t necessarily connect. As they perform their horse greeting, each looks for signs of intimidation in the other. At their first meeting, each horse will demonstrate some level of strength and confidence if they want to assume a position of leadership within the herd. Greetings give the newly acquainted horses information about each other that will help them determine which horse is going to be dominant, and which one will follow the other’s lead. Once they are acquainted, one of the horses will be the leader, and the other will be the follower. A young horse might not arch its neck and snort during the horse hello. Such a young horse will assume a subordinate position in the herd until they are older.