What is a horse cry?

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By Rachel

Quick Peek:

Horses are quite the communicators! They use different sounds to chat with each other and their owners. When they “neigh,” it’s a high-pitched sound that can mean different things, like calling out to their pals or expressing their emotions. On the other hand, when they make a “nan” sound, it’s a soft, low-pitched noise that indicates they’re feeling relaxed and comfy. However, some folks think it could also be a sign of pain or discomfort. So, keep an ear out for your equine friend’s vocal cues!

What is a Horse Cry?

If you are a horse enthusiast, you might have heard a horse neighing or making a “nan” sound. But what is a horse cry, and why do horses make different sounds?


Neighing is one of the most recognizable sounds that horses make. It is a high-pitched sound that horses make by exhaling through their nostrils. Horses usually neigh to communicate with other horses or to get the attention of their owners.

When a horse neighs, it can mean different things depending on the situation. For example, if a horse is separated from its herd, it might neigh to call out to its companions. If a horse is excited or agitated, it might also neigh to express its emotions.

Neighing is also a way for horses to establish their dominance or hierarchy within a group. In this case, a horse might neigh to assert its position or to challenge another horse’s authority.


Another sound that horses make is a “nan” sound. This is a soft, low-pitched sound that horses make by closing their mouths and vibrating their vocal cords. Unlike neighing, nan is a sound that horses make when they are content or relaxed.

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When a horse makes a nan sound, it can indicate that the horse is feeling comfortable and at ease. Horses might make this sound when they are grooming each other or when they are enjoying a relaxing moment in the sun.

Some people also believe that horses make a nan sound when they are in pain or discomfort. In this case, the nan sound might be a way for the horse to self-soothe or to communicate its distress to its owner.


Overall, a horse cry is a way for horses to communicate with each other and with their owners. Neighing and nan are just two examples of the many sounds that horses can make, each with their own unique meanings and contexts.

As a horse enthusiast, it is important to pay attention to your horse’s vocalizations and body language to better understand their needs and emotions. By doing so, you can build a stronger bond with your horse and provide them with the care and attention that they deserve.

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