There are several ways how Panti tells me what he wants. Sometimes he just does it, he also has very clear facial and body expressions, and sometimes he tells me telepathically.
One example is stopping because he wants to rather eat gras, which will be followed by pawing and demonstrably looking at the gras with an expression of longing. When his concentration or mine are not great, he might also just stop and graze. The summer before, he would sometimes also stop right outside the pasture when I went for a walk with him, which meant he really did not want to go on a walk. When I asked him to come along then, he would offer me one step and then stop again. He was really insistent, and I would always turn him back into the pasture. When I did something he didn't like, like grooming him at the beginning (while he could be scratched for hours
), and washing him and aerosol, he would sneak away from me step by step while looking at me with an expression of utter distate. Like "Jaz I really like you and want to be with you but not if you do that!". If that is not enough to stop me, he will also ask me telepathically with an agonized voice whether we really have to do this?
Now to the fun side. When he wants me to play or to concentrate more fully on him, he comes to me looking really expectant and arched nicely. He will grab everything I have in my hands, on my head or standing nearby and wave it, he will paw with his front legs, come real close to me, grab my sleeve (though never my arm!) and wave my hand, nuzzle me a lot, and put his head and body directly in front of my. When I am cleaning the paddock, he will also stand directly in the next horse droppings so I have no chance of cleaning them but instead have to concentrate on him. He will also offer every single trick he can do. He can be really insistent
As I am of the opinion that 100% of the reason I am there is him, in my mind he has every right to do it
When he wants to be scratched, he will maneuver himself into the right position, which usually means shoving his back side at my body. When I do not find the right spot for today, he will wriggle around until I do. When I have the right spot, his facial expression becomes so funny with indulgence, and he will ghost-scratch the air. When I do not comply, he will also follow me around backwards until I relent
While walking or riding, he knows he is allowed to offer / ask for a faster gait same as me, and we can also both veto it. Simply by doing it.
When I leave him before I have played enough with him in his oppinion, he will also nicker to tell me to come back
One time as I was away for a weekend, a friend of mine looked after him. She also cleaned his paddock, and ignored Panti to see what he would do. He nuzzled her, but she kept on ignoring him. Then her hair fell into her face - Panti had managed to thieve her hair tie without hurting her, and now stood there very self-satisfied and with an expression of "And? What do you do now?" with the hair tie in his mouth.
She payed the ransom for her hair tie and played with him.
One time as I was cleaning the shelter, in order to be able to do it fast without play interludes, I roped it off provisionally, though luckily not fixing the rope very hard, only with one knot which could give way. Panti was so offended at being shut out instead of being able to play with me, that he fixated the rope with a look of utter annoyance, fixated me with a look of ""You do not really mean that, do you?!!! You can not shut me out!!!", fixated the rope again, steeled himself - and went right through it...
With a look of utter satisfaction and very smug, he came to me and nuzzled me and stuck right to my side. Well, I threw away my time table and played around with him
Nearly every day, I hear this voice in my head: "Jaaaaz? When are you coming today? You are coming?!!! Please come!!! And don't forget the carrots!"
I include him in the decisions of what to play today, whether walking, playing, riding (or all of it
). He tells me with telepathically what he likes today and what he doesn't, and so we decide together.
When riding him, I also ask him a lot whether he is fine or whether I should dismount, actually to the point where he is annoyed with me for asking so much
When I think about it, I would say he uses face and body language when we are together and the concepts are not too complex, because body language is pure play and joy, self-expression at the most focused, most basic level. He nickers when he sees me but can not follow because there is a fence in the way. And we use telepathy for everything else, to convey complex thoughts, clarify things, and comment on everything around us.