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Do Horses Remember Each Other After a Long Separation?

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  • Do Horses Remember Each Other After a Long Separation?

    What do you say after watching this video? Do you have any stories about this? Personally I think they do although I've had no experiences in this situation. But it is known horses have very good memories.

    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    My horses have generally seemed to remember other horses, even when they haven't seen each other in years.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland


    • #3
      My last horse, an Appy, was BRIEFLY stabled across from a nice Morgan and we trail rode together quite a bit. The two horses really seemed to like each other. The Morgan's owner moved him out after about six months, and we occasionally ran into each other on the trail. Every time thereafter, even when the two horses hadn't seen each other for a years, they would briefly touch noses, and IMMEDIATELY start into mutual grooming. They were obviously very reluctant to part when we tried to go on our way.


      • #4
        I can't see the video, but did have an experience with this. We had two mares in our program, a mother and daughter. When they both ended up on turnout together, they re-formed an immediate bond and were always together. And when we took mom to go into retraining, the daughter followed us across the field whinnying her head off, then stood at the gate crying for a while - exactly like a foal being weaned. It's the only time I ever wanted to cry taking a horse from that field - I've seen them form friendships and follow the other horse to the gate, and even whinny a few times at their departing friend, but nothing like this. This was different, and very emotional, and the only explanation I could come up with was that they remembered each other and so their bond was that much stronger than the normal horse relationships that form out there.
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.


        • #5
          Yes. Figgy remembers horses that he's trailered with, stabled next to at shows or clinics and greets them like old friends. He enjoys "visiting' with them at these events. We've noticed he and his buddies get somewhat upset when one is taken out for a class or clinic session, even though there are other horses in adjoining stalls.


          • #6
            I think so because a long time ago I had a TB mare that was stabled with a palomino QH who was her best friend. I moved my horse to another barn and about a year later I was at a HT and across the parking area was someone with a palomino. My horse spotted it and whinneyed to him/her but the horse didn't respond so she realized it wasn't her friend. However, she really thought it was, so yes, they remember.
            Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


            • #7
              I read somewhere that someone did a small study on equine memory. It's seems that they remember people (even after a number of years) so I would think they remember other horses.
              Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


              • #8
                My two have known each other since the younger one was 7 months old. My older one was the babysitter and they got turned out together.

                There have been times when they have been separated and lived at different barns, there have been times when they lived at the same barn but went out in different turnout groups, and they spent a year on 24/7 turnout in a pasture w/run in shed together.

                They always remember each other and turn out like old pals.
                If the two of them come to a new turnout group at a new barn together, they will stick together like glue until they get to know the rest of the horses.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                • #9
                  I used to have a boarder who would leave in the winter, and whenever she came back the horses that knew her were like, Hey! but the horses who didn't would go through the whole meeting process.


                  • #10
                    I have had my 13 yo KMSH gelding for 5 years. Previously he belonged to an out-of-town friend who had him for 4+ years after buying him as a youngster along with a stable-mate mare (not related). We recently got together for a weekend of trail riding and my guy's reaction to this mare was completely different than to the other horses my friend brought with her. Big nose touching at first meeting and then, as I was putting him on the trailer to leave 2 days later, he wouldn't load (unusual for him!) before pulling me over to the corral she was in where they touched noses a bit before he turned back toward the trailer. They hadn't seen each other in at least 4 years. It was so touching to me that I told my friend I would buy the mare if she ever decided to sell (not likely) - and I really don't need another horse!
                    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


                    • #11
                      I do think they would remember each other, but really, the horses in the video didn't behave much different than when a new horse (okay, I should say gelding ) is introduced to a herd - posturing, squealing, rolling, rubbing on each other, etc. Especially if the TB has been kept in a stall and is craving contact with other equines.
                      Of course, when you add slow mo and epic music...
                      "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                      • #12
                        Looks like a happy bunch of horses. Very sweet video.

                        Makes sense to me that horses would remember each other. I know they remember people - for good and bad - even after long periods of time. Surely other members of their own species would be even more important to them.

                        And anyway, it behooves a prey animal to have a good memory.
                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                        • #13
                          Absolutely - even after years.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post
                            I do think they would remember each other, but really, the horses in the video didn't behave much different than when a new horse (okay, I should say gelding ) is introduced to a herd - posturing, squealing, rolling, rubbing on each other, etc. Especially if the TB has been kept in a stall and is craving contact with other equines.
                            Of course, when you add slow mo and epic music...
                            I thought the very same thing - while it's a cute "reunion" video, it's very similar to the way they act when they meet for the first time.


                            • #15
                              Yep, and they remember people too. I went to visit a horse I sold nearly 20 years before. She walked up and put her head around me. Another one sidled up to me to have her mane brushed - I was the kid who spent hours detangling her 2' mane over a decade before. They have amazing memories.
                              You are what you dare.


                              • #16
                                Yes, of course they do. We have an elderly pony, the second of my kids' ponies. Sassy has been here on and off for 8 or 9 years. During that time we also had Vegas, my kids' first pony. Vegas and Sassy were always best buddies, turned out together, going to Pony Club together, stabled next to each other. Every time one would leave on a lease, the other would be morose, and they would certainly greet each other like the old friends they were when the other came back. This past December, we had to put Vegas down, and Sassy has not been the same. She misses her old friend.
                                blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
                                check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
                                Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/


                                • #17
                                  Throwing my 'yup, I think they do' into the mix.
                                  GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                                  • #18
                                    Yes. One moment I'll take to my grave was when my two Morgans were reunited after about a year and a half of separation (across multiple states). Morgan #2 stepped off the semi-trailer, and I led him past Morgan #1's pen. Morgan #1 glanced at the BFF thinking it was just a passing horse, went back to eating, and then did the horse equivalent of a double take and subsequently went ballistic trying to climb over the fence to see his BFF.
                                    I was bawling my eyes out.


                                    • #19
                                      I can’t watch the video right now either – but yes, horses DO remember each other after years apart! Witnessed it just this week.

                                      When my mare was three years old – she shared a pasture with another young mare for about 6 months. Now, 2 ½ years later (and two stables later) – that same mare lives down the road. Just this week – her owner brought that mare by to see if the two “remembered each other”. Oh boy they sure did! VERY eager greeting, my mare instantly went to start grooming her, lots of nickering and excitement.

                                      When the other mare was led away, she kept stopping and trying to turn around – and was calling for her old “friend”. Now the two will call back and forth to each other (neighboring stables – just out of eye sight of each other though). And when I ride by the “old friend’s” pasture – that mare comes running and screaming – and mine knickers in return.

                                      I kinda feel bad now that the two buddies aren't living together any more – and I am a bit scared that if they did reunite that they might become herd bound!
                                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                      • #20
                                        Yep they certainly do remember. Had a boarder move her elderly mare into our barn and across the way from her daughter. Now this was a mare who hadn't seen her daughter in 10 years. The greeting that ensued had all the toughies crying as mother and daughter did their greeting. What was hilarious was the daughters baby horse gumming greeting to her mom.
                                        Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                        Originally Posted by alicen:
                                        What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.