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how does your horse show affection?

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  • how does your horse show affection?

    They're much less demonstrative than dogs, but many horses do actually become fond of their people and express it in different ways.

    How does yours?

  • #2
    A gentle nicker. I love that.
    "The slogan will take you like lemmings to the cliff. You'll feel better than ever, and into the abyss... There'll be no more war, there'll be no more choice." PiL

    Comment


    • #3
      My horse is essentially an overgrown labradoodle, so he's about that expressive with his affections.
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

      Comment


      • #4
        The OP inspired a chuckle as I read it and thought, "Wait, most horses don't show blatant affection toward their people?!"

        Mine will nicker when I walk into the barn, and not only at meal times. She will whinny in response to her name being called. She'll follow me around while I pick her paddock or stall with her chin resting on my shoulder. She'll gently nuzzle my back or my head. She loves to try and make a nest out of my hair. She'll bury her head under my arm. She's adorable, and unfortunately she knows all too well how to work it!

        Comment


        • #5
          I went from a lap- palomino to an aloof mare. For the aloof mare, the fact that she comes over when I go to get her in the pasture is about all I get. If she trots or runs, that's a banner day!

          Comment


          • #6
            Mine runs to me most of the time when he's out in the paddock and I call him. He nuzzles and licks, very gently.
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

            Comment


            • #7
              My horse nickers at me when I show up at his stall. He also comes and hangs out with me whenever he is turned out in the arena and licks me or nuzzles me.
              He does cute things like trot up to me all excited and then lick my shoulder and look at me like "Hi, mom!!"
              http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
              The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
              Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
              Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the 17.2hh Trak that would much rather be a lap horse than anything else. I was holding him while soaking his foot yesterday for an abscess and he just wanted to put his head in my lap. He was also trying to frisk me for treats. He always wants to know what I'm doing and be part of it.
                My May boys: Beau , Neon, Criss

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had one (now passed) who would put his head on your shoulder and snuffle. Very affectionate.

                  But I think the best I ever saw was this old cowboy who lives around the corner from me on a cattle ranch. He has four cattle horses that he runs, real hard-working guys (though they are always shiny and in good weight, he treats all his animals very well) ... and then he has this one pinto that is clearly his "pet." I am certain she is retired, as the old cowboy ought to be as well, and suspect they have many many years of working cattle together in their history. Well, one evening the old guy pulls into his driveway and he whistles for the pinto -- who is maybe 200 yards away. Little mare throws her head into the air, squeals out loud, takes a few running strides toward her cowboy and throws out a few bucks, jumps straight up into the air and then takes off like a shot to get to him.

                  Now one might argue that this was about some grain or something ... but I think not. That mare was ecstatic to see her cowboy and her sheer joy was unmistakable. They make a cute pair when he takes for a pleasure ride. I saw them once on a trail ... cowboy sitting half out of the saddle, drinking coffee, reins hanging loose and one leg around the horn. Those two are a pair for sure!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My heart horse who I lost at Christmas was very dignified and proud, but would share breath, and loved to poke me between the shoulderblades to get my attention (and my DSO's as well! ) We boarded for eight years at a farm where they were like family, and watched their youngest daughter grow up from toddler to tween. When she came to visit, Boo arched his neck and wrapped his head and neck around her. Gave me shivers it was so beautiful.
                    Current TBs - Heart will nicker like crazy some days - all you hear is huhhuhhuhhuh LOL. He also will scribble on my collarbone with his upper lip when being VERY affectionate. ALso sticks his upper lip out for kisses to both me and my DSO. New horse is much more reserved so far - but he will gracefully arch his neck when he greets us
                    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
                    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

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                    • #11
                      My horse USED to prick her ears when she saw my car, nicker when I came, and one time even moved into small tantrum that I wasn't going to her, when I had a call I needed to take! She would come to the gate of the stall and move her tall ASB neck down to the ground so I had to bend down to put the halter on.

                      But now, She is at the trainer's barn, and all bets are off. I've gone from seeing her almost every day, to once or twice a week, because trainer is a ways away. And Trainer is the person who helped with all the vet work, so Holly associates her with 1) eye medicine for a scratch 2) upset stomach (she colicked from the eye medicine slowing down the gut) and 3) her leg hurting like He(( from the arthroscopic surgery that finally happened after all that was recovered from. And with post surgery, came more medicine. Trainer was wondering why she was such a "Nervous Nellie" when she came up for training, until I reminded her that she had made a bad first impression when they met before.

                      And Trainer is making her WORK. And I suppose it's my fault, because I'm allowing all this to happen, for her to be back at the ouchy place.

                      Bad Mom.

                      I think I still have some connection, but the nickers to see me and the "happy halter head" aren't happening.

                      But, there's still light. I made it up there Saturday, and Trainer was on top, and we put down a ground pole. It took a bit, but she finally did the big leap over the scary blue pole on the ground, both ways. Then I asked if she wanted to try for two, and Trainer agreed. Then the battle started. Holly kept saying No! and Trainer kept insisting YES!..

                      It was starting to look like Holly was going to win, and then I suggested that I lead her over with Trainer still up. Okay, we'll try that. I went out there (in my sandals) and put the lead on the bit, and after a small tug, and me telling her "come on, Holly", she trotted over. Did the same thing the other way, and from there on, no more battles.

                      So I guess at some place in her little noggin, I must still be Mom.
                      Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most horses are conditioned re food to give forth a response. They do not experience affection (human response). They do give forth an identification response, again, based on meeting their needs.

                        Licking..not affection..gets salt off your body.

                        Try the following... Put your mare in heat in with a stallion...

                        Which ever one it is you are saying has these human qualities... give the mare or stud a call and you will discover you are rated lower than a gopher.

                        Only in the Black Stallion part two did a stallion leave his mares to see the boy

                        It is fiction. Period

                        That in no way diminishes the horses impact upon the owner/groom etc but when we start to give them human emotions..we are wrong.

                        On another forum a young lady was discussing how "dumb" her mare of a certain line was. She stated the mare gave birth to a dead foal..and just sniffed it and walked away...She was so dumb (according to the young lady) that she did not remember she had a foal "until next year" and then she went crazy trying to find the foal.

                        She was told that just did not happen...and of course she became defensive and told everyone we didn't know anything about HER horses...

                        I refused to rent a house on the property to a young lady who had a 3 year old mongrel stallion. I told her I only had the American Saddlebred stallions and could not offer any facility that would contain her horse. She told me her stallion LUVED her and would only breed a mare after she gave him permission. She filed a discrimination complaint against me and I was required to go to court. Even the non horse owning judge had to agree with me that my concerns were valid and had nothing to do with her poor rental record, no job etc. Of course the case was tossed. In the lobby the young lady and her friends yelled I did not understand horses and in particular her horse.

                        Pets respond when we are sad..a dog may sit by us and stare at us giving an appearance they understand stand. Again..if it is an intact dog and a female in heat comes into the room..GONE...no more sympathy stares.

                        We need to respect and care for our horses but using words like my horse LOVES me...nah...doesn't happen
                        The Elephant in the room

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You are such a buzzkill, Fairfax.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just a realist who deals with this false emotional tie on a regular basis.

                            I operate and own a pet boarding kennel. After 35 years I have learned people are some times tied to their pet over their child (having met some kids I don't blame them) however that does not mean their dog is an equal. It is a companion..and their horse is livestock.

                            Not many pets defacate in their water bucket or on their supper (hay)...livestock do..with impunity.
                            The Elephant in the room

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When I get to the barn, I lock my car which causes the horn to honk. When my horse hears the honk, he rushes to the front of his stall and nickers.

                              He's also a molester, but that's more because his face itches.
                              Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                              Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                              VW sucks.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Fairfax View Post
                                Just a realist who deals with this false emotional tie on a regular basis. (...)
                                Not many pets defacate in their water bucket or on their supper (hay)...livestock do..with impunity.
                                Fairfax, I believe that the truth of the matter lies in the middle, somewhere.

                                And the example of the defecation is an unfair one, IMO. Dogs will be trained to go outside from birth, the bitch will teach them, and then the humans will follow up on what she started. Why does the bitch do that? Because over the course of untold millennia, dogs who defecated near the den had enemies drawn to the den by the scent. That's when bad things happened, and the animals who pooped away from home had the advantage. They lived to make more babies.

                                Livestock generally, in nature have a range. They are constantly on the move from one pasture to another, within the range, and where the poop goes is not really an issue re: predators and natural selection.

                                To compare the actions of the two species so that one is "better" than the other using the criteria you gave is specious.

                                It's actually apples and oranges.
                                Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Fairfax View Post

                                  Try the following... Put your mare in heat in with a stallion...

                                  Which ever one it is you are saying has these human qualities... give the mare or stud a call and you will discover you are rated lower than a gopher.
                                  I ignore my sister when she calls on the phone too if hubby and I are getting it on. Doesn't mean I don't love her, but I've got priorities.

                                  Sounds like you might need a little action yourself.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I definitely think the truth is in the middle somewhere and that there are non-anthropomorphic explanations which are still meaningful and important.

                                    My rescue mare was scared of people when I got her. Over time she learned to generally trust people, but I was her "safe place." When I moved her to a busy boarding facility she would leave her food and wait for me until I took her out and spent time with her. This was based upon a sense of security and relaxation with me, but the closest to true affection I have seen from a horse.

                                    My gelding used to show that he "loves working" because each day we got away from our last ride he would get more and more crabby, pinning ears and generally unpleasant. It turns out he's magnesium deficient and working helped loosen up his unusual amounts of muscle tension. He no longer gets that crabbiness, but he does come over, stick his head in the halter, grab the bit out of my hands, and act ready to work. It's hard to say if he still loves work or is showing the learned response to work from when it made him feel physically better to work. He also wasn't always treated completely kindly, and while he is a goober and hilarious in the ways he tries to get attention from everyone (human, horse, cat, bird or dog at least); we have bonded in that he especially trusts me. It may not be human affection, but he tends to go off his feed if he hasn't seen me recently such as if I'm sick and bedridden. As soon as I force myself out the door he will start eating again. To me that's really touching even though I don't think it's human love - he feels more secure when I am there. The most touching example of it is when he's nervous and I go in with him he (16.3 hh) lowers his head to me (5'1") so the top of his head is below my waist and his eyes are blocked from seeing anything by my legs. When nervous he basically gives up the desire to look around to fully submit and trust me to protect him and keep him safe.
                                    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                                    -meupatdoes

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I can't say that I worry about affection from my horses. I want trust and getting along well- I really just don't consider affection as particularly important to me.

                                      My good gelding, Chip, nearly drowned in a pond a few years ago when he wandered into a swampy area with vines and lots of hydrilla-type of water plants. He got tangled up and panicked. My friends on the shore were shouting for me to come out of the barn to help him, and when I reached the shore and waded in, I said very plainly "Chippy, WHAT are you doing?" In that moment he quit panicking and turned his energy into coming to me. And he did. Now he heard my friend's voices but they weren't my voice. That is what I think of when I think of Chip= he trusts me to take care of him when he gets in trouble.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        affection definition: a feeling of liking and caring about someone or something

                                        Do they show affection for each other or other companion animals? yes.
                                        Then why would they not have it for some humans.


                                        Originally posted by Fairfax View Post
                                        Most horses are conditioned re food to give forth a response. They do not experience affection (human response). They do give forth an identification response, again, based on meeting their needs.

                                        Licking..not affection..gets salt off your body.

                                        Try the following... Put your mare in heat in with a stallion...

                                        Which ever one it is you are saying has these human qualities... give the mare or stud a call and you will discover you are rated lower than a gopher.

                                        Only in the Black Stallion part two did a stallion leave his mares to see the boy

                                        It is fiction. Period

                                        That in no way diminishes the horses impact upon the owner/groom etc but when we start to give them human emotions..we are wrong.

                                        On another forum a young lady was discussing how "dumb" her mare of a certain line was. She stated the mare gave birth to a dead foal..and just sniffed it and walked away...She was so dumb (according to the young lady) that she did not remember she had a foal "until next year" and then she went crazy trying to find the foal.

                                        She was told that just did not happen...and of course she became defensive and told everyone we didn't know anything about HER horses...

                                        I refused to rent a house on the property to a young lady who had a 3 year old mongrel stallion. I told her I only had the American Saddlebred stallions and could not offer any facility that would contain her horse. She told me her stallion LUVED her and would only breed a mare after she gave him permission. She filed a discrimination complaint against me and I was required to go to court. Even the non horse owning judge had to agree with me that my concerns were valid and had nothing to do with her poor rental record, no job etc. Of course the case was tossed. In the lobby the young lady and her friends yelled I did not understand horses and in particular her horse.

                                        Pets respond when we are sad..a dog may sit by us and stare at us giving an appearance they understand stand. Again..if it is an intact dog and a female in heat comes into the room..GONE...no more sympathy stares.

                                        We need to respect and care for our horses but using words like my horse LOVES me...nah...doesn't happen

                                        Comment

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