How to tell if a horse doesn’t like you

If you’d like to be able to tell when a horse doesn’t like you, continue reading to discover a few tell tale signs that a horse doesn’t like you or doesn’t feel comfortable in your presence. If a horse doesn’t like you, it’s important to slowly win over their trust as you can’t force a horse to like you. However, if you show a horse that you’re not a threat and treat it with respect, in time most horses will grow to like you or will at least tolerate your presence.

How to tell if a horse doesn’t like you:

If they are indifferent to your presence:

A horse that likes you will show their affection for you by coming up to their fence in order to greet you, when they’re grazing or will eagerly await you at their stall door. However, if a horse hears you coming and doesn’t make a move to greet you, it’s likely that you haven’t won its trust. If a horse flat out ignores you, it’s a sign that you have a lot of work to do in order to establish a healthy bond with it.

If it bolts and tries to run away from you:

If a horse bolts when you try to get close and refuses to be ridden, there’s a high likelihood that it hasn’t warmed to you and hasn’t bonded with you yet.

If a horse flinches when you touch it:

If you notice that a horse frequently flinches when you touch it, it’s a sign that it doesn’t trust you and doesn’t feel comfortable in your presence. In fact a horse which flinches when you touch it may actually be afraid of you and may think that you may try to harm it.

If a horse tries to throw you off its back:

If you try to ride a horse which attempts to buck you off, there is a chance that it doesn’t like you. Especially if a particular horse has tried to throw you off its back on numerous occasions but lets others ride it with no issues. Just be mindful that a horse may also try to throw you off if it’s injured or has been frightened by a sudden sound or movement. As an example, if a horse spots a wild snake it may get scared and may throw you off.

If it starts stomping its feet:

An angry horse will often start stomping its feet for no apparent reason. So if you notice a horse stomping its feet, especially when you approach it, there is a chance that it hasn’t bonded with you yet or feels wary of you.

If its tail is stiff and doesn’t move:

If you notice that a horse’s tail is rather stiff and doesn’t move much when it walks, it’s a clear sign that the horse in question feels uncomfortable around you.

If it tries to ignore commands:

If you’re riding a horse which tries to refuse some of your leg based commands or reign based commands, the horse which you’re riding probably doesn’t respect you. As a horse that respects its rider will usually obey commands unless they are suffering from an injury or are feeling ill.

It attempts to bite you or kick you:

Once clear sign that a horse wants you to leave it alone is if it attempts to bite you or kick you. If you’re dealing with a horse which frequently tries to bite or kick you, it’s important to give it space and to slowly work on winning its trust. As if it feels forced into a corner it will lash out at you in order to protect itself. Even if you mean a horse no harm. If a horse lashes out at you, it may be due to previous experiences with other individuals that has nothing to do with you. So don’t blame yourself if a horse takes a few weeks or months to trust you.

If a horse which you interact with displays a few of the traits which are outlined above, you may have to come up with a plan of action in order to slowly win its trust. As you can’t force a horse to like you but you can prove to a horse that you’re no threat and won’t hurt it.