Do horses become attached to humans?
While some people prefer to keep cats and dogs as pets, others prefer to keep horses, making them some of the most popular animals in people’s homes. Horse owners show their affection towards their horses openly, but it isn’t always clear when it comes to how horses behave towards their owners. Do horses miss their owners is a common question among horse lovers, and the answer is yes. Horses can also show that they love and miss their owners but not in an obvious way.
Telling if a horse likes you
Like other pets, horses have signals they use to show their emotions. In most cases, they show these emotions towards their owners the same way they do towards other horses. One of the common behaviors is leaning towards the owner. Horses love body contact and will not pass a chance to rub against you.
Another common behavior that horses use to show affection to their owners is using their noses to nozzle you. If your horse does this, they are showing you that they are very comfortable with you, and they trust you with one of their most vulnerable body parts. However, it would help if you also were cautious as they also do the same for their young ones as a sign of protection. If your horse doesn’t have a young one to protect but they nozzle you, they like you, and they are showing it.
Most horses also show they like their owners by tilting their heads towards you. This is a sign that most people ignore, but it is a show of love that cannot be seen with horses that don’t want your attention. Bringing their head towards you shows that they give you their attention, and they want yours in return. They will most likely do this as they move closer to you. The horse may also follow your orders obediently to show their affection.
The way your horse will react to your presence will differ from how they respond to a stranger. They may also become jealous when you bring in a new horse and please you by being more affectionate towards you.
Factors affecting a horse’s attachment to humans
Horses can forge unbreakable bonds with their owners, but that is determined by how you treat your horse. Horses can also detect how you relate to them and will react similarly. This means that if you don’t treat your horse well by caring for him, they will not be affectionate. On the other hand, if you constantly clean your horse, commit to riding them, and grooming them regularly, they will give you a similar reaction. Horses that get a commitment from their owners are comfortable enough to increase their bond with you.
Grooming your horse allows you to have close contact with them and forge a stronger bond. Riding regularly also shows your horse that you care for them and come to your defense if they think you’re under threat. Like other animals, horses can become jealous or defensive, especially when they feel that you’re in danger.
It’s important to note that the relationship between horses and their owners takes time to build. Don’t expect to get affection from the horse as soon as you acquire it; otherwise, you will be disappointed. Give them time to forget about their previous owners and create a different bond with you. Trying to force your new horse to bond while they are still missing the previous owner will only frustrate them and create a bigger distance between you.
Bonding exercises you can try.
If you feel that your horse isn’t as close to you as you would want them to be, you can try out the following exercises to increase the affection between you. For horses that usually stay calm in the stall, you can regularly put a halter on the head. As you place the halter and rope over the horse’s head, try to rub the shoulders gently and don’t be in a hurry to leave the stall. Spend a few minutes with the horse to give the horse time to get comfortable around you.
Teaching your horse to allow you to handle the feet without resistance can also increase your bond. Rub the foreleg for a few seconds, then move upwards towards the hooves slowly. Be gentle and move downwards if the horse is relaxed. You don’t have to reach the hooves the first time. You can move each time gradually, as you give the horse time to get used to you. Do this until you feel reluctance from the horse, at which point you can lift the leg and work on the hooves.
The only way to have successful exercises to build your bond is by understanding the horse’s needs and aligning them with yours. Being patient and giving the horse enough time to respond to your needs will also allow them to understand your needs better and adjust accordingly to meet them.
The most affectionate horse breeds
All horses’ breeds can become affectionate and miss their owners, but some breeds are better at hiding their emotions than others. For instance, Percheron horses and Appaloosa horses tend to hide their emotions better than the other breeds. However, they are also emotional, but their nature is quieter. They are also more independent than other horses and will follow instructions quietly without showing emotions in most cases.
Other breeds like thoroughbreds and Arabian horses are more forthcoming and will not shy away from showing affection to their owners. These horse breeds will often try to please their owners and are better at reading the owners’ emotions. They may try to build a stronger bond with you by reacting to the emotions you show them, making it easier for you to become closer.
Regardless of the breed you buy or adopt. All horses are capable of showing their owners affection. They’ll be more loving and caring towards you when you show them the same emotions. Besides touching them and grooming them, it would help if you also talked to the horse to bring them closer to you.