Horses are some of the most beautiful and majestic animals in the world. All that magnificence and grace (not to mention their size!) can be a bit intimidating if you aren’t used to horses, but the people who know and love horses know that while they might look regal and stately, most of our four-hooved friends are just as affectionate and silly as any puppy dog. Of course, horses are generally quite a lot bigger than their humans, plus they have a reputation to maintain. As a result, they may not be quite as lovey-dovey and open in their demonstrations of adoration as dogs.
But at the end of the day, even the most persnickety thoroughbred in the world knows how to say “I love you.” You just need to learn how to speak “horse” in order to understand! Horses can’t talk the way that we do, and they can’t curl up in your lap like a cat or a puppy (at least not easily), so they usually show us their affection using body language. Nuzzling And Snuggling: The movies always seem to show people reaching up to pat horses on the nose. While horses might tolerate this, it’s not necessarily their favorite thing.
But if a horse comes up to you and rubs her cheek or her nose against you? That’s a good sign that she just loves you to pieces, and would like you to stroke her neck, now, please. Coming When Called. Does your horse come bounding around the corner the second she hears your voice? Horses are incredibly smart animals, and if they want to spend time with you, they will learn your voice, whistle, and maybe even the sound your car makes on the gravel!
If she comes shooting across the paddock when you call her name, ears pricked and eyes bright, that should tell you that your horse looks to you for guidance and loves to spend time by your side. Using You As A Chin Rest. This is a behavior that you see horses show to one another, sometimes called a “horse hug.”
According to Jeanne Grunert, horses will stand facing each other and hook their necks together to show affection. If your horse tries this with you, she’ll probably drape her head right over your shoulder, or try to use your head as a chin rest. She knows you’re not as big as a fellow horse, but she just can’t resist giving you a hug!