Have you hugged your Horse today or has your Horse hugged you ?
There is nothing like hugging your Horse to calm the nerves. We all want it and need that wonderful Horse Love.
Horses are extremely affectionate. If you ever get a chance to see them in the wild they are mutually grooming each other, scratching each other, leaning gently into each other, sharing breath with each other (a very intimate activity done by putting their noses together and sharing the air). These are all manifestations of affection. Mares and their foals are always nuzzling each other and the babies are always rubbing up against their moms. Sometimes they hang their heads over each other’s necks and gently hug with their necks. When a horse gently brings his head even slightly in your direction, it is affection and acknowledgement (unless you are holding a treat in your hand or pocket, then it is probably about the treat). The low, soft ‘nickering’ sounds they make at each other are other ways they show affection. However, love is the great carrot and the great treat. Real, unconditional love is the best form of affection and the greatest gift we can bring to our Horses.
Some Horses can get emotionally attached to humans just like dogs do. Horses and humans may develop a connection or trust through contact or riding or by way of grooming and care. There is a little bit of research into how well horses identify specific individuals by their whinny, but it’s not definitive. They may show signs of recognition when you come upon them. They don’t bark like a dog, but they do whinny or give a happy nicker of delight when they see you. A neigh starts out as a squeal, but ends up as a nicker. The neigh is the loudest and longest of the Horse sounds. The neigh is not a sound of fear.
I guess I could sum this up by merely saying; if it feels like affection and you are not holding a carrot, it probably is. Don’t try to figure the horse out too much. Enjoy the Hug !