Does your horse like you?

Local equestrian Taylor Jirak and her horse C J. Let the time you spend with your horse be quality and fun filled. Work on his trust and reward him for his friendship by always keeping him safe, well fed and happy.

Do you know if your horse likes you? Does he really like you and not just for being the food fairy? Horses can show affection in very clear ways. However recognizing this affection can be difficult if you aren’t familiar with their horse language. Below are some signs that your horse really likes you. 

Being relaxed around you

If a horse relaxes around you he knows you will protect him. You are the herd leader and he appreciates that a lot. He is a flight animal and if he trusts you he knows he can relax because you will protect him. 

Coming to you

Does your horse look forward to seeing you? Does he come up to you as soon as you approach? If a horse comes up to you when you walk to the pasture, not expecting food, but because he recognizes you, that’s showing affection. You are part of his herd and he’s happy you’ve arrived.

 Turning their head and ears towards you

Horses that like, respect and trust you will watch your every move. They want to see what you want them to do. They know you are the leader and want to be ready to do what is asked of them. When you have them tied up. Walk away from them. See if they watch where you go. See if they are interested in what you are doing. If they are focused on others it may be a sign to work with them more to establish your trust bond. 

Following you around

Horses that want you in their social circle will follow you when they are loose. They are herd animals and want to be around a buddy. If they follow you around you are their budd. He has bonded with you and that’s a sure sign of affection.

Doing what you ask

Horses that like you try their hardest to do what is asked of them.  They will attempt to cross that bridge or go past that scary object because you asked them to do it, even if they are scared.  

Vocal calling to you

When a horse actually “calls out” to you, by giving you a “Whinny” when he sees you, you have made best friend status! 

Let the time you spend with your horse be quality and fun filled. Work on his trust and reward him for his friendship by always keeping him safe, well fed and happy. Grooming and riding him consistently builds that trust and creates an unbreakable bond. Happy Trails! 

LORI RICIGLIANO is a horse judge, trainer, riding instructor, equine photographer and clinician. She also hosts a weekly syndicated equine radio talk show “Hoof Beats with Lori.” Lori has held her horse judges license as a USEF /AHA — “R” rated licensed horse judge for more than 25 years and currently operates Ricigliano Farms Horse Training and Riding Academy near Kent, Minn. She can be reached by email or phone at 218- 557- 8762 or riciglianofarms@gmail. com. Her website is www. RiciglianoFarms.com.

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