How Do Horses Show Affection?

Ever since I started to ride, I would always wonder if the horse I was riding liked me. Did they like me more or less than other riders? How did I know if we had a special connection?

Does my horse like me? How to know if a horse likes you and signs your horse has bonded with you

I had the best connection with my favourite pony, Satchmo, when I was learning how to ride. How did I know if he felt the same way? 

So I decided to do some research and find out exactly how to know if your horse likes you, trusts you and has bonded with you. The following four ways are how horses show affection to humans (and to each other in a herd!) Look for signs that your horse is doing this and you can be pretty sure you’re on the right track. 

How Do Horses Show Affection? 4 Ways To Know You've Bonded With Your Horse

#1. Coming Towards You 

Even something as simple as your horse brinding its head to face you or towards you is a sign of complete affection. 

Horses will rarely give attention to something or someone they are not interested in or stressed out by. In fact, a common stress indicator for horses is turning their heads away from whatever is stressing them out. You can read more about stress indicators here: How Do Horses Show Their Emotions? 

If your horse chooses to be close to you or gives you full attention, it is a likely attempt to demonstrate just how infatuated they are with you. 

#2. Leaning On You 

You don’t really want a horse on top of you, pushing on you or constantly in your space. However, a horse that carefully leans on you from time to time with their head is a good sign! 

Horses love to share any body contact they can get with their lvoed ones and you will often see them trying to lean into other horses when in the wild. They are just as likely to do this to people to; they want to feel tender contact with those that mean most to them. 

#3. Nuzzling You 

A loving horse will use its nose to nuzzle you – this is one of the most vulnerable parts of their body and opening this up to you shows just how comfortable thye are with your presence. 

They also tend to do this to their young foals as a sign of protection therefore this is a hint that they will always be looking out for you. 

#4. Sharing Air

Has your horse ever brought their face to yours and then just…breathed? In the wild, as well as in domestic care, horses will show affection to one another by sharing breath with one another. 

Horses will put their noses together and then share the air. THis tendency extends to horses showing love to their owners as well!  

So if you’ve ever wondered whether or not your horse shows you affection, you’ll be happy to learn that they most likely do! Recognizing horse affection can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the signs to look for.  Hopefully this guide helped a bit!

If you liked this post and feel like we have similar views on horse things, you might like The Confident Rider Bootcamp. Over the years, I’ve come up with my favourite 14 methods to fix what I think are the most common issues riders have in the saddle using clearer communication that will improve your bond! Fill out the form below and I’ll send the bootcamp for free directly to your inbox: 

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Happy bonding,


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Does my horse like me? How to know if a horse likes you and signs your horse has bonded with you

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