Do you think your horse loves you?

NinjaPony

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I think he (mostly) respects me, seeks protection from me, and generally prefers me to other humans, but not sure that’s love!! Of course, my love for him is unconditional… which is just as well given he’s a grumpy little sod!
 

mini_b

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I think my horse trusts me and he's done with me things I was told he wouldn’t do...
He recognises my car and canters over because... FOOD!! 😂

horses are unhappy when their needs are not met; however basic or special those needs are.
love is not one of them.
 

AandK

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No. They put up with me as I feed them and look after them. Sometimes I like to think they enjoy my company, but that may be in relation to food ;)
 

Littlebear

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I would have always said no, but now I have a gelding when i have mainly only had mares and i would say its a yes or whatever the horse version of that attachment is, always happy to see me, will chase others off to be near me, affectionate, knows i am his person etc, not to do with food either as lived out most his life and food never came into the equation, if they were fed the herd were all fed together, never separately.
I have had since birth though so maybe something to do with that?
If I didn't have this horse i would have said a definite no for every other one i have had in my life.
 

dreamcometrue

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I think she feels comfortable with me and is familiar with the way I am. She loves my treats and is a bit possessive of me with other horses. It’s not love though: she loves the mares in her herd 💕
 

meleeka

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Of course not - love is a human emotion. What I do need to ask is where you have been to see so many unhappy horses????
I disagree. My mare definitely loves my gelding. They are in a herd of 5 but are rarely parted through choice. She actively dislikes most others, although tolerates her field mates. She’s the only one of mine I’d say is also fond of me. She will just choose to be with me and always greets me with a whinny whether it’s tea time or not.

As above, the others like seeing me, but i’m pretty sure it’s cupboard love.
 

milliepops

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i'm fairly sure it's cupboard love ;)
I do think this is the case for most of mine.... but I'd say there's probably something a bit more similar to human type affection with Kira, she's such a funny character but mostly she likes hanging round with me, she will often have a snooze while I hold her head and stuff like that. If I'm out in the field poo picking she will come over and just hang out. She doesn't have a particularly friendly relationship with any other horses, probably her history of being kept alone previously has left her a bit wonky in the social skills department. my relationship with her feels different to all the others.

my homebred is the most demonstrative of them all and comes barrelling up the field neighing when I arrive. while she loves a cuddle and follows me about when I'm doing jobs i do still reckon it's more that she knows I will provide eventually. I think Kira would have cuddles just for the sake of it.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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I think he likes me, no I don't think he loves me.

I think he trusts me with feed and knowing which people are 'safe'. He doesn't trust me as a judge of ground conditions and would much rather use his own judgement.

We tried side saddle at the weekend and I could see from his expression that he was unsure when the saddle went on so I comforted him and he relaxed. That's enough for me.
 

scats

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I am an important part of my horses ‘herd’, if you like. They recognise that I control food, safety etc and they trust me. Would they rescue me if a lion appeared out the bushes? Not a chance.

I did have a very close bond with Diva, more so than probably any other horse I’ve ever had. She genuinely wanted to be around me and be close to me. It was probably the closest to ‘love’ that I’ve ever felt off a horse, but I don’t believe horses feel love like we do.
 

DabDab

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Dunno - have a go at defining what love is and I'll let you know 😉

There is a very deep sense of companionship between me and Arty, different to the others and to other horses I've cared for. I might be deluded and it is purely cupboard love but I'm pretty sure I'm not. Even with horses that are not her, I'm fairly certain that the relationship quite regularly runs deeper than 'this creature feeds me'.

One of the things I love most about horses is their emotional intelligence and their instinctive need/willingness to form (sometimes quite unconventional) relationships.
 

southerncomfort

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I think geldings can get quite attached to their humans. I doubt very much the 2 mares would notice if they never saw me again!

My gelding seems to think I'm interesting and fun to hang out with. He will leave other horses and humans to come and spend time with me, so their definitely a connection but I don't think horses feel love towards humans.

I think it is friendship and companionship.
 

Hepsibah

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I have had my Highland mare for almost a year and I adore her. I don't believe she loves me but considering how intolerant she is of other people, she's remarkably tolerant of my affections. I'll take that as her version of love.
 

dogatemysalad

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Yes, but some do more than others. It probably sounds a bit cheesy to explain why but their actions and behaviours over the years have indicated that they do, just as cats, dogs and birds do.
I never understand why some people think horses are incapable of experiencing love. Arguably, they demonstrate a more sincere and profound love than humans.
 

Auslander

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Sort of - in a horsey kind of way. He sees me mostly as a food source, and has learned to enchant me by fluttering his nostrils at me whenever he see me - but I don't care if it's cupboard love!
That said, he definitely draws comfort from me being around. If his field mate goes hacking without him, he stands at the gate and calls for him - unless I'm there, when he will come and hang out with me quite happily. If he's at the end of the field where the Berkshire Hedge Dragons live, he will stay there happily if I'm there too - but if I go back into the house, he takes off as if the hounds of hell are after him - even if he still has feed left in his bucket, and his friend next to him. He will happily graze on his own in my garden with no other horses in sight if I'm there, but he disappears off up to the other horses at high speed if I go in.
Feeder and protector - that's my role
 
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