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8 Clear Signs a Horse Likes & Trusts You

8 Clear Signs a Horse Likes & Trusts You

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Horses are social animals and generally enjoy being in the presence of others. They often form close bonds with their owners.

After spending time together, your horse will often show fondness for you. There are many different ways to tell if a horse likes you.

Here are 8 Signs a Horse Likes and Trusts You

1. They Come Up to Greet You

If a horse likes you, they will often come up to greet you when they hear you coming. They may run up to the pasture fence or be eagerly waiting for you at their stall door.

If a horse is eager to greet you, that is their way of showing they like you. When they come up to greet you they are excited to spend time with you.

2. They Nicker or Whinny For You

Horses often nicker and whinny towards people they are familiar to. They often vocalize with a whinny or nicker when they are trying to get the attention of other horses or people.

When your horse nickers when they hear you coming, they are eager to see you. Nickering is a way for them to greet you as someone they care about.

3. They Rest Their Head on You

When a horse rests their head on you, it’s a sign of trust. They feel comfortable around you and like you enough to rest their head on you.

When a horse rests its head on you, it’s a way for them to bond with you and show their affection. They are letting you know they enjoy being in your presence. It’s like their way of giving a hug.

4. They Nudge You

Though nudging can mean other things, it is often associated with a horse that is showing affection towards you. Nudging can be the equivalent of a horse giving you a hug or kiss.

If a horse likes you, they will often nudge you to seek out your attention. Gently nudges can be a way for a horse to show their love for you. They mean even lick or lip at you in addition to their nudge.

Woman hugging her horse

5. They Are Relaxed Around You

When a horse is relaxed around you, it is a sign that they like and trust you. When you see your horse is relaxed when with you, it is a way of them saying they feel safe with you.

Signs your horse is relaxed around you is that they will be doing things such as licking and chewing, lowering their head, letting out a sigh and cocking a back leg.

A horse that trusts you will be comfortable enough to relax around you.

When a horse lets you come up to them while they are lying down, that is a true sign of trust. Horses are vulnerable when they are lying down, so when they let you come up to them while they are lying down they have lots of trust and love for you.

6. They Groom You Back

Grooming is one of the best ways to bond with your horse. When your horse grooms you back, they see you as a friend.

Horses groom each other in the wild not only because it feels good to them, but also because it is a way to show affection towards one another. They will nibble at each other’s withers, backs and necks.

If your horse nibbles on your shoulder or head, it is their way of grooming you. This is a way they can show you they like you.

Also, see our guide on the best horse grooming kits.

7. They Show You Respect

In horses, respect is a sign of trust. If your horse likes and trusts you, they will respect you.

A horse that trusts you will see you as a leader. They will respect your space and commands. A horse that likes you is willing to follow your lead, which is also a sign of respect.

Some horses will even follow their owners around. When a horse follows you, they trust you to take care of them. This is a way that they will show their respect for you.

8. They Breathe on Your Face

If a horse comes up and takes a breath on your face, it is an ultimate sign of respect and trust. Horses will show affection by gently blowing air on each other through their nostrils.

When a horse blows on your face, it is a sign they see you as a trusty companion. Horses will breathe in your face if they see you as part of their family.

It is one of the top ways horses show affection to the ones they love.

William Koenig

Friday 29th of April 2022

Thank you for all the stories with your horses. I lived on a cattle ranch in Northeastern NM but left after HS to attend University because I got bored listening to the wind blow and watching the grass grow. Now that I am retired I mostly recall days like when one time while on horseback checking cattle after a big rainfall I rode up to a shallow pond with ducks resting on it. The ducks rose off the pond and I watched them circle behind and return to land. I heard a loud whistling sound and watched a hawk fall from the sky and drop to hit the last duck landing only to send it tumbling on the water. This stayed as one of the most vivid memories of my past, complete with seeing my horse keeping his ears pointed on the scene.

Chona cruz

Monday 28th of March 2022

Thank you This all happened to me today Strange horses that are not mine And I'm in tears Love horses I needed to know

Melinda Thompson

Saturday 8th of January 2022

What does it mean if a horse walks overto me

Winacott Gail

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

My horse is a Happy horse and shows so much of her affection in all those ways mentioned. She is my Unicorn. She lets me hug her and seems to love kisses all over her face. She does a lot of nickiring and licking and chewing! She walks with me and stands beside me when I stand. I can’t describe how much I love her!


Thursday 21st of October 2021

My gelding shows all these traits. My new pony has only been here 2 weeks and was very stressed it's taking time he is showing a couple them.