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8 Clear Signs a Horse Likes & Trusts You

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.

Share your thoughts, or ask a question:
Comments 19


Cooky Petree

Saturday 24th of April 2021

I have been feeding this 20 year old Belgium horse for nine years. His owner recently passed away, and I haven’t been up to see him in a few months. I went by with a load of carrots, some fly spray, and grooming gloves. My grandkids fed him while I groomed him. While I was grooming him he leaned into me, and kept nibbling on my neck and back. He doesn’t seem to be getting the care he needs. His hooves looked in bad shape, and he was having trouble walking around. I have never been around horses, and I don’t know anything about them. When we left, I said by Willie, and he nickered. I think that is the correct term. How can I help him? Any suggestions? Please email me.

Delphi swan

Monday 19th of April 2021

My mare had a limp but died a couple of days ago. this website is helping me with my new one. thanks!

Sherri Hawkins

Saturday 27th of February 2021

I don't remember if my cousin's horse showed to me exept when I would walk down the road to my house I always walked by her paddock and she would walk next to me and when she had had cracked hooves my uncle put ointment on them and said I wouldn't be able to pick up her feet and of course I tried it just because and I was able to without a problem she also had her ears cut up because of barbed wire and I would help put the medicine on them not my cousin my cousin and myself stop on each side of her paddock and we both called her and she came to me she was hard to catch but with me she was easier and I was the one who would catch her and saddle her and was the first to ride her. I know she trusted me I loved her as if she was my horse and thought of her as if she was and it hurt when my uncle sold her. My uncle also stopped my mom from buying a buckskin gelding he was young about 2 or 3 he was saddle trained but he was still recently started and my uncle said I wouldn't be able to handle him or he wouldn't be trustworthy my uncle had never seen him and I had trained his horse as a 2 yr old and had done a lot of research and been taking lessons. I had also meet the horse and we had a deal in place until my uncle made that comment


Saturday 13th of February 2021

My 13 year old mare get excited when she see me. She likes to ale her nozzle and push at me of lot. I rub her ears and massage her face. When she spook about anything and I am standing beside her , she will move way from me and for hat I am grateful. I been teaching her to respect my space like I do her.

Linda Greene

Sunday 18th of October 2020

I had a very beautiful half Andsulsia/Quarter Horse. She was very smart and the lead mate of the 12 mares in a large field where I boarded her. One day I walked out to the field to bring her in to ride. When I was about 20 feet from her a truck on the road did a loud backfire All the mares started to rear and buck and erratically run around. I didn’t know whether to run or stay put-I was afraid of being hurt. She ran as fast as she could towards me and stopped dead at my side shielding me from most of the mares. Her stopping and calmness caused the other mates to relax And settle back down and start grazing again. This was on the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had. She was amazing and took such good care of me. Two years later I had to put her down from severe colic, the Veterinarian couldn’t save her. It’s been over 10 years and I still miss her a lot - Linda

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