Do They Even Like you??
We can't ever be sure of what a horse is thinking since we aren't inside their minds... but the more time we spend with them the more we can guess! Horse people LOVE guessing what their horse is thinking. (Me included!!) Sometimes it veers toward the misbehaving side (common in parenting styles as well). This is when someone views behavior and makes an assumption that the behavior is negative. It could be a look, or a gesture or body posture or a response. What I find interesting is how many times a negative emotion or intent is put on it. The pendulum can swing the other way too. A person can see no wrong in spite of what others may see as pretty blatant misbehavior or bad intent.
As always the goal is to find a balance in what we see and the assumption we put on it. I don't have any special mind reading skills so I am sorry I can't convey what your horse really is thinking... but the other day I ~~~ think~~~ my horse gave me a compliment. :) Yes, I am pretty sure he did.
This is a gelding I got almost a year ago. He came to me well trained, well manner and healthy. But I was new to him and he was new to me. We needed some time. My horse is in his teens so conceivably he may have changed hands multiple times by now. The last few years were tough years for horses since the economy and horse markets took some big hits. Many people had to downsize. Horses require a lot of upkeep added to high hay and feed costs meant more than just a little shuffling around of horses. Anyways he is mine now and I really like him. I have sensed a reserve in him....not an all out shutting down that sometimes happens to horses that are used hard and have a temperament that leans toward the horse developing a 'thick skin' (so un-natural for a horse IMO), and have learned to tolerate human demands and interaction by being outwardly obedient and inwardly withdrawn. They do what is asked of them, but there is a dullness about it. Okay- I may be making some of my own assumptions and interpretations of horse behavior but since this is my blog I can. Now back to the 'compliment'.
(I hope this isn't anti-climatic with all this build-up!!) My big lug of a gelding walked up to me..... lowered his head....and let out a big sigh. :) Yup... that was the compliment! :) My heart did a little pitter patter because I felt like I received some concrete evidence that this big ol' guy was actually starting to like me- and not just tolerate me.
Agree? Or am I putting my own wishes on him?
Has your horse complimented you? Tell me in the comments how. I would love to hear.
You can see more of my equine and animal art at Free Rein Art Studio, Horse Art Online
or my etsy shop. Free Rein Art Studio on Etsy