Wanting a horse's love - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 36 Old 01-02-2014, 07:56 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
A horse that's kept alone will welcome company, be it a human, dog, cat, goat. If a horse loves a person then it won't immediately run off or attempt to when another horse shows up? If the horse loves a human then it will be always obedient, never put the rider at risk with a buck or spook.
I love my mother, but I don't always obey her. Why would I expect my horse to obey me just be cause he/she loves me?

I think every horse has their own unique personalities and will display affection and emotion in their own way. My beloved mare T was very stoic and was the head mare in a group of about twenty horses. When I would go out to get her she would come to me but run the other horses off from being too close to me. At the same time she would follow my directions and certainly always minded her manners around me. Did she love me? I'd like to think she had affection for me. While she was opinionated and let me know, she would follow my wishes after expressing her own. Yes, she saw me as the leader, or did she see me as a worthy partner? I'd love to acquire that relationship with Walka or Misty, but may never because of their own unique personalities.

When T passed I personally watched Walka grieve for her. It was his final acceptance of her not physically being there any longer that helped me get a handle on my own grief. He had never known a moment without his mother except for the weekends she was away with me on overnight trailrides. When she passed he knew almost instantly and began screeching for her. Very traumatic, very emotional. When he called the last time for her the next day (he called for her throughout the night) after checking every possible place she could be, he came to me and put that big head on my chest to be rubbed and never uttered another sound. Simply amazing to me.

So I think each horse feels emotions but like people, there are many different personalities and they therefore demonstrate their emotions differently. My girl T kept alot inside, Walka let's you know exactly what's going on with him. Misty is still showing me her personality.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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post #32 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I can understand a horse seeking solace with it's owner. As for love, it's often something I hear from newbies. "I want my horse to love me". What is missing in their life that they need this large animal to love them? This is an issue that has arisen in the last 20 yrs or so. Horses were thought of as livestock, not to be abused, but being loved by a horse wasn't an expectation or desire or even crossed their mind.
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post #33 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Many moons ago when I was a teen, bonding with a horse wasn't something we even thought about. We all enjoyed the horses, respected them and demanded good manners in return. It wasn't a matter of wanting the horse to love us nor us needing to love on and cuddle the horse. We groomed them, rode them, and put them away and left them to be horses. None were barn sour or herd sour. People that I knew rarely ran into difficulties with their horses. Something changed and now people, women want the horse to love them and have this idea that demanding respect is akin to a beating. Because of this we hear of many many cases where the horse has no respect for it's owner. I sometimes wonder where I was during the transition period.
I think I grew up about the same time you did. I messed with my horse every day, brushing, grooming, bathing, clipping, riding, showing and all of that. I adored my horse for being a horse and I adored how he tried his heart out for me in the ring. Did he love me? I don't know that that thought ever crossed my mind. He was always there for me. I remember sitting on top of him in his stall and just sobbing into his mane when I heard the news that my trainer's very beloved dad had terminal cancer. The horse allowed me to sog up his mane and hang on his neck while he ate his dinner. I guess that's a form of horsey love, not to get irritated if you mess with them while they eat.

Respect was never an issue back then. We were taught from small children that horses were here for us to use and to control. It went right along with responsibility to the animal. We took them in, domesticated them and now we had the responsibility for their well being, to feed, vet and have the farrier out for them because we had taken away their ability to do anything for themselves. For all of that we expected to be minded when we asked them to do something. It just WAS.

My boarder made the comment the other day when her horse was going in to be gelded, "I hope he won't hate me.". ???? We never even thought about stuff like that.

I've noticed a corresponding lack of ability to ask for respect from others, along with the new lack of ability to ask for respect from a horse. When did we become doormats? The same people who can't demand respect from a horse are the same ones who can't tell someone that they are infringing on their personal space, "That would be mean, I can't do that." or "But they won't like me if I do that.". When did we all decide we were so worthless that we couldn't have standards?

Oh boy, here I go, thinking before noon again......that's akin to playing with knives and I'm not allowed to do that either.
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post #34 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
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I never suggested that horses should be treated like puppies. xD To love a horse doesn't immediately imply (a word I am apparently fond of in this thread xD) rude pasture puffs xD

I love my horse, but I'll be ****ed if he doesn't respect me xD
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post #35 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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It's an interesting question and I think it's all based on our personal definition (and experience) of love.

I love my husband. I know this because I cannot imagine my life without him in it. But, I don't expect him to obey me without question. ;). (It would be nice!)

I love my daughter. She is my world and I would give my life to save hers. I do demand her respect and obedience (because she is still young), but as she grows and matures, she is given more freedom. I hope that someday she will be an independent adult and a productive member of society.

I love our horse. She fulfills my childhood dreams. She can be a brat and wear my patience thin at times, but she is also extremely intelligent, an easy keeper and a willing companion to my daughter.

Does she love us back? Hard to say. I know she respects me because I demand it. I know she looks forward to my visits because she runs to the gate when she sees my car. I think she loves my daughter because she shows affection and devotion to her. She is protective of her little girl and will do things for my daughter more willingly than she will for me. (We both rode her on a trail obstacle challenge. There was one obstacle that I just could NOT get her thru. My daughter had to ask twice, and finally Acey went thru.). I know that during the summer, when my daughter is away, she will search for her, and looks sad/disappointed when she realizes that she is not with me.

But, is that love? I really don't know. I think we do tend to anthropomorphise the animals in our lives, but perhaps just like animals change us, we change them.
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post #36 of 36 Old 01-07-2014, 03:08 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
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When I was a kid I just wanted to love upon them and ride them and do whatever I wanted with them and expected them to behave. I never mistreated them though. That changed around the time I turned 12 though, when I got my first Appaloosa. I would go out there and love upon her, just put on her rope halter & lead then just go hit the trails for a couple hours every day (yes I always wore a helmet). Just by doing that she really bonded with me and I had found a soulmate.... Which she proved just how much she loved me when she was once threatened to be kicked if she didn't move and I (not seeing what was going on) told her to stay... She stayed. The horse kicked her with both hind feet (he had shoes on). She stood and took the hit. Had she moved away from the kick, it would have hit me and my back would have been torn open. She was fine too, just got a couple minor cuts.
It was because of her that I realized that I not only want to bond with my horses, but I need to..

"It is the difficult horses that have the most to teach you" - Double Dan Horsemanship
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