How do YOU introduce yourself to a new horse?

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How do YOU introduce yourself to a new horse?

This is a discussion on How do YOU introduce yourself to a new horse? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to greet a horse hand
  • How to introduce yourself to your new horse

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    06-04-2012, 04:58 PM
How do YOU introduce yourself to a new horse?

I am just curious about this!
Do you: come towards him with your hand out? Palm up or palm down? From the front or off to the side? Pat or rub his face, forehead, or shoulder first?
I have heard all of these, plus, just stand in front of a horse and let him come to you first, but then I also heard, horses are not dogs, they do not need to come up to you to sniff you.
My instincts always have me coming from the side, palm down to let them sniff my hand.... maybe I've been a dog lover too long, and need to change things with horses?!!! Lol!
Nokotaheaven likes this.
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    06-04-2012, 05:01 PM
It depends. Usually I will approach, making sure they know I am coming, with a hand outstretched, palm up. Once they get a good sniff of my hand, I pet their neck with my other hand, keeping the sniffed hand near the nose. Then I might see if the horse will accept a pet on his nose. It's always worked for me, I guess I don't know if there is a proper way to do it or not.
    06-04-2012, 05:01 PM
I tend to do palm down and let them smell me too! They may not need to but I do it anyways. I try to pet a strange horse on the neck/shoulder first before the face but will usually pet their cheek before putting the halter on just for good measure? Haha I always enter their space/approach them talking too.
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    06-04-2012, 05:14 PM
Green Broke
It depends on what direction I'm approaching them from and the mental state of the horse (scared, sleeping, relaxed, etc). If it's from the front and they aren't aggressive or scared I'll walk up to their head and place my palm face down over the top of their nose and slightly over their nostrils where I will then proceed to the pet the neck. From the rear, I'll alert them with a soft noise and place my hand on their body as I walk towards their head. Like I said, it depends greatly on the situation and mental state of the horse. I wouldn't use this tactic on a horse who's scared. If the horse is becoming dangerous, there is no first gentle interaction, there's just me taking charge of the situation without greeting the horse first. If they're scared I approach slowly and cautiously with my hand extended palm up, talking to them as I move towards them.
    06-04-2012, 05:15 PM
Green Broke
I usually hold my arm out but angled at 45 degrees and have my palm down. I stand sideways in front of the horse. After they sniff my hand I try to rub their nose and go from there to their forehead. I've always understood that is a nonaggressive horse greating. If they don't sniff my hand, which I think most will, I don't push any farther. I'll ignore the horse and then they become curious and will approach.
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    06-04-2012, 05:25 PM
I approach from the side, walk to about 5 feet in front of the horse, turn my back, and stand there lookiing at the scenery...
flytobecat and Chance59 like this.
    06-04-2012, 05:32 PM
"Hello, my name is...."
Sorry..couldn't resist.

Pretty much the same as above.
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    06-04-2012, 05:34 PM
I approach from the side, head down, palm outstretched. I also talk to the horse, when I'm approaching and when I am petting it. I will also blow into the horses nostrils, once I get to know him/her.
    06-04-2012, 05:34 PM
Green Broke
For a normal, relaxed horse, I walk up and talk to them, say their name. Then I will kinda approach sideways and pat their neck with my hand out so they have to bend their neck to smell my hand.
    06-05-2012, 06:32 AM
Thanks everyone, for your replies! I always knew the main thing was not to scare a horse, but to keep it low key....
Faceman- aren't horses so curious sometimes?! Turning our backs or walking away keeps them wondering "hey what am I missing?!!" :)

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