Interesting behaviour - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: pacific northwest
Posts: 379
• Horses: 0
Interesting behaviour

Our mare was a little bit goofy last night with my daughter. They were in the arena together and the mare rolled and then ran around at full speed and bucked for a little bit just having a great time. When my daughter went up to her to bring her in the horse started to lick and smell her - ALL OVER! She did this for a really long time, licking and softly nibbling her jacket, (shoulders, arms, truck), her skort, bare legs and even her shoes! She licked every inch of my daughters bare legs and seemed to be really relaxed, almost in a trance. It seemed very sweet. My daughter just placed her hand very gently on the mares face and the mare just kept going and going at it. After my daughter walked away Lily smelled where she had been standing, walked around then came back to that same spot and smelled some more!

Is this just some extra affection? Has anyone else had their horse do this?
newhorsemom is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Waxhaw, NC
Posts: 1,364
• Horses: 2
subbing. never seen this before. My horses only lick my hands when they're sweaty or had treats in them.
LetAGrlShowU is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 185
• Horses: 4
Thor licks me all the time. He gets very relaxed, cocks a hind leg, eyes get droopy and licks me and my clothing all over until sometimes my clothing will be completely soaked. He is usually most interested in doing it after I groom him so I guess he is grooming me back. A couple times when he was younger he tried to nibble my clothing but I put a stop to it fast because I have a firm rule of no tooth contact at all any time, could turn from small nibbles into big nibbles into a bite, seen it happen before with other horses.

A lot of people tell me he is after salt on my skin but I really don't think that's it as he has free choice salt and minerals and most of the time I am not sweaty or very dirty when he does it. If I don't want to get wet I make him back off and he will still stand there watching me and sticking his tongue out licking the air. He only does this with me, although he will occasionally give my dad an odd lick or two but nobody else.
smokeslastspot is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,838
• Horses: 0
Three of our four horses like to lick my daughter and I. Our big guy, Sam will give a total body lick if he can. When they lick, they all seem really relaxed just like you described. I don't think they do it for the salt since my husband has quite salty skin and they never offer to lick him. They will also lick clothing.

I would be interested to know what this behaviour means as well. Maybe it is like they are grooming members of their herd?
LetAGrlShowU likes this.
Koolio is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: pacific northwest
Posts: 379
• Horses: 0
Alright - the horse is still at it this morning! We went to feed her and put her out this morning before school and Lily didn't even want her breakfast. The minute my daughter opened her stall Lily started in on her coat. She was so busy licking and muzzling her coat that it was a challenge to get her halter on. Then we took her out to the paddock and Lily didn't even want her breakfast she just wanted to lick and smell my daughter. My daughter had to grab a handful of hay and put it in front of Lily's mouth to get her to begin eating. She is so relaxed and happy doing this it's as if she is getting high or something! It's pretty funny!
newhorsemom is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 129
• Horses: 2
Maybe she thinks your daughter is her very own little filly or something lol

Hakuna Matata!
roanypony is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 561
• Horses: 0
Maybe its a away for her to show her affection for her. Being that she dont do it to you husband.
cowboy bowhunter is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 190
• Horses: 0
I know that horses lick other horses when they're lacking salt, minerals, electrolytes, etc... Does your horse have a salt/mineral lick?

Could be that she's just being a sweetie but it does make me wonder...

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Robert A. Heinlein
MakeYourMark is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 02:08 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 41,069
• Horses: 2
Could this have anything to do with a menstral cycle? I mean, if your daughter had her period, she might smell quite differently. But, then why would the horse not do it every time? And your daughter is pretty young, if I remember correctly. hm m m . maybe not.
tinyliny is online now  
post #10 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,539
• Horses: 4
my mare always used to do this. interestingly enough, after having bought her back after not having her for two years, she doesn't do it so much now. she's also being rehabbed weight and mentality wise so it might be that. as she is filling in and realizing life isn't so bad she's starting to lick more. maybe your mare is just that happy. :)
crimsonsky is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Change in behaviour ! Midnight Angel Horse Riding 11 11-08-2010 09:55 PM
Odd behaviour - statement? newhorsemom Horse Health 5 03-03-2010 09:43 PM
Odd behaviour under saddle? AussieDaisyGirl Horse Training 6 07-04-2009 11:36 AM
What would cause this behaviour??? ViEwMySpOtS09 Horse Training 22 05-01-2009 04:35 PM
VERY BAD BEHAVIOUR!!!! CaSpEr General Off Topic Discussion 1 09-04-2008 10:43 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome