Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The land of Enchantment
My mare and I have a ritual that has just evolved over time. Whenever I put her back from feeding, or riding, or am finished with ground work she puts her cheek next to mine, I hug her neck, she then faces me and licks the flat of my hand, sometimes for a very long time. She is never w/o a mineral block, so it didn't start for lack of salt. When I got my little haffie filly, she wanted to "join in", as usual, so I would offer my other hand, but she was too mouthy at the start. She eventually learned, now they both do it. So, for the haffie it is "mimicked" behavior and I don't know what pleasure she gets out of it. For my mare, it is just some form of "comfort" and, I like to believe, bonding.
There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.