Firstly horses recognise people and can change their behaviour accordingly.
I do know this and have experienced it personally in other situations. Presently, I was worried that being so young and having first contact with humans would predispose him to undesirable behaviors (mouthing) that would be difficult to correct later.
| However I have also learned that mouth contact can be very powerful so I do use it with some horses. For example, if I am making contact with a new horse I will often hold my hand flat and allow them to lick or test the palm, or hold it over their muzzle. How they act tells me a lot about the horse, and also its a very strong way for them to 'smell' me.
Interesting. I get the idea... one time I let him sniff all over my face & neck, and then when he got to my head he began licking my hair. This is not something I would normally let a horse do, but my feeling at the time is that he was smelling me to get to know me.
Thanks, Doe. Good clarification on the mouthing issue.