Horse recognition of people
I didnt really know what thread to put this in..
I work at a horse ranch... and there is a trenage girl that goes there frequently to ride. She claims that one of
the stallions is "her horse" but its not- it belongs to the owner of the ranch obviously. She also says that the stallion only responds and cooperates with her, and shes never seen anyone ride him and he act as calm as he does for her. But this stallion acts the same for everybody, in my opinion, as he does for her... And the stallion is probably interacted with by 50+ kids a day. Which led me to wondering if stable/ranch horses can recognize certian people, like her, if theyre around sooo many people. I think her relationship with the horse is cute, I just dont know if its realistic for a horse that is with that many people and is claimed to only really love her.
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Horses are pretty bright, but IMO your friend is just horse crazy--aren't we ALL here!--and is wishfully thinking that "the pretty horse" is attached to her.
Horses are interested in their food, their safety and their welfare. JUST LIKE any other pet or animal, they relate to the person who feeds and cares for them bc they come to depend upon that person.
Your friend is kidding herself.
It may not be proven but I think horses can and do recognize people. Form what I have seen after interacting with school horses and my own horse, privately owned or limited "owner like" contact, the horse is going to better recognize and bond. With the school horses, they are going to react, I think, more to the kind words and excessive treats more so than any single person.
Still, horses recognize kindness and also recognize unkindness. We know that a horse that has been abused in the past may never bond to even the kindest of humans or may be afraid of one gender or another depending on who the abuser was. For example, when I got my very first horse, I boarded at a barn with a very kindly gentleman, the typical wizened older type. He loved horses and was very good with them. This one mare, however, had been badly abused in her past. While this barn owner and trainer could hold her, he said it took 2 years, by the halter, she was always testing to see if she could pull away. She wasn't crazy afraid of people but she wouldn't "talk" to people or accept treats from anyone other than her owner. Too bad..she was a sweetie otherwise and could jump a pole held up over the heads of two 6' men from a very easy canter..this mare had springs on her feet. If I hadn't seen it I would never have believed a horse would jump over something she could have more easily walked under. The owner let me ride her once and her extended trot was like sitting in a chair; there was absolutely no bounce but even though I was kind to her she would never come to me to the front of her stall or accept a treat.
Horses are conditioned to like certain people. The people that provide the most leadership, food, and care for them are the people that they like the best, naturally. This is because as survival animals, or 'prey', they are always in search of what makes them the most comfortable. Consistency is a key thing that makes them comfortable, because the person is then reliable to them as a source of safety. I think certain people have personalities that attract certain types of horses (i.e., a 'take charge' person would attract a more timid horse) and so the horses are more likely to have an 'attraction' to those people, but I think any horse can learn to recognize and like any person to some extent by being conditioned by how it is treated, and any horse can learn to dislike a certain person, or even a certain type of persons (such as those who prefer one gender of human over another) if it consistently feels uncomfortable around them.
That is all IMO though ;)
Sounds like a horse crazy teen and what more status could come with the ranch STALLION being her horse. As long as she isn't doing anything to put herself in harm's way and is following the rules if she interacts with him then take it for what it is - a teen crush on a magnificent animal.
When my horse was on full board and I was not the one feeding him without fail, as soon as I would drive up to the stables, he would call out to me and come trotting up to the fence. Never saw him do that at feed time and I have never seen him do it to anyone else.
I also have something like that with one of the horses at work. He is not my horse and is a black Hannovarian stallion. The first time I had anything to do with him was when I was told to take him out the paddock and clean him up. He had been in the paddock on spell for about 6 months and was very dirty. I must have spent almost 2 hours brushing him. Ever since then any time he sees me, he will call out and come over for a cuddle even though I no longer work there. I was not the only one who handled him and he was by no means and angel for me and a devil for everyone else, but everyone who saw me work with him all said the same thing - "Oh, he likes you," even his actual owner.
I do believe that some horses and people bond more strongly than others. Some personalities mesh while others clash. If you have a good relationship and bond with your horse, then you will go further than you would if you clash with your horse.
If you do not own a horse, then IMO it is not "your horse," you may have a good working relationship but no amount of wishing or hoping will allow you to find a magical mystical horse that only you can handle... Stallion or not.
my mare chilly always talks to me when i go out there. this is a daily thing. she does not do it with my mom. no food is involved. just petting and visiting. coincidence?
my mom's gelding will sometimes take advantage of her by being a brat, yet he doesnt do with when i handle him. coincidence? i demand more respect then what my mom does. therefore there is no other reason that he is on his best behavior while i work him as opposed to her, other then he recognizes me and how i handle him.
its no different then a confident rider/trainer getting on a naughty horse and making the horse look like an angel under saddle, then his owner gets on the horse and all hell breaks loose because the horse knows he can get away with it. if a horse can recognize the difference in a beginner-advanced rider, why wouldnt they be able to recognize individual people?
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When I was a kid my family's summer house was next to a field full of sheep. One sheep would break from the flock and run straight to me every time I passed by. It was the weirdest thing. So if a sheep can do it I'm sure horses do as well (although I've never experienced anything as insane as that sheep even with my own horse, who is very into me).
there is a lot of pros and cons on this one i think.
i my self feed mine titbits and have worked on them to broaden there horizons.
i think if your willing to go the extra mile and reserch for your self i think you would be suprised in the results.
i have changed automobieles a few times now and thay get to recognise the engine noise.
thay hear my steps and look with ears pricked foward and neigh when thay see me.
ok all horses do that ok i agree on that one.
i can ask my l pony to kick a ball pick up a bucket and ask for eather a left or right fore leg.
he also grabs the shaveings fork handle and trys to shake it with me.
a lot of my frends includeing my barn owner say he should be human.
as to the other recognition i whistle when im about 200 yards from the paddock and i get a reply.
from another point tricky has an ich and i ask him to point on and he shows me the spot ie on his flank i use my thingers in a circle motion and his lip comes right out in eastasey and he points to another spot.
its the same with horse flys thay tell me were thay are in there own body language and it works for them as for me as i dont whant them bitten.
so you could say a bond builds up there.
so it comes to the wire there has got to be an intelegence there and the thought process to make a decision eather fod oriantated if food is there and if there is no food.
ill be honest i think we take a lot for granted and we learn from each other
human and equine.
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