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Hey! haha, this may sound like a silly question- but I would really like an answer. I walked in the pasture to go see my Mare, and I was petting her a while, and then she looked over at me, and started licking my face. Is that an affectionate thing to do? or do horses just lick anything?


Thanks!!
 

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Horses don't lick like dogs do. They will occasionally lick each other in a mutual grooming.

I don't recommend it. Mainly because when horses are done with mutual grooming they don't say, "Okay, thanks." They push each other away or nip or turn their hind end to the other horse. You might put yourself at risk for injury.
 

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My mare licks something to see if it's food.
Perhaps you had been sweating at some poor and had a salty taste/smell ...
Be careful though they rest with there tounge the follow with the teeth haha.
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One of my friends who does equine therapy has a horse that is trained to give kisses (lick your face) on command. He is the only horse who I have ever allowed to even attempt it. I like my face too much to risk it that close to a mouthful of horse chompers if some pony decided to try something funny on a whim. I will sometimes let my guy lick my hand though, even then I watch closely to make sure those teeth don't get involved.
 

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the consequences, if the horse decides to nip, are too great to risk. do NOT let your hrose lick your face. Hand, well, if you keep it really straight so it's hard for them to get their teeth on it, but face? I like my ugly mug the way it is!
 

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Jackson licks when my hands are sweaty and I don't mind it BUT he's not a mouthy horse and it's hard to bite a flat hand. Would I ever let him lick my face? Absolutely not, that's way too close for comfort. Jackson gets to sit still when I kiss him on the nose but the seconds he puts his face in my face it's a no-go.
 

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One of our mares does this:



I can say she's the only horse I would trust to do this. She is very affectionate and is not a biter. I'm pretty sure it's just because your skin is salty, but mine will randomly lick me when I am grooming her or giving her attention. Probably a mutual-scratch kind of thing.. without the "scratch".

That being said, we've owned this mare for many, many years. She is very, very gentle and broke and respectful. I definitely do NOT let the yearling do this, or any other horse for that matter. xD
 

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I've never had a horse lick my face but have had them lick my hands often. I always thought it must be because they tasted salt.
 

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My mare sometimes licks my arm. I wouldn't trust any horse with my face...and my face isn't worth saving, except to me! :wink:
 

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One of our mares does this:



I can say she's the only horse I would trust to do this. She is very affectionate and is not a biter. I'm pretty sure it's just because your skin is salty, but mine will randomly lick me when I am grooming her or giving her attention. Probably a mutual-scratch kind of thing.. without the "scratch".

That being said, we've owned this mare for many, many years. She is very, very gentle and broke and respectful. I definitely do NOT let the yearling do this, or any other horse for that matter. xD
Haha, that picture is actually really stinking cute.

my moms gelding licks hands. He likes the salty taste.
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I don't allow this, as it encourages horse to be mouthy and if horse ever trades owners?

It will earn him a sock to the muzzle.

Bad habit to let one get into.
 

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I don't allow this, as it encourages horse to be mouthy and if horse ever trades owners?

It will earn him a sock to the muzzle.

Bad habit to let one get into.
Don't do that, for he just wanted some salt and he smelled it...
 

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It's not that I don't trust my mare it's that I dont trust her to not be a horse when in the herd. It's funny because I had to be really stern about my space with the herd as they wanted to mob me at first. I used to chase them off really aggressively for my own safety and it didn't take her long to realise that she wasn't my target. Soon enough I no longer need to lift a finger because she chases them off and maintains my space on my behalf. But it's that exact reason I can't really get all snuggly in the field. It's far easier keeping an eye on one horse than 20 and staying out her way, even though she's very respectful of my space. But BECAUSE of this I can't relax. Don't wanna be snuggling in case she decides she has to run someone off or get accidentally run over by a 1600 horse even if she didn't mean to... I have also been bitten by a horse that switched on a dime when one got too close. Instead of biting them chose to bite the closest thing it could reach: me! Fortunately wasn't a bad one but ever since I'm wary of being the target of a horses frustration, even if not directly aimed at me.

But when alone? All the snuggles in the world but that is an earned trust. Personally I think a lot more owners would benefit from teaching their horse to be gentle. Mine would mistake fingers for carrots and now I can practically put them in her mouth and she wont close down until I've retreated and the treat secure on her tongue. Took time and trust and working down until I had pea-sized treats that I would place between her teeth. Same with them moving their head. I hate horses that half-assed lift their head over and bash yours. Teach them it's ok when allowed and when they do it to be gentle and make sure they clear you. But if the horse is mouthy at all or pushy? Not a single chance of getting close without setting boundaries.

Mutual grooming... salt... affection. You know the mare really so you decide :p
 
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