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How to Tell if a Horse Likes You? — True Signs of Affection!

Like all other domestic animals, a horse can form a strong bond with his human companion. 

However, it takes a relatively longer time for your horse to develop a bond with you. But when he does, he trusts deeply.  

Naturally, if you feed, bathe, and take good care of a horse, he’ll eventually begin to like you. 

It’s only a matter of time. If you’re wondering how to tell if your horse actually likes you, this article discusses some telltale signs that a horse likes you.


How to tell if a horse likes you?

There are several ways a horse shows he likes you. A horse will only obey the orders of someone he likes. Also, he’ll be eager to follow you around or have you around him. Your horse will sometimes groom you back if he likes you. Sure, he’ll miss you and even long for you. Furthermore, horses take food directly from only those they trust. If a horse remains relaxed around you, it’s a big sign of trust. Finally, he may sometimes run towards you, breathe in your face, or nudge you gently if he likes and enjoys your company.


He takes instructions from you 

You may have heard that horses can be stubborn. This is not completely true. 

Generally, horses are stubborn towards those they don’t like. If a horse doesn’t like you and you give him a command, he’ll just look at you and ignore you like he doesn’t understand what you mean.

If he doesn’t like or trust you, why should he obey you? You could be leading him astray. 

If your horse obeys your instructions, it’s a surefire sign that he likes and trusts you. One funny thing about horses is their strong instinct. 

If you’re pretending to like a horse so that you could harm him, he would never like you no matter how hard you try. Something about you will keep putting him off.


He loves to follow you around

Just like humans love to hang out with people they like, horses do the same. 

If your horse loves you, he’ll love to accompany you anywhere you go. In fact, it may be a little difficult to turn him back. 

Once your horse begins to follow you around on his own, it means he likes and trusts you. 

He does not just follow you around. He’s also ready to protect you from danger.


He grooms you back

If your horse likes you, he’ll also try to groom you back once in a while. 

While grooming him, he may nibble at your neck or shoulder. He could also sniff other parts of your body.


He longs for your attention 

Do you know that horses also miss those they like? If your horse has developed a strong bond with you, he’ll sometimes long for your attention. 

He may whine or make other kinds of noise continuously. And when you show up, he’ll stop the noise and quickly get up happily.

Sometimes, he may need your attention for a specific reason like hunger, and other times he may just want to have you around. 


He takes food from your hand

To confirm if your horse likes you, invite a friend over. 

Tell your friend to hold some hay in his hand and try to feed your horse, and see if the horse will take the hay from him. 

If your horse is not familiar with your friend, he’ll most likely ignore the hay and eat directly from the ground.

You can also try to feed the horse directly, and you’ll see that he’ll eat from your hand. 

The point is that horses take from only the people they like. If your horse takes hay from your hand, it’s a sign that he likes you. 

If your friend continues to come over to your place often, your horse may eventually begin to like him and take food from his hand. But, it will take some time.


He’s relaxed around you

Horses are naturally security conscious. Even if a horse is lying on the ground, when a strange person approaches him, he’ll likely get up. 

He has to be on his guard. 

And he’ll remain watchful until the stranger retreats. That is because he neither likes nor trusts the person. If you go near your horse and he still remains relaxed, it is because he already likes you. 

If you decide to sit beside him, your horse may even rest his head on your body and allow you to stroke his mane gently. 

This will never happen with someone he doesn’t like. Just like dogs and cats, a horse mixes trusts with likes. He trusts those he likes.


He’ll run towards you

If your horse likes you, he’ll be eager to have you around and that makes him charge forward towards you when you approach. 

Remember how your kids rush to the door each time the bell rings because they’re expecting grandma and grandpa? A horse does the same to the people he likes.

If he does not like you, he won’t come nearer even if you stop at the front of his stable. 


He breathes in your face

Another way a horse shows trust and respect is by breathing into the face of his human companion

So, if your horse sometimes blows air into your face from his nostrils, you can rest assured that your horse likes and trusts you. 


He nudges you

Horses tend to give their trusted companions gentle nudges. It is their way of giving you a warm hug.

That means you’ll only get a nudge from a horse that likes you and sees you as a companion. 



As a conclusive summary, horses obey and groom those they love, and may also like to be in their company always.

When a horse longs for your attention, takes food from your hand or remains relaxed around you, it means the horse likes you.

Other ways equines show affection is by running towards you to welcome you, by breathing in your face, and by gently nudging you.