Touch can be connecting, soothing, reassuring, and calming. But not when it is unwanted.
We love to touch our horses. They are beautiful, from their shining coats and flowing manes and tails to their soft muzzles.
We love to touch our horses, however, it is important to recognize if the horse also appreciates that touch.
I have witnessed many nips and bites that happened through an open stall door, in a pasture, or across a fence that only happened after a horse had been clear in his expression and body language that he did not want to be touched. The unaware person continued to try to pet them and at best created a disconnection between themselves and the horse or at worst, ended up with teeth marks on their arm.
Recognizing whether it is appropriate to touch a horse, and when it is not, is very important to establishing rapport with the horse, building connection, and being safe.
In the video below, I will discuss what to notice to determine if touch is ok.
If you are interested in learning more about how to create a great relationship with your horse, Join In on the Free Online “Pure Liberty” Workshop, taught by Andrea Wady, and Starting Soon!