Though it may look like I am kissing Fletch on his muzzle, I am not: I’m blowing very gently into his nostrils as he inhales, one way horses communicate with each other. According to some (I haven’t found a place where this has been documented), this technique was used by early Native Americans in deepening their connection to & domestication of wild horses. I see it almost like an introduction.
I take a turn, then Fletch takes a turn. I do this almost every time I see him, and he loves it–he almost comes to expect it when I visit him at the barn. He is the snuggliest horse I know.
I only try this with horses I completely trust: some horses love it, others don’t seem to care for it. I start when the horse is in a stall, and if the horse comes close enough to where I stand, I’ll blow softly. If you are very familiar with body language, you can determine if this is something a horse is interested in. Fletch, pictured, liked it from the start.
This is something I heard about as a young girl growing up with horses, and I try it with each horse I work with. Not forcefully, but with a spirit of curiosity.
How do you bond with the horses you love?