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Horse mouthing and licking my hand


My sister just got a beautiful white arabian female named Sahara. This is her first horse so we are all learning along the way. I was searching on the internet to get some information and came across your amazing website.

We both study and believe in energy and how it affects all your information is beautiful and so helpful in helping me to get a handle on the most effective way to bring my energy to Sahara.

I have a question regarding licking. Sahara will sometimes take me hand and lick it all over. I have even had her try to gently hold her teeth around my finger. She does this in a very gentle and concious manner, but I have started to pull away as soon as she uses her teeth. I let her do that in the beginning because, honestly, I think I was just amazed at the gentle and concious manner in which she used her teeth with me.

Is this affection? In terms of the licking, do you think that she is just tasting something on my hand (maybe salt from my pores) or that she is being affectionate. Just curious...

Thanks so much, Pamela

Hi Pamela,

Arabians tend to be mouthy anyway. Just like they tend to 'snake' their necks when they move around as well.

As affectionate as it may seem, allowing the horse to put its mouth on you whenever it wants to is the horse 'leading the dance' when it should always be you as the leader. Pulling your finger away quickly is a great way to possibly scare your horse a bit too and get your hand bitten. Some horse like to lick hands as they tend to be salty and horses like that. Some horses are testing the waters of a human's leadership by putting their mouths on the human. As the horse's leader, you should control a few things, always. You absolutely need to control the spacial aspects of the relationship (who stands where and when). This includes your personal boundries (hands included). It can be a short distance from a horse licking a hand to the horse nipping at the hand. Be the leader and keep personal boundries intact consistently. Your horse will tend to trust you and respect you more and quicker. If you simply let the horse do whatever it wants when it wants, someone will eventually get hurt.

As a good dance partner/leader of the dance, it is your responsibility to always direct movement, positioning, action, etc. It is really a lot like high level ballroom dancing. Perhaps Dancing With Horses might go along with Dancing With The Stars. The thing is, every moment with a horse is like a dance. Horses get their sense of safety (the most important feelings a horse can have) from their leader and being always directed by that skillful and confident leader. Be the great leader and lead the dance of movement and relationship. Your horse will love you for it......

Happy Holidays, Franklin

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