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Sharing Breath

Hello my name is Jacob

I have been working with horses fer about 7 yrs or so . . .I have had many experiences with horses, mostly good and two or three bad. BUT there is this one thing that puzzled me. I own none of the horses I work with and don't normally get around them all yr round, mostly the warm season. Ok, we had recently acquired a colt and filly (brother/sister) at about 1yr of age. When I had entered the pen with them fer the first time they would both turn from me. I was asked to introduce them to grooming brushes. Basically I was in there to see how they responded to humans. What I thought was weird; they have never been gentled, and remained from human contact fer the first yr of their life. So I didn't expect to get close to them at all. So in my past experiences with foals I learned looking smaller to them helps ease them. (And because of that knowledge (and a kitten) I was able to touch a colt who, fer the first 5 weeks of his life, could not be touched or pet) well then I looked down to place the brushes in a spot where they couldn't get ruined by being stepped on, as I was about to face the two yearlings, one of them was standing next to me. The filly, who was aptly named filly, when I looked up at her she stuck her left nostril up to my face and started to breath long breaths. I never had that happened with any other horse before. After that I was able to touch her, in moderation, and comb her. Can you tell me why she might have done that, and why she continues to do that too me even two yrs later.

Thank you, Jacob.

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for your question. You have experienced a wonderful shared experience with that horse called "sharing breath". It is the way horses greet each other. They put their noses together and share breath. It is also done by old friend members of the herd as reinforcement of the bond and friendship. It is a privilege when a horse wants to share breath with a human. It is acceptance, acknowledgement and a shared experience. How wonderful for you. The idea of making yourself a little shorter for the foals is good as well.

Sounds like you are doing some really good work. Keep it up. Keep sharing breath too when invited by your equine friends. It is a blessing to all participants. They will want to do it forever with members of the herd and occasional strangers to get to know them.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Franklin

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