Are horses protective of their owners

Sep 07, 2023 | Super Equestrian


Are horses protective of their owners

Can words ever convey the depth of a relationship? I guess not. Verbs cannot fully express the bond between a horse and its owner. By simply neighing or looking, horses can express their fondness, affection, and loyalty to their human friend.

Every animal has a natural instinct to detect and protect itself from danger. Horses are no exception; they even exhibit a desire to protect their owners in times of danger, refusing to allow other animals to approach them if they feel threatened. It is possible that wild animals comprehend the concept of friendship better than humans.

You may be wondering if there is anything else you should know about horses' protectiveness of their owners. We have addressed all of your questions and concerns throughout the article. 

So, what are you still waiting for ? Jump aboard our carriage and enjoy a lovely journey about horses' protective emotions.

What does it mean for a horse to be protective?

The question is so common that it has hit every animal lover's mind at least once, especially if they own a horse. The fact that the question is simple does not imply the answer will be easy as well. 

This question cannot be answered in a single word; instead, it will require a more in-depth discussion that will offer us a clear understanding of the horse's haunches. 

Horses should be viewed as prey rather than predators. So, naturally, When they sense any danger, they instinctively try to flee. However, not all horses behave in this manner; some remain by their owners' sides to protect them. 

Which begs the question, what is the significance of this protective behavior in horses, and why or when does it manifest ?

To begin, we must define what we mean by defensive behavior in horses. This can include a variety of actions, such as not allowing others to approach owners, be it humans or animals. 

Standing like a shield in front of a human friend during impending danger or pushing him away. They can even stand perfectly still and keep a watchful eye around without doing any of this.

So when a horse defends their owner, it means the world to them. especially if the horse has been handled with compassion and care. They begin to see their owner as a protector, guardian, and leader, prompting them to act on their protective instincts whenever they sense danger around both of them.

We must also remember that the horse's behavior could be due to fear or mistrust. When horses are exposed to new environments, crowded places, and exotic animals, they can become fearful or vulnerable. In this situation, they see their owner as a safe haven and seek to get close to them.

You can consult with a practitioner to get better and more confident advice on these underlying issues. Don't worry if your ideas are half-baked about finding a credible trainer; we've prepared a full meal about how to find a reputable horse trainer for you.

How to encourage protective behavior

There are many factors that can encourage a horse's defensive tendencies, causing some horses to run away when they see danger and others to stand by their owner like a friend. 

One of the main factors is the horse's relationship with its owner. Because horses are social animals, they try to form mutual trust with the animals around and people who care for them. If the horse notices the same effort from the owner, a strong bond forms between them, encouraging the horse to be protective of the owner.

Here are some other ways to encourage protective behavior in horses:

  1. Socialization: Horses who are engaged to a wide range of people, places, and aspects gain self - confidence. This is a significant benefit of horses being social animals. So, put your horse in a more public environment to make him more at ease and stable. This will encourage your horse to be protective of you.
  2. Stay vigilant: If your horse thinks there is danger lurking around them, they will exhibit more defensive behavior. Be aware and keep an open eye for things that could pose a real danger to you and your horse.  Always having the guard on can be a threat to the horse's mental health.
  3. Approach strangers and animals with caution: When we encounter something unfamiliar, we experience fear. Horses are no different. So, if a horse acts defensively in the presence of an unfamiliar environment or people, it is acting in your best interests. So take the time to expose your horse to new situations, people and animals. Get them used to new things gradually.
  4. Acknowledge protective behavior: Know that the day your horse expresses protective behavior toward you is the happiest day of your life. Don't brush aside this behavior in your horse. Praise him for his good behavior and reward him with his favorite treats or special hoof care. Your actions will make the horse more protective of you in the future. 
  5. Individual temperament and breed: There is nothing new to say about pets' devotion to their owners. However, this trait is heavily influenced by the breed and the animal's temperament. In terms of horse breeds, the Andalusian and Friesian breeds are the most loyal and protective of their owners. Of course, regardless of breed, we will consider that, like humans, they possess distinct individuality that play a role in the expression of different behaviors.
  6. Past trauma: Horses that have previously been subjected to negative experiences and poor treatment will naturally exhibit regular protective behaviors. As a result, care must be taken to ensure that the future does not repeat the past.

Too much of anything, as the saying goes, can be hazardous. Keeping this in mind, we must be careful not to stimulate aggressive tendencies while encouraging protective behavior.

Conclusion

And at last, it is undeniable that understanding and encouraging protective behavior in horses is an integral part of their bond with their owner. Although not all of them will show this instinct, horses will express this behavior when they detect danger and are determined to protect their beloved master.

We should keep in mind that horses are very strong, fast and energetic animals. 

So, thinking that they are showing protective behavior towards the owner, they may harm someone without realizing it, they can injure them. Therefore horses must not only be encouraged and cared for, but also adequately trained and managed properly. 

Only in this manner will you be able to maximize the horse's ability to express its protective feelings in a safe and controlled way. By respecting and understanding our equine pals' protective instincts, we can form a bond that will prepare us to weather any storm. 

Finally, we arrived at our much-anticipated destination; I hope you enjoyed the ride. 

As parting time approaches, please let us know if your horse is showing proper protective behavior toward you. Drop a comment below

“Vamoose, ya varmint,”

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