Why Your Horse Gives You Sweet Licks While You Pet Her


Have you ever wondered why your horse leans in for a lick when you’re giving her a good scratch or petting session? It might seem a bit quirky, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. In this article, we’re unraveling the mystery behind why your horse showers you with those affectionate licks during your bonding moments.

A beautiful Autumn season of a young girl and horse
  1. Horse Language 101: Trust and Bonding: Horses are big on trust, and when your horse licks you while you’re petting her, it’s like a big, slobbery hug. Licking is a way horses show they trust and feel connected to someone. So, if your horse is giving you a lick, take it as a compliment – she thinks you’re pretty awesome!
  2. Back to the Wild: Grooming and Social Bonds: In the wild, horses groom each other as a way to strengthen their social bonds. Your horse, being the social creature she is, might see you as part of her herd. When she licks you, she’s saying, “Hey, you’re family!” It’s her way of sharing a grooming moment and deepening your special connection.
  3. Relaxation Station: Ever notice how your horse seems super chill when you’re petting her? That’s because the touch and attention trigger a relaxation response. Licking can be a sign that your horse is in a happy, comfortable state – it’s like a contented sigh after a good back rub.
  1. Curiosity Didn’t Just Kill the Cat: Taste and Exploration: Horses are curious creatures, and they explore the world through their noses and mouths. When your horse gives you a lick, she might be checking out the interesting smells and tastes associated with you. It’s her way of saying, “What’s the scoop, human?”
  2. Love and Appreciation, Equine Style: Horses are expressive beings, and their licks can be a heartfelt way of saying, “I appreciate you.” Whether it’s the treats you give, the rides you share, or just the joy of being together, your horse might be expressing gratitude and affection through those wet kisses.


So, the next time your horse plants a big, sloppy kiss on you during a petting session, remember it’s her way of speaking a language of love, trust, and appreciation. Cherish these moments of equine affection – they’re the sweet rewards of a bond that goes beyond words. Your horse thinks you’re fantastic, and those licks are her way of letting you know you’re part of her herd, her family, and her heart.

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