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Do you kiss your horse?

Bear with me: I know this is kind of a weird question. I also know that it’s weird that it’s been on my mind.

I give Tristan at least one kiss every time I see him. Frankly, I usually give him a lot more than that. I press my whole face into the soft side of his nose. I squish my nose right onto his nose and inhale deeply. I tuck my forehead into the groove right behind his ear. I rest my cheek on top of his head, between his ears, when he presses his head into my body. I do these things almost constantly – before rides, after rides, in the stall, in the crossties, in the field. And most times I do any of those things, I end it with a kiss.

When I leave the barn, I do two things. I double-check the door latch, and I give Tristan a kiss and I tell him I love him with all my heart. Sometimes I get more effusive than that, but I never, ever, ever fail to give him a kiss and tell him I love him. I’ve almost always done that. For the decade and a half of our partnership. As soon as he could bear someone touching his face (which took a while), I was kissing him. If I don’t also tell him I love him when I leave I feel like something’s left undone behind me. What if something happens? I want to always, always affirm how much I adore him, and to know that if that’s the last thing I told him, then he knows.

Maybe it’s sappy and weird? Maybe I’m vastly more tactile than the average horse person, or the average person in general? Maybe it’s just a weird habit that I’ve developed over years of being weird about my horse? Maybe it’s a family trait – I do have a very physically demonstrative family? (Possible additional evidence: my dog gets a LOT of kisses as well.)

Here’s the thing I only recently realized, though.

No one else at my barn seems to kiss their horse? I mean. I am sure it happens sometimes. But in the last few weeks since I started to realize this, I’ve been paying closer attention and…I don’t see it?

So I come here, to the internet, where I confess my weirdnesses for the whole world to see. Is it unusual? Do you kiss your horse? Do you do it a lot or only sometimes?

9 thoughts on “Do you kiss your horse?

  1. I give him lots of scratches and pats, but I never kiss him. To me, kissing seems like a very human form of affection that just doesn’t make sense in a horse context. But I think it’s sweet and I wouldn’t change what you’re doing if it makes you happy!

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  2. The horses at home get goodnight kisses with their last treat and Ernie gets a goodbye kiss with his last treat before I head home. I do sometimes throw in some extra kisses, especially to Phoenix, since I need to get them in while I can! I love the feel of their soft noses.

    Now I will have to pay attention to whether others kiss their horses around me at the boarding barn lol.

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  3. 100% in camp smooches lol…. also, legit every single person who meets my horse (even the surliest most world weary professionals and vets etc, men and women) literally *cannot resist* planting one on charlie’s giant smooshy schnoz, probably bc he basically demands it by sticking it directly in your face. resistance is futile!

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  4. Yep, my horses gets lots of kisses too! When I kiss Eros’ nose, he kind of lifts it at me which makes me think he’s kissing me back. I realize he’s probably not. But whatever. I’ll take it.

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  5. I would’ve loved to give a little peck to our daughter’s horse, but he literally would bite the hands that fed him, so I didn’t dare or he’d have taken my face off. However, I plant smooches on the top of my dog’s head, and figure that this gesture of human affection is perfectly OK considering that I have to accept a swipe of my dog’s tongue as a gesture of canine affection when spit is not actually something I like šŸ˜€ (If I had a horse–a big, bumbling, friendly gentle one–I’d definitely be a-smooching.)

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