What does it mean when the horse licks? Almost every rider knows that horses like to lick you. Be it on his hand or even on his clothes or face. Many people like the behavior because the horse shows affection in this way – one thinks! But what is the real reason why a horse licks its rider or other persons? In this article you will find the answer to this question.
Content- Everything at a glance
When the horse licks: The salt tastes so good
The main reason why your horse licks your hand after riding, for example, is because you have such a tastes deliciously of salt. Horses love the taste of salt. For this reason, they may like to lick everything if it has a salty taste. Many feeds contain little to no salt or other minerals. Many horses are therefore nutrient deficient and want to lick anything salty.
To prevent a salt deficiency in your horse, you can Lick help. You can easily hang these in the pasture/stable or put them on the ground.
Your horse is looking for social closeness
Licking is not always a sign of affection.
Horses are herd animals. Therefore they love nothing more than closeness to their conspecifics in the herd. Often you can observe such behavior when horses are Love bite give. They start to cuddle each other with their mouths. You as the owner are also considered part of his herd. Accordingly Does your horse want to groom you or protect you as well, like its other herd members. Your horse thinks you need that kind of closeness and wants to give it to you in the form of a lick. But beware: licking is not always a sign of affection. If you show the horse that you like licking, he will simply learn this behavior and use it for that reason.
Your horse lacks saliva
horses are very sensitive to stressful situations. A physical reaction that is also well known to us humans is the dry mouth. However, horses are usually frightened much more often during the day than we humans are. Here it all depends on the sensitivity of your horse. So very skittish horses have more to fight with this problem. In order to be able to restore the saliva, they start to lick things or even their humans.
Why do horses lick hands?
There are several reasons why horses lick hands. For example, the salt content of the skin tastes good to them. They also want to show their affection or communicate with their owners in this way. But also instinct, illness or boredom cause horses to lick something.
Exploring by licking
Horses feel with their mouth and especially their tongue and teeth if the food is good for them. They explore the world with the horse’s mouth. Accordingly, they also try their owner Analyze it by taste, to see if they can trust him.
Horses licks – Controlled by instinct
Horses, unlike us humans, have a enormously pronounced chewing instinct. They eat almost around the clock. If they are given unlimited food, e.g. hay, they spend most of the day in front of the hay rack. If they are not given enough food, they will chew or lick everything the horse finds. A good example is Wooden fences. Has your horse ever gnawed on a wooden fence? Perhaps it did not have enough food available at the time.
Horses explore the world with the horse’s mouth.
Your horse is bored
The fact that your horse licks or chews wooden fences is not only due to the fact that it does not get enough food. Horses also lick things when they are simply boring is. This can happen especially when horses stand alone. They lack the social closeness to their conspecifics. They start to feel lonely and therefore lick things to pass the time.
If your horse has already destroyed all your wooden fences, you can consult with a veterinarian. Many Behavioral patterns are easy to remedy. If your horse is alone and the problem is due to this, you should think about finding a (pasture) partner for your horse.
horse licks – indication of a disease
Even if it is rather rare, some diseases cause constant licking and chewing in the horse. This can especially could indicate a stomach ulcer. Your horse wants to produce excessive saliva and therefore licks out of reflex. If you have the feeling that your horse is missing something, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian. The latter can quickly get a picture of your favorite and clarify the cause of the behavioral abnormality.
What do horses miss when they lick hands?
Often this can indicate a nutritional deficiency. They lack salt, because horse feed contains little to none of it. Here you can help with licking stones.
Personal idiosyncrasy of the horse
Some horses generally lick more often than other horses. Horses that generally lick more, try with their rider to communicate in this way. Special care must be taken that the behavior does not take on extreme proportions. It should be avoided that these horses are allowed to lick everything and everyone all the time, in order not to encourage them in this.
Conclusion: What you as a horse owner must pay attention to when your horse is licking!
There are several reasons why your horse may lick you. Be it out of affection, out of boredom or because he is missing something. The horse must Limits are set. Even if you as an owner can judge your own horse well and know when it becomes critical, others cannot. If your horse does not know when to stop, this can quickly become annoying and/or frightening for outsiders. In the worst case, a simple licking can turn into biting.