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Mrwdaw

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I have another question: as soon as I'm close to her, she likes to lick my jacket all over. Is this an affectionate thing?
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have another question: as soon as I'm close to her, she likes to lick my jacket all over. Is this an affectionate thing?
Partly a baby thing, I think. And partly "affection". I would direct the action to areas you feel comfortable with by calmly moving her head. Be careful with human emotion words like "affection" when speaking about animals. Respect and leadership are important right now. Later, when you ask her to do hard things she will be more responsive and less of a brat.
 

Taz

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Baby talk is fine, so are all the rubs and scratches. You want to build the relationship you have with her. Think of it like a small child, you have to make being with you and doing what you want her to do fun for her and only say no when you have to. Horses groom each other when they are comfortable/like each other, it's being part of the herd. If you don't want her licking you or if she starts to use her teeth try slowly and softly rubbing her muzzle. She wants to interact with you.
 

Pitter Patter

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I still consider myself a true novice, but watch for signs of her accepting what you are showing her. When she is ready to "digest" what has just happened she may lick her lips and pause and turn towards you. That is a good sign. Give her time and patience and it will all work out, and don't be afraid of making mistakes. We all do. Spending a lot of time with her and getting to know each other will help too. When I first got my Welsh Cobb he was full on mean and I had rescued him from a man who planned to shoot him. Be careful of some trainers. My first one insisted the first aggressive step towards me and I was to shout, run after him with whip. That made things a lot worse. Fired her after first time. Went to natural horsemanship trainer, and I think that it pretty much what people are using on this forum (which I love!). It took 6 months to get over that first horrible encounter! I had gotten a mare the same time I got him but she was weak and small (or so I thought). My farrier said to put them together. (They were separated by a fence because I didn't trust him). My little mare taught me how to deal with the Cobb and she even protected me when I went in there! I followed her lead and watched her . It was amazing! We went a few times to that next trainer and a whole new world opened up. I still don't ride him though because he hates it. When I learn how to drive we may try that. But he loves interacting and I totally trust him now on the ground. He hangs with me when I clean the paddock and we go on walks together. Perfect gentleman. So don't despair, you love this little one and want to make it work, so it will. I have never had a baby (umm, horse baby!) but expecting one sometime soon. I will probably be back asking the same questions! So, I will be watching this thread to see how it's done with all the great advice on here!
 

Maryann at MiniV

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When Pitter Patter mentioned the Licking her Lips, I believe she was referring to what horses do to show submission, which is "Licking and Chewing". They may or may not look at you, though. And yes, it is a good sign.

I like Pitter Patter's descriptions. The first trainer totally went overboard! You don't want the horse scared of you! You want its RESPECT, which eventually and hopefully will also become affection. PLUS, Pitter Patter seems to have learned "Horse Talk". She observed how they interact and learned from it. KUDDOS.
 

Pitter Patter

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When Pitter Patter mentioned the Licking her Lips, I believe she was referring to what horses do to show submission, which is "Licking and Chewing". They may or may not look at you, though. And yes, it is a good sign.

I like Pitter Patter's descriptions. The first trainer totally went overboard! You don't want the horse scared of you! You want its RESPECT, which eventually and hopefully will also become affection. PLUS, Pitter Patter seems to have learned "Horse Talk". She observed how they interact and learned from it. KUDDOS.
Aww...Thank you Maryann! Always a learning process, right?! Should also say, I think my boy loves me. So, give it time and patience...And I THINK yawning may rank up there with licking and chewing, but not sure. Baby could just be tired. Oh, one more thing you may hear---ALWAYS end on a good note! They really do remember EVERYTHING, whether intentional or not! May also want to get your little one a companion. Just a thought.
 

Mrwdaw

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Aww...Thank you Maryann! Always a learning process, right?! Should also say, I think my boy loves me. So, give it time and patience...And I THINK yawning may rank up there with licking and chewing, but not sure. Baby could just be tired. Oh, one more thing you may hear---ALWAYS end on a good note! They really do remember EVERYTHING, whether intentional or not! May also want to get your little one a companion. Just a thought.
I've been thinking of another one...but I have alot of work to do first.😁
 
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Maryann at MiniV

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Yawning can mean many different things. Don't take yawning personally. 😊 We've learned when we have pregnant mares who yawn , it's a sign of discomfort.
PS: OH YES! Always end things on a positive note, even if it's a "TINY" one. You are so right.
AND YES -- ALWAYS a Learning process.......... We've had horses since 1990, started from scratch and almost zero knowledge. Started breeding them in 1992. What an OMG experience! I think one of the reasons my husband is so enjoying having our horses (ALL SIZES) is that he's an eternal student.... He has taught humans for most of his life. LOL. I love the interaction and being able to communicate with them non-verbally. But we are older now and shrinking our numbers because we don't have the support from the next generation, unlike some we know. <sigh> SO, here we are sharing what we learned.
 
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Abby P

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I have always learned that licking and chewing is not necessarily submission, but thinking about something or releasing some tension. But a horse certainly won't be doing it if they are challenging you or feeling a lot of resistance; in that sense it's sort of submissive but in a ready-to-learn sort of way, not a "yes, master" sort of way. It's a good thing in general although if a horse constantly does it then that may indicate a lot of anxiety to begin with.

Yawning is also a release of tension. So also overall good although as Maryann mentions, it can be related to discomfort/stress. If a horse yawns and yawns and yawns then that means there was/is a LOT of tension. So seeing that diminish as you progress with the horse would be a good thing, but a nice yawn after a good training session is a good thing to see. 🙂
 

Taz

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Mini (no pun intended) lecture here, please excuse it, this is part of what I do for a living and an occupational hazard ;).
Licking and chewing as well as yawning, blowing out, taking a deep breath, shaking, rolling and even laying down are all signs of relaxation/release. Horses (like all animals) go between what is called the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, to make it simple call it being up and down. Up is fight/flight/shut down and down is rest/relax. When they go from being up to being down they show a number of different outward signs. One of the first things you will see if you stand quietly with your horse if she has been upset and is coming down is some twitching in her muzzle, uneven or pinched nostrils/lips, that can go on for a very long time depending on how long it's been since she was really relaxed and how upset she was. After that she will do some of licking , chewing, yawning etc. There are books and people who have online courses that can go into more detail with this stuff if you're interested in learning more.
 
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