Horses share incredible friendship, can't bear to be separated
Horses are highly social animals. They form deep and complicated attachments to other horses, people, and occasionally to other animals such as dogs and cats. They display emotions and often have very sensitive personalities. Able to pick up on and take meaning from even the smallest non verbal behavior, their responses to their companions' actions and moods are surprisingly complex.
These two horses have a very deep and heart warming friendship. They are completely inseparable and hardly leave the other horse's side, even for a moment. Stardust is a white filly and Dreamer is a brown gelding. They were both born on this beautiful farm in southern Ontario on the same day. They spent their first year and a half in the same meadows and in stalls beside each other. It's no surprise that they became best friends right from the start. Their mothers had also grown up together and the four horses did everything together in the early days. Running, playing, and eating all involved the entire group.
But each of the mothers were sent to different riding schools last summer and they were both accompanied by their young. The effect was heart breaking, with all of the horses showing obvious signs of missing the others, but the two young horses were particularly affected. They called repeatedly each night in the barn, as if trying to find their friend. They both acted broken-hearted and lost for weeks.
Eventually, both returned to their home and resumed life on their own farm. Dreamer arrived first and he ran through the meadow and stood in the barn, calling loudly, obviously looking for his pal. Stardust came the next day and the reunion brought a tear to everybody's eyes. The two began calling out as soon as Stardust got out of the horse trailer. They became very excited when it was obvious that Stardust was also back home. The two were turned out it their usual meadow, along with their mothers.
The young horses sniffed each other, rubbed heads and necks and then both rolled on the ground together. As if acting on the exact same thought, they both sprang to their feet and ran full speed around the meadow, side by side for almost an hour. They stopped occasionally to rub their heads on each other and whimper excitedly, then they were off again.
From that point on, Dreamer and Stardust will not wander more than a few feet away from each other. They graze side by side, or sometimes with their heads almost touching. They stand face to face and groom each other constantly. They can be seen here performing mutual massage and grooming with their lips and teeth. Amazingly, neither of them ever flinches as they bite and nibble the other's shoulder. neck and back.
This behavior is a sign of deep affection between horses and can be used to convey respect, trust and caring. Horses have very sensitive lips that can act almost like a hand to grasp and move things. They use this same behavior to greet humans, often taking a person's hand or fingers gently in their lips. They may even stand like this for a few moments, as if holding your hand. It will also give the horse a sense of your own trust and comfort level and they will be aware of your every movement, as well as your breathing and your posture.
A lot can be learned from horses and how they interact with us and with each other. Taking a few moments to really watch how they respond can be a beautiful experience.