Are Horses Loyal

There is no doubt that horse owners give more to their horses than they can. Whether it is love, care, or affection, horse owners are willing to go above and beyond. The joy of reciprocated feelings is surreal. Luckily, horse owners do experience this happiness because horses love their owners, just as much, maybe much more.

Horses are loyal. In fact, they are just as loyal, if not more, than dogs who are well-known for this trait. The great memory of horses is to be credited for their loyalty.

Today, you’ll learn more about this personality trait of horses along with tips on how you can encourage them to be more devoted.

Loyalty Is in a Horse’s Genes 

You will never have heard a reputable horse owner tell you that their horse doesn’t love or respect them. Horses are intelligent, that’s for sure. But, all decent horse owners will also vouch for their animal’s loyalty. 

This is because faithfulness is a part of a horse’s genes. Regardless of their breed, age, size, or experiences, all horses are intentionally or unintentionally faithful to their owners.

A horse’s bond with its owner can be encouraged with positive reinforcement. This has been tried and tested through research. 

Basically, if you respect your horse and appreciate its good behavior, it will develop a more faithful bond with you. Whenever you are training your horse and it does well, offer a treat. Use verbal and physical cues to praise your horse. These small supportive actions will tell a horse that you truly care for, and love them.

Moreover, avoid anger and punishment. Research has also proven that punishing your horse often, being strict, and such other negative emotions can discourage a horse’s loyalty. It has been tested that horses will avoid the humans that were harsh to them.

Signs of Loyalty in a Horse 

The big question about loyalty in horses is how they express it. What is it that a loyal horse will do to make you feel respected?

Loyalty in horses is a result of several other supporting traits. The first is a feeling of trustworthiness. If your horse considers you their safe haven, they will never let go of you. Loyal horses are also driven by their will to protect their owner.

Physical affection is one of the main ways a horse shows loyalty and respect. If your horse rubs its face against your body and licks you, it is basically telling you that you’re special.

The next big sign of faithfulness is a horse’s obedience. Your horse will obey your instructions without any delay. Even if you order a difficult task, the animal will try its best to satisfy you.

Human and Horse Bonds

As discussed previously, horses have a photographic memory. They will never forget you even if you spent just a day with them. 

Now, if your horse has positive memories with you, of course, this will lead to a positive relationship. On the contrary, if you behaved rudely, the horse might forgive but never forget and that will obviously affect the kind of relationship you share.

If you look for proof or scientific explanation of horses’ attachment bond with their owners, you won’t find any solid answers. However, that doesn’t mean horses don’t build a bond. 

Based on experiences, human and horse bonds are some of the strongest you’ll find in animals. Even after days of separation, when a horse is brought to a gathering of people, it will instantly get comfortable with a previous owner whereas it will hesitate around a stranger.

Now, just because your horse had a good time with you and was loyal throughout doesn’t mean it won’t ever develop a bond with its new owner. Instead, horses adapt to new owners and humans pretty quickly, as long as the humans are treating the horse with affection.

But, don’t worry, your horse still wouldn’t forget you for the rest of its life. Your special place will remain intact. However, it is also true that horses may prefer some humans over others.

People Also Asked

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding horses’ obedience and loyalty.

Are horses protective of their owners?

Horses have a protective nature. Their instinct of fight or flight is very strong, whether they are in danger themselves or their owner. So, expect your horse to protect you in a time of trouble.
However, don’t have unrealistic expectations that a horse will put its own life in danger for you. Despite their loyal nature, horses will not put their owner above their own safety.

How do you relax a horse?

To relax a stressed horse, you have to make it feel comfortable in the surrounding environment. Caress the horse gently, but if you notice a hesitation from the horse’s side, stop immediately. Offer water or a treat.
If you’re riding the horse, stay calm. Take deep breaths, sit comfortably on the saddle, guide the horse to walk in a circle, and let it gain back its composure. Give your horse enough time to relax because riding an anxious horse can prove dangerous.

Are horses more loyal than dogs?

The scale of loyalty in horses and dogs is pretty even but in different aspects. Horses never forget their owners and remember the positive memories for their entire lifetime. However, unlike dogs, horses may not readily attack to protect their owner.
On the other hand, since dogs have been domesticated for a longer time than horses, they show loyalty in a way that humans prefer. Dogs stand their ground to keep their owners safe regardless of how weak their defense is.

Will my horse miss me?

If you’ve spent a lot of time with your horse, you will be missed when you’re separated. Horses seldom forget their owners and trainers. In fact, research has proven that horses immediately reattach to previous owners and trainers after staying apart for a while.

Are horses jealous?

Horses are loyal but they also tend to get jealous if they feel like their owners’ attention is divided. Due to their high levels of self-awareness, horses will notice if you are getting more attached to another animal. They will feel envious due to their ability to compare themselves to other animals. This can also lead to emotions of rivalry and feeling threatened.

Can horses sense your emotions?

Research has proven that horses can sense human emotions and react accordingly. They can read facial expressions as well as other non-verbal displays of any emotion. Whether you’re angry, sad, or satisfied, the horse will pick up your energy from your body language.


In conclusion, it is known for sure that horses develop an attachment bond with humans. They also have preferences of which humans they like more. A horse will never forget any human it interacted with, whether the memories were good or bad.

Due to all these factors, horses end up being loyal to the owners which whom they developed a positive relationship. If you love your horse and shower it with care, be at peace that you won’t end up getting a heartbreak because of your horse!