Does your horse protect you?

Interesting event tonight! We have a youngster mare at the barn who has been starting push boundaries more. She pushed through a gate and double barreled one of the staff yesterday coming in for dinner because she didn’t want to wait for another horse to go in first. I normally do a few morning shifts a week, but as a one off, tonight was on dinner duty. Glad for the heads up at least. Mare is very clingy and is a space invader so I went in with the plan I was going to keep her out of my space until I decided to approach her to bring her in.

She is out with a very mild mannered mare and my very mild mannered fjord. When I got after her with a lead rope, she bucked in my direction and my very mild mannered fjord CHARGED while getting between us both with the meanest look on his face! She gave me my space after that! Seemed to be a very deliberate “don’t mess with my mom” move :flushed::joy:


I had my appendix at the tie rack once, doing my normal grooming, getting-ready. And he did something (I’ve no idea what) that set my standard poodle off. That dog promptly jumped right on his quarters, like a lion.

And, like a lion, got kick-bucked half way across the round pen.

That horse never protected me, but he protected my younger daughter (who was a teen age person at the time). We had him at a standards and ratings clinic for PC, and she popped off for some dumb reason over a small fence, and he screeched to a halt, doubled back (you could see the QH in him then), and came to nose her on the ground. SOOOO worried.

My horses apparently don’t see the value in me, but they do in other people.


A groom tried to assault me in my horse’s stall and he went in between us. Maybe it was coincidence but it did feel like he was protecting me.


Hell yeah, she always thinks we are dying at horse shows and she needs to save me.

Also super protective of her heard mates when new horses come in…to the point if they are locked in atalls in the shedrow with oasture attached she will run to the shed row and stand guard if you get yoo close.


Mine apparently is too. He recently had a mare in temporarily that was picking on his existing mare friend. He double barrel kicked her! When the BO told me she witnessed it, my jaw hit the floor. It was her horse lol and she was thrilled he did it because she can be too much. This is the normal pasture vibe and she was messing it up :joy:


My good horse that I lost a week ago protected me. He chased a horse off of me after I got kicked once and he always was between me and the herd after that. In pasture I can understand he was maybe resource guarding but after I got kicked he definitely shoved that horse away from me and chased him away.


I have a really playful 3 year old tiny but dom mare that chases around my clients 6 year old gelding for fun… and my 6 year old mare (that is besties with the gelding) will just quietly and non chalamtly slide between the 3 year old mare abd 6 year old gelding to block her antics. Like thats enough today… no kicking, no biting, just a complete full body block like try me if you dare…


I definitely have seen what you described! I’ve had horses stop short to keep the herd from trampling me. My one horse treated me very protectively and gingerly when I was pregant.

But one of the clearest acts of protection I experienced (which wasn’t actually protecting me from anything):

I had a very sweet, somewhat batty older mare for the last 9 years of her life. One day I was watching my herd graze at the far end of their pasture. Something in the woods spooked them and they all galloped back to the barn. Except the batty older mare: she did a 180, left the herd, and started galloping back towards the woods. I was walking towards the barn myself thinking, “what is this crazy mare doing now?” Then she came up behind me and started nickering, jigging, and shaking her neck to herd me. The sweet old girl came back to keep me safe. :heartpulse:

I lost her almost a year ago. She was a tough cookie, but I miss her.


My homebred gelding has interceded more than once when he though either another horse or a dog was aggressively approaching me.


My gelding “protects” me from nefarious weeds blowing in the wind, overturned water tanks, and chairs that weren’t there yesterday but are today. If it weren’t for his swift maneuvers to avoid the attacks of such things while we’re riding, who knows what could have befallen me?

Seriously though, I don’t know if it’s protection, but he is a bit possessive of me and will move other horses away from me, especially if they’re being too bold for his liking. I think that’s more about me being his human PEZ dispenser and personal back-scratcher than any deep emotional attachment though, LOL.


Mine once attempted to offer me as a human sacrifice to the Great Mother Turkey…



Not me, we haven’t been able to bond like I wanted yet. But the kids, especially my 3 year old? Oh hell yes! She is so watchful when they’re around and is extremely careful around them, on the ground and when riding


Mine will “protect me” when spooking or acting out in hand by leaping in the air, but looking to make sure she isn’t landing on me. I think it’s kind of sweet. Lol.


There is a Welsh Sec D that belongs to a local riding school where, obviously, he is handled by many different people. I like to give him a good rub over several minutes because he is very clear in telling me where he wants the rub and he so evidently really enjoys it. He was tied up in the sunshine one day and I went to give him attention. He dropped his head on to my chest while I rubbed his ears. A friend of mine then approached to talk to me. Immediately the horse lifted his head and used it to physically push the interfering human away before dropping his head back onto my chest. It was a definite “Bog off, human, she’s mine” which I found absurdly flattering.


The young one HELL no. If the crap hits the fan she yells EVERY MAN FOR THEMSELVES and gets out of dodge, with or without you.

The Old Man - eh, maybe not “protect” but I’ve learned to listen if he doesn’t like someone/somewhere/something. He knows something I don’t, and I trust him implicitly.


George takes very good care of his pet human, both out and about, and around the barn. I have learned to trust his judgment in difficult terrain; just point him, keep a loose rein, and stay balanced in the saddle.
“George! You’re scaring your daddy!!”
“Quit yer whining, human; sit down, shut up, and hold on.”


My mare had an elderly mare pasture companion. I came out one warm afternoon to find the old mare down and my mare standing protectively over her (like a foal). I stopped right where I was to watch, because something seemed off about this… my mare saw me and immediately came to the gate then back to her companion. I jumped out instantly and ran to the field. Old mare, we think got overheated, don’t know for sure. But took a bit to get her up and the whole time my mare hovered nearby worrying.
As for protecting ME, HAH! My mare is a timid little mouse and she wants me to protect her!


I’m not sure if I’m anthropomorphizing my mare’s actions. She was the absolute lowest on the pecking order in the herd. It was a fair sized group. When ever I was leading her in the turnout, any horse near us and she’d give the nastiest evil mare stare and threaten to beat the snot out of them. When I wasn’t in the turnout, I never saw her do that. I don’t know if it was in defense of me or her or both of us? Maybe she felt vulnerable while being led? One time she did the evil mare stare, snaking her head at what I thought was me when leading. Turns out there was another mare that came up behind us on my left. Very intimidating! Thank God a horse never called her bluff doing that!


My mother owns a retired gelding who I have witnessed more than once do everything in his power to prevent a rider from falling off of him. There was one year we were out in a big field and a herd of cattle spooked, startling him and the other horses with us. My mom became unseated and he swerved in the direction she was falling and then slowly stopped. He used to adopt the tiniest trot for the littles in Pony Club and if they became unseated he’d shuffle to a halt. If they fell he’d always place his head down and sniff them like he was asking if they were okay. He’s one of the more special TBs we’ve owned over the years. His race connections truly loved him and I don’t think he’s ever had a bad interaction with a human. He’s also typically the first to greet you in the pasture. He’s the guy that brings all the new TBs out of their shell and teaches them how to play gently. Just all around a sweet horse.


The mare I had growing up had no concern over me, but at one point we had a very young girl come to the barn basically for pony rides. Lady was always very good with kids, and this one couldn’t have been walking on her own for very long. When we put her up, we had someone hold her steady while I led, and Lady was the most careful I’d ever seen. One step at a time, very slow, very deliberate. The little girl would also “help” groom her in her stall and that horse stood like a statue. Didn’t even flick a tail for flies. Had no problem giving me a face welt once swishing flies with a braided tail :woman_facepalming:t2: