Some say horses can love their human companions. Others say they only love other animals in their herd. It depends on your definition of the word love.
There are different kinds of love, and these are a few of the types of love among animals. Herd love is most common in horses. They trust each other with their lives to alert them to danger and predators. There is a system of hierarchy based on earned respect and wisdom. Some will argue that this is pure instinct and not love. Others will say that once you establish yourself as part of the herd, you will be included in that herd’s love bond.
Animals can and do create bonds, which include affection, trust, and loyalty. The same thing is shown in the video, horses can love their fellows, and even miss them. They manifest their emotions just like every being, they can love and they are also loved in return.
Horses may not love each other in the same capacity as a human loving another human. Subsequently, the love you feel for your horse may not be exactly reciprocated. But a horse can certainly feel and give affection.
They can display many of the sentiments that humans possess, including being confident or unsure, worried or bold, and timid, soft, or tense. Horses all have different ways of showing affection, to each other and their people. Some horses may seem nippy, constantly putting their lips, or even their teeth, on each other and us. When the ears are up and the eyes are soft, this nipping is a sign of affection. Sometimes just standing close to each other, playing or touching each other is a sign of affection.
Horses will also show affection by nickering in a soft voice to each other (or to their favorite human). They will stand head to tail in the heat of summer and swat flies off of each other’s faces. They will “groom” each other with their lips and teeth, showing each other where they itch by scratching the other horse in that same spot. They will also share a small space, share food, and refuse to leave a good buddy. Amazing, right?
Horses are very clear about who they are friends with, who they are tolerating, and also, who they don’t like.