Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thoroughbred: King of the Cuddles

Face hugs and ear kisses are our favorite.
Photo by http://www.stitzpics.com/
There's a large portion of thoroughbred owners and lovers in the blogosphere. I think I speak for most of us when I say that thoroughbreds are some of the weirdest, quirkiest, and loviest horses (with great selfie game) out there. I mean, mine is...
Sleepy snuggles.
Sure, ex-racehorses can be quite mercurial, and even difficult. They are typically highly intelligent, full of energy, and emotionally connected to their people. A horse with a long racing career is often very tuned into "his people."
"Dis my people!"
I've been known to proclaim Pig to be a "one person horse", pointing out his attention to me and indifference to others. For example, he'll typically cuddle me pretty hard while he merely tolerates others. Though, he's quick to extend his circle of cuddle worthy people after a few visits.
"I'm gonna give you cuddles, but I want you to know that I'm only doing it cause I'm sweet and I like you a bit."
Of course, there are thoroughbreds who are much less particular about the people they'll shower with cuddle time.
... like this one.
But really, I think the important thing here is how people oriented thoroughbreds really are. In my case, I have a hell of a time getting a photo of my horse in the field that doesn't look like this:
"Hey girl. I know I was standing there all majestic-like. But then I saw you and had to come put my nose in your face."
Or this...
"See. Nose in face. Mission = accomplished."
Or this...
So much cuddling that I'm being crushed with it.
Or this!
Naptime cuddles are the absolute best cuddles.
This horse doesn't believe people are for anything but investigating (unless they're picking up poop in an arena). While he doesn't come running when I call, he's happy to see me and wander over to find out what our day will hold.
"It's dressage today, isn't it?"
He goes so far as to even follow me into the tiny tack room!
What? It's a "tack room." I just assumed this is where I would get tacked up.
No matter what our day holds, a good cuddle session is never far. Whether playing things super low key...
Bareback lounging hugs
Or taking ourselves seriously...
Ear kisses for a job well done.
For me, having a horse that acts more like a German shepherd is really fun. Though sometimes I might put a bit too much faith in the horse.
Like those times when I leave him grazing and wander off.
He never lets me down, though. He's too attached to his two legged herd.
Lookout, kids. Crazy man-eating thoroughbred on the loose over there...
He's even pretty fond of his fuzzy four legged friends, too.
Especially that black one...
Best friends.
The real cuddles come after our rides, though. That's when we hang out together and relax.
Don't lie. You wish you had a horse friend who stuck his tongue out for photos.
Making silly faces is our specialty.
The tongue really is ridiculous.
But we also spend a lot of time eating...
Om noms.
... and drinking together.
"For me?! You shouldn't have!"
I know I'm not the only one who loves the sweet nature of the thoroughbred (not that they're the only breed that's sweet!).
I know Emma is a big believer in this TB's sweet streak!
Sure, the OTTB isn't for everyone. Really, though... is any breed? For those who love them, the thoroughbred is often one of the most affectionate and loving partners in the horse world. And ones like Pig certainly aren't shy about showing their affection!
Photo by http://www.stitzpics.com/
Do any of you have stories of affectionate thoroughbreds in your life? Lets share the love this generous breed shares with us!

29 comments:

  1. It took me a long time to get to the point where Fiction would actively come to me in the field and he still doesn't care for cuddles. I'm not really allowed to hug him or kiss his nose, but it's OK if I rub his eyes (his favorite thing). It was a big change coming from two other horses (an Arabian and a thoroughbred/percheron mix) that adored cuddling. The latter of those two used to let me straddle him while he was laying down, or let me lay over his giant belly. The Arabian used to play with me in the field and nibble on my neck. So having a non-affectionate horse is a little different, but I manage. At least he appears to be happy to see me (but that may just be because I always have treats haha) :)

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    1. I like to think of those types of horses as the "aloof statesman". Pig was like that when I first got him. Over time he's gotten much more affectionate. Though, I do think he tolerates my cuddling with a bit of an eye-roll and heavy sigh. Haha!

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  2. D'aww Pig is just such a sweet guy to be around. And obvi Charlie is an equal opportunity snuggler lol. There's definitely something to be said for these guys with longer racing careers definitely knowing "their people" - Charlie is extremely people oriented, and so was Wick. Even a grumpier former war horse at my last barn was still very attached to his child owner.

    Really tho its just been so a relief (and kinda indulgent haha) to get a horse who likes the attention after years of Isabel. Isabel was obvi very ppl oriented too, but in a "don't touch me" kinda way haha.

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    1. Haha! She was very much "horses are for looking, not for touching!" Pig can be funny about touching, but definitely not like Iz. Face hugs are something he legitimately seeks out, which I find adorable.

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  3. Roger isn't the most cuddly beast, but I feel like that's because he's 6 and in the "mahhhhm, stahhhhhp. You're embarrassing me" phase, so I pummel him with kisses and cuddles anyway. I'm sure he'll grow out of it (sooner or later....?) because I'm definitely "his person," and he'll be forced to show me some affection once in a while!

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  4. So sweet!! I agree that track life definitely helps create the association that "My People" = Good Things. It's also just fun in general to watch horses display their different personalities; even within the same breed their need for human affection varies so much!

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    1. Oh so much! It's interesting about track horses, too. They often aren't showered with affection at the track like they are in sport homes (obviously this varies, and not showered with affection doesn't mean never shown affection or cuddled!). I've seen some act completely surprised when excited 12 year old levels of cuddling descend on them. All that time with people really preps them for it, though.

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  5. That first picture is too cute! Henry likes to pretend like he doesn't like the affection, but he's all over me within 2 seconds if I ignore him, and he always meets me at the gate in his turnout. He's more cheeky, but he's sweet underneath it.

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    1. Aw, Henry seems super into you! Definitely likes his person :)

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  6. Pongo is a total cuddle whore. He always wants to snuggle. Stinker (not ottb) on the other hand wants things on his terms. He loved to mess with people but doesn't appreciate it when they return the favor.

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    1. Haha, gotta love the Stinker type! Gotta take what you dish out!

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  7. I have an over-the-top Haffie, which is sort of like a TB only shorter, fatter, and a lot slower. But most of the pictures I have of him are blurred images of his left nostril, because HELLO MOM!!!

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    1. Bahaha. He's just a TB that put all his energy into growing fuzz instead of being fast. ;)

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  8. I clearly need to get on top of my selfie game!!!

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  9. All the TBs I've owned have always preferred human interaction to horse interaction. They've liked having buddies in their field and whatnot, but I've never had one that didn't willing ditch their friends to hang out with people.

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    1. I dunno if mine goes that far. But he is very clear with his subordinates (read: any horse turned out with him) that I am his people. And those are his dogs. And don't they forget it. Hahaha.

      I love all the photos of Bobby staring at you in the field. It's pretty obvious he's all about people.

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  10. Tango is a massive snuggler, but it has to be on his terms ;) I do love TBs!

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    1. Never said the breed isn't riddled with large egos! Haha!

      <3 Tango!

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  11. New to blogging and commenting. I rehabbed an OTTB for about 6 months. He was a sweet and kind horse but had been neglected and abused for so long he also had a very dangerous side to him. I made a lot of progress with him and by the time I rehomed him he was a pretty well behaved boy (not to mention a few hundred pounds heavy and without ulcers!). I recently saw a picture of him and he looks amazing. Thoroughbreds really are amazing horses. I can't say I know many who would rebound like he did.

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  12. Carlos was not very cuddly. He knew when I needed it most and would let me cuddle him than but usually wanting to cuddle (without having treats in hand) resulted in some nipping.

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  13. Moe is 100% all about the cuddles! He is indiscriminate about it, although I like to think I'm his favorite person. He just likes people- he hangs out in his stall with me while I'm cleaning it, follows me around while I set jump courses, and hangs his head over the fence to watch me walk back into the house until he can't see me any more.

    Gina, however, is not about cuddles at all. She tolerates hugs only when accompanied by treats.

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  14. Great post :D

    Val is definitely a cuddler, though mostly on his terms. After rides while cleaning tack, when I'm grooming or giving him a trim, there will be hugs, nibbles + licks. He's inclined to grab my hood, or steal a hat and take off giving major side-eye. He loves selfie time. He's an only horse at the moment, and I wonder if he'd be quite as affectionate if he had an equine friend...

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  15. Cutest post ever.
    My partner when I was younger was a OTTB chestnut mare who was oh so sassy, but once I had won her over she became the sweetest, snuggly girl.

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  16. You two are the cutest couple ever.

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  17. He's so huggie, I love it. Mine is not the hugging type - very independent and self assured. We have some occasional quiet moments though :)

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  18. Ries is more like an attention whore. I love thoroughbreds though!

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