Do you know if your horse trusts you? How? Are you sure?
I thought this was an interesting question to ask in a survey recently.
( You can read more of my pendulum surveys here. )
Particularly, I was curious to find out if the individual results were what owners thought they would be, and, what the overall percentages were.
What percentage of horses trust their owners?
What’s your guess?
I surveyed 100 horses. Owners posted their horse’s photo on my Facebook page, and, using my pendulum, I made an energetic connection and asked the questions:
- Does (horse’s name) trust (owner’s name)? (ie a yes / no question and answer), and then,
- What % does he trust her?
As the survey progressed (it took a few days to reach 100), I was interested in the feedback that people gave to their results,
Some were surprised – or disappointed – by low scores, though most appreciated that it gave them something to work on.
There were some lovely comments, like this one (a 15% trust rating) –
Makes sense, she’s a tough little cookie but had a bad beginning and has always been standofish towards everything. I feel like she trusts me more then most but all I can do is give her 110% of my trust to make up for her mistrust
More of the owner responses to low trust ratings were,
Correct. Brand new horse building relationship. Day 4. Kind but yet to bond. But I think it could be a great partnership. Thank you. I recon 20% pretty good.
Thank you hun, better than expected. Will work on our bond
Disappointing but not surprised
Ouch! Only 35%…. can’t blame him with everything that’s gone on!
thank you I knew this. I feel it’s not all about trusting me but trusting humans per se.
So, what percentage of horses trust their owner? The overall stats were sobering –
- 47% of horses said Yes, they trust their owner, and
- 53% said No, they didn’t trust their owner.
– is that higher or lower than you expected?
The ‘No’s ranged from 5-45% trust (with 2 additional outliers which I’ll get to later) .
Overall, 31% of the 100 only trust their owner 15-25% of the time.
44% only trust their owner 15-35% of the time.
Bear in mind that the answers are a snapshot for that moment in time when the question was asked. If you happened to have a bad day that day with your horse, it could have affected their answer!
If we were going deeper, we might ask, is that how you feel right now, or always? Is that just this person (ie your owner), or all humans? Is there a specific reason you feel this way? (And, more importantly, what can we do to improve your trust?)
The trust ‘range’ for the Yes’s was also interesting.
The range of trust for horses that answered yes, they trust their owners, was from 55-90% (with only one higher, see below).
About 30% overall ranged from 60-75% trust.
This nice response was from one of the higher ratings:
oh you have made my day! I love her so much! Thank you!
Here’s the Facebook live with the full results and my thoughts –
There were a couple of interesting anomalies, with 2 horses who said, ‘No‘ when asked if they trusted their owner – but then tested pretty high for the percentage of trust.
One tested 75% for trust, and the other 70%.
Why? Without knowing more, or doing a full session it’s hard to say. Do they normally have a very high level of trust, but something specific has happened to affect that recently? Maybe they have particularly high standards of their owner? Let me know what you think in the comments!
There was one more anomaly where I did manage to get to the bottom of the numbers, because the horse was a client.
Her answers in the survey were No, and only 20% for trust. I could tell straight away that her owner was perplexed and probably slightly upset by this – either that or just flat out didn’t believe it!
However, when we chatted about it the reasons became obvious.
She had recently had a near miss when driving her float (trailer), when someone pulled out in front of her and she had to jam her brakes on. Her horse wasn’t hurt – but that would have to cause a shock to the system, and likely affect the horse’s trust. After all, she didn’t know what happened, why, that it wasn’t deliberate or her owner’s fault, that (hopefully) it won’t happen next time she travels.
The owner also told me that her horse had been sore, and had an appointment with an equine bodyworker. Well, physical pain can put everything else out of balance, eg our emotional balance, and/or energetic balance – so that too could affect her level of trust. Basically, she just wasn’t feeling great.
So, do you see how there can be reasons? The reading gives you a snapshot of how your horse is feeling at that moment in time – and a hint that maybe you need to look deeper and figure out what’s going on, or what’s needed to improve or regain your horse’s trust in you.
A few people said things like, “I know my horse trusts me, because he does what I ask him to eg going in a float / trailer, doing scary things for me etc”.
Just have a think – or observe – HOW your horse is doing those things. The fact that he does them doesn’t necessarily mean that he trusts you. He could just be well habituated / familiarised / trained…. He could even be completely shut down and doing anything for a quiet life.
Only one horse said “yes, I trust her 100%.”
His owner’s response?
Wow!!!! Love my boy!! I trust him 100% too!!! Thanks Trisha!
Something for us all to aspire to, for sure!
You can read more of my pendulum surveys here.
If you’re interested in reading more of the stats I’ve gathered in the course of my animal communication sessions with horses, grab yourself my free pdf, ‘What Horses Say‘, when you sign up for my newsletter.
Til next time, keep connecting with your horses!
Trisha Wren has been an equine professional for most of her adult life. She rode, competed, and taught Western Riding for 15 years in Scotland, then taught horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia for 10 years. She’s been a full time horse and animal communicator since April 2016, and also runs regular Animal Communication online workshops. Find out more about Trisha here.