What I have known about horses is confirmed by a recently published UK study, horses can and do recognize their owner’s’ voice. I can attest to this cognitive ability from personal experience with a number of my horses.
One of myfavorite horses, Kinglikes Star, whom I raised from a foal, broke, trained and showed to his AQHA Championship, surprised me some three years after he was sold. I had not seem him in all that time, when he and I met out in the Hill Country of Texas.
I was surprised when I, by accident, walked up on him in an isolated stall on a ranch I was visiting. He began to nicker softly to me and as I walked up and spoke to him, he began to rub his head against me. He did not react to any of the other people with me. Oh, yes! He recognized his former owner’s voice, as well as her scent.
Perhaps the best of my show horses,Busy San, would begin to nicker to me as soon as I stepped in the door of the huge stable area of different live stock shows, such as the ones in Houston, Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Dallas. Often, there would be as many as 20 rows of stalls between Busy San and me. It was full of hundreds of horses and all the noise of those huge buildings. In Busy San’s case, not only did he recognize his owner’s voice, but he recognized the sound of my foot steps.
I also found that my horses definitely recognized my particular perfume. It seemed that horses that had not smelled Chanel No. 5, were often, for lack of a better word, frightened by the odor.
The UK study mentioned that mares were better at recognizing their owner’s voice than the males. As you can see, I disagree, as my own horses that I have mentioned were, either stallions or geldings.
If you would like to share stories about horses you have owned, please post your story in the comment section below.