In the video below, Stefanie Stocker, a horse trainer at Showisi, illustrates how a human can have an affectionate relationship with their horses. The video shows a woman lying comfortably with a pair of horses in a field. Both horses and human appear completely at ease with each other.
According to A Course in Horse, this is not unusual behavior. In fact, horses can be extremely affectionate with each other and their human friends. Cuddling, nickering and nuzzling are ways they show affection, according to the website.
To encourage human-horse affection, A Course in Horse recommends letting the horse take the lead.
"Keep your hands and arms down. Let them nuzzle you and gently bring their heads to you. Be still and quiet with your mind and body if you want to join with them. ... Certainly you can put your arms around your horse and hug him, scratch him, or reassuringly stroke him. He will get that you mean to be affectionate. But wait and do it when invited by the horse's demeanor and body language," according to A Course in Horse.
Stocker grew up with horses from a young age, in Siegburg, Germany. She is a Ph.D student at the Institute of Genetics at the University of Bonn in Germany and works as a horsemanship coach.
Check out their adorable cuddle session in the video below.