Sunday, July 15, 2012

The feeling is mutual

Mutual grooming is a common equine activity.

A pair will stand beside one another, usually head-to-shoulder or head-to-tail, 
grooming each other's neck, mane, rump or tail by gentle nipping, nuzzling or rubbing.

There's a practical aspect to mutual grooming: removing bugs, dead skin, or a winter coat that won't let go. 
Then there's the social aspect: it maintains pair bonding and can be a source of reassurance following social conflict.
George and Alan are masters of mutual grooming, particularly in the summer.
They know exactly where to scratch each other's itch.


I caught Hank trying to get in on the action last night.

But Alan politely told him three was a crowd.


  1. How PERFECT these boys, and these pictures, are!

  2. I love watching this activity. I've often wondered if one equine signals he wants rougher treatment by being harsher in his chewing on the other guy's back. Also, I've wondered if they signal that a certain place is in need of a scratch by scratching that area on their buddy.

  3. Cute post. Kind of makes me want to get in line and get a back nibble. I see why Hank couldn't resist. Does Lucy get in on it too? Can they reach her taller itchy spots?

  4. Po Hank. Good thing he's got such a loving momma who will brush him, since he's not in the George and Alan Mutual scratching society. Love the photos of Hank's handsome mug. And of course the boyz.

  5. poor Hank guess he needs his on buddy ............... great photos

  6. They're very cute. Our whole herd grooms each other every day. Certain pairs team up usually but some days if we let Mellon (our hairdresser we call him) loose before turnout he will groom each horse on his way out. He will even set up shop in the shed and have a line waiting for him to groom them. I have to think he has the magic touch.

  7. Those two are constant source of entertainment...Did you get them from the same place or did they meet on the 7MSN? Thank you for being so loyal to your blog...7 days a week and never failing to entertain your followers....

  8. What perfect faces of contentment.

  9. Cute! I love watching my minis do this. I always called it scrubbing.