Are Horses Loyal? (More Loyal Than Dogs?)

It’s common for people to believe that horses are loyal animals due to their nature and behavior towards humans.

The presumed loyalty that horses possess is even compared to one of the most loyal domesticated animals in the world—dogs.

So that begs the question, are horses truly loyal animals as some people claim them to be? This article will help you find out the answer!

Are Horses Loyal?

Yes, horses are loyal animals.

Horses are exceptionally loyal animals. A horse would always be by its owner’s side despite being tired and exhausted.

Horses continue to show loyalty to owners who may even mistreat them. The only logical answer to why horses display loyalty to such an extent is because it’s innate in its nature.

Horses show loyalty and protection to its herd, so naturally, after a horse has spent a considerable amount of time with its owner, it would think of its owner as part of the herd or the leader of the herd.

Horses were meant to be this way, this is how they’re “programmed”, so to speak. Being protective and loyal is no doubt a sign of herd behavior.

Going back to a horse’s loyalty, they will surely never forget their owners. For instance, when owners treat their horses properly, horses gradually think that being with humans is a positive experience.

There is this saying that “horses never forget, if you would ask whether it’s true or not, it’s true. Be it a pleasant or miserable experience, horses will never forget. They’re intelligent animals with excellent memories, so that’s why.


Are Horses More Loyal Than Dogs?

There’s no definite answer for this as loyalty being shown by both a horse and a dog is incomparable.

Just by comparing these two animals, they’re very different. The only things that are similar between these two are a) they’re both domesticated animals, b) they both show loyalty to their owners, and c) both are social animals.

A horse would show loyalty towards humans because it’s a herd behavior and horses obviously herd animals in nature. Dogs on the other hand show loyalty because they’re pack animals and loyalty is a pack behavior.

The thing that makes them different is the manner of how they show loyalty in the first place. Dogs are omnivore predators while horses are herbivore prey, so the method behind their loyalty is different.

Some people say that a horse would jump off a cliff with its owner, and knowing just that, it’s very well an extreme sign of loyalty. Horses are more capable of doing this compared to dogs because horses react to certain situations as a life-or-death thing.

This is why their reaction to certain scenarios are kind of extreme.

So long story short, both can’t be more loyal than the other. The loyalty of these animals are just incomparable.

Why Aren’t Horses As Loyal As Dogs?

Horses aren’t as loyal as dogs because a horse’s loyalty to a human is not the same as a dog’s loyalty to a human.

Just because both animals are capable of showing loyalty to humans doesn’t mean we can just compare their loyalties to each other and decide which one shows it the best.

They shouldn’t even be compared to each other in the first place since the behavior of a prey and a predator is different.

With that being said, both these loyal animals can be considered companions but horses can’t be put on the same level as a dog and treat them as similar animals (in regards to loyalty) and vice versa.

What Animals Are More Loyal Than Horses And Dogs?

Again, the loyalty of other animals can’t be compared to animals that are different from them. So we cannot mention a certain animal that is superior to both horses and dogs when it comes to loyalty.

This is similar to comparing the loyalty of a horse and a dog and deciding which one is the best when it comes to showing loyalty. They can’t simply be compared to one another, let alone to other animals’ loyalty as well.

We can, however, provide a list of other loyal animals (in no specific order). Please do refer to the list shown below:

  • Rabbits
  • Goats
  • Guinea pigs
  • Cats
  • Ducks
  • Parrots
  • Pigs
  • Wolves

Can You Train A Horse To Be Loyal?

Horses can’t necessarily be trained to become loyal since it’s already inherent in their nature to become loyal to their owners, especially if said owner has established his presence as the leader of the herd.

So there’s no point in attempting to train a horse to become loyal because they already are due to their herd behavior.

All owners have to do is to make themselves known as the leader of the herd. Once their horse or horses have sensed this authority from their owners, they would start to feel protected and in return, they also become protective and loyal to their owners.

A herd relies on each other in order to survive, this is basically a horse’s instinct.

Are Horses Protective Of Their Owners?

Yes, horses are protective of their owners.

Horses that are completely loyal to their owners will forever be vigilant in order to protect their owners at all times.

With that being said, horses will act fast when they sense danger, their form of protecting their owners from danger varies. They can nip, bite, kick, or run from possible threats.

However, some people think that horses aren’t protective of their owners and they back up their belief by stating that the horses they see in movies rear up and flee the scene as fast as possible, leaving the poor defenseless owner to himself.

This type of thinking is nothing but lies to be honest. Horses would never do that in the first place because they’re intelligent enough to think that rearing up would only give predators enough time to attack them.

So instead of rearing up in the exact moment where danger is present, they would instead gallop away, and if they have their owners on their backs, then they would run away with their owners mounted on their backs.

That about sums it up, horses are protective of their owners and anyone who thinks otherwise either doesn’t have any experience with horses or they never got the chance to get to know their horses better.

How Do Horses Show Loyalty?

Horses show loyalty by warming-up to their owners despite being separated for a long time.

With that being said, time isn’t enough to make a horse forget its loyalty to its owner. They have excellent memories and are incredibly intelligent, so this makes them great at remembering.

When we say remembering, this includes the commands that the owner probably taught the horse during training, the voice of the owner, and the kind gestures that the owner has shown.

All of this combined makes the horse fond of their owner and strengthens their loyalty towards them.

Do Horses Protect Their Owners?

Yes, horses do protect their owners.

Horses would not think twice when it comes to protecting one of their own, and since most horses consider their owners as part of their herd, they will surely do everything in their power to protect their owners.

No matter how threatening circumstances may get, horses will never abandon their owners in the midst of danger.

Are Arabian Horses Loyal?

Yes, Arabian Horses are loyal.

If there’s one thing Arabian Horses are known for, their loyalty is one of them.

There have been tales that originated from various places wherein it clearly depicted the loyalty of Arabian Horses. This continues to inspire people to own Arabians themselves.

Are Quarter Horses Loyal?

Yes, Quarter Horses are loyal.

Like Arabians, Quarter Horses are also a very loyal breed, as a matter of fact, they are popularly known for this!

Majority of the time, Quarter Horses establish a very close relationship with their owners or whoever it is that trained them for a long period of time.

Top Loyal Horse Breeds

The top loyal horse breeds would have to be Quarter Horses, Arabian Horses, Irish Thoroughbreds, Morgan Horses, Clydesdale Horses, American Paint Horses, and Tennessee Walking Horses.

All the breeds mentioned above have something in common, they’re all easy to train compared to other breeds, they’re gentle, calm, predictable, and overall they’re easy to get along with.

These types of horses are suitable for any person who wishes to own their very first horse.

Loyal Horse Stories

If you’re curious to know just how loyal horses can get, then here are a few stories to convince you that horses truly are loyal in nature.


For those who may not be aware of who this horse is, this is the loyal and trusty companion of Alexander the Great.

Bucephalus was ridden by Alexander the Great in his many battles, and as a sign of respect to his steed, when he founded a city (Bucephala), he named it similar to his horse. That very city is also said to be the resting place of Bucephalus.

Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty

This author wrote multiple books with the title Black Beauty in them. Her works are inspired by real-life events that took place in her life.

The author had a serious injury in her ankles and this rendered her to lose control over her ability to walk. From then on, she has only relied from the help of horses to aid her in moving around places.

Her novels show just how much horses can be relied on and she has also beautifully depicted other qualities of horses, including the unwavering loyalty of a horse.

SEE ALSO: Will a Horse Protect Its Owner? (Explained!)