I've just returned from a 4-day business trip, and he asked if I was happy to have gone to see the horses last night, even though I did not ride. "Of course," was the reply, as it's just good to be able to kiss on the horses. We laughed at how Sug did her "mad" routine with me: When I've been away for a while and first approach her she pins her ears and refuses to look at me. After I've grovelled enough (usually by feeding her several treats) she whips her head around, ears still pinned, and starts licking me for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile James just puts his big ol' head in my arms and lets me hug and kiss on him all I want.
They are different that way. Sug likes attention, but on her terms and only when she wants it. She's not a hugger; she will, however, lick you to death when she's in the mood. James is ready for a cuddle any time and would simply love to be a lap-pony.
Noah asked if that bothered me, and I said no. I told him that horses are like people in that respect. Some are really affectionate and huggy and outgoing, and others like to show affection in their way and at their moment. Noah could understand that, as he can be affectionate, but is not typically a hugger and is only affectionate when he is comfortable with the situation and the person. Sophie, on the other hand, is a hugger and would squeeze and love on anybody 24/7 if you let her.
I told Noah you have to respect the horse's or person's comfort level, and look for their cues, and then interact with them in the way that works best for them. Trying to get a horse, or a person, for that matter, to change for you is like trying to spit in the wind. Just doesn't work.
Not bad for an exchange before I even had a cup of coffee in me, huh? I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of myself. LOL.