Are Horses Monogamous

David Lawrence
• Saturday, 05 December, 2020
• 46 min read

The mature animals that form the core population of the herd interact based on gender and rank. Typical horse herds develop as territorial, mixed-gender groups that facilitate reproduction and aid in the security of its members.

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Herds are composed of one or more stallions, a number of mature mares, and immature male and female offspring called colts and fillies. The colts and mature stallions that form these groups establish a structure based on dominance.

Horses instinctively seek herd membership for reproductive purposes and for security. New harems form when fillies that have been separated from their natal herds join bachelor bands.

Mares and fillies as young as 2 or 3 years of age will enter estrus and present themselves to other horses in the herd, signaling their readiness to breed. Stallions are attracted to mares in estrus both by their scent and by social cues such as nuzzling and nickering.

Stallions may choose mares based on their ability to produce foals that will survive. This success is related to the mare’s ability to provide sufficient resources to the foal rather than age or rank.

They may attempt to mount and breed such mares or take on the protective behavior of the absent stallion. There are some fish species that are monogamous, such as the French Angelfish, and they do everything together, form hunting, defending their territory, and just spending time together hanging out.

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Of course, it isn’t the dominant way of life, and scientists believe that only about 5% of all the mammal species in the world practice monogamy, but still, it exists. Naturally, many other animals choose to live that way, and in this article, we will take a look at some of the more interesting examples.

These primates can be found all over Southeast Asia, and they mostly lead a monogamous life during the entirety of their 40-year lifespan. Their relationships often resemble those of humans quite a bit, with them hanging out together, taking care of their young, but also breaking up and cheating, which means that they picked up on the positives as well as the negatives.

These wild animals start breeding by the age of two, and they stay with their first partner for good, building their wolf pack. Even though the number of monogamous mammal species isn’t quite large, beavers are among the most shining examples of it.

Beavers work hard to maintain their relationships and take care of their partners, and they stay together until one of them dies. Males court their future partners for months by doing all that they can, including caressing, licking, and bringing them food.

Once the female accepts the offer and enters the relationship, we can witness some of the most stable pairs in the animal kingdom, with a partnership that lasts for more than 20 years. In the world of birds, we have several examples of true monogamy, meaning sexual and social.

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It is one of the most widespread species of birds, and they also stay loyal to a single partner for their entire life. Males do their best to seduce the females by giving them gifts and loudly screeching, and once they fall for their charms, the couple is set for life.

They share incubation duties, which is an extremely rare occurrence in the bird kingdom. Well, as we can see, there are plenty of animals that manage to stay loyal to each other and lead a monogamous life, despite living in the wilderness.

The natural history of mating systems in which species pair bond to raise offspring This article needs attention from an expert in Animal or Sexology and sexuality.

This pair may cohabit ate in an area or territory for some duration of time, and in some cases may copulate and reproduce with only each other. As an example, in the cichlid species Variabilichromis moor ii, a monogamous pair will care for eggs and young together, but the eggs may not all be fertilized by the male giving the care.

Monogamy in mammals is rather rare, only occurring in 3–9% of these species. A larger percentage of avian species are known to have monogamous relationships (about 90%), but most avian species practice social but not genetic monogamy in contrast to what was previously assumed by researchers.

sea underwater seahorses seahorse animals under horse erwin creatures water ocean dragon horses fanpop deep coral male marine unborn species
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Monogamy is quite rare in fish and amphibians, but not unheard of, appearing in a select few species. Social monogamy refers to the cohabitation of one male and one female.

The two individuals may cooperate in search of resources such as food and shelter and/or in caring for young. Paternal care in monogamous species is commonly displayed through carrying, feeding, defending, and socializing offspring.

With social monogamy there may not be an expected sexual fidelity between the males and the females. Social monogamy has been shown to increase fitness in prairie voles.

It has been shown that female prairie voles live longer when paired with males in a social monogamous relationship. This could be because of the shared energy expenditure by the males and females lower each individual's input.

Sexual conflicts that have been proposed to arise from social monogamy include infidelity and parental investment. The proposed conflict is derived from the conflict-centric differential allocation hypothesis, which states that there is a trade off between investment and attractiveness.

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Genetic monogamy refers to a mating system in which fidelity of the bonding pair is exhibited. Female voles have shown no difference in fecundity with genetic monogamy, but it may be enforced by males in some instances.

Mate guarding is a typical tactic in monogamous species. It is present in many animal species and can sometimes be expressed in lieu of parental care by males.

This may be for many reasons, including paternity assurance. Misogamy is a form of sexual reproduction which involves the fusion of two unequally-sized gametes.

In many animals, there are two sexes: the male, in which the gamete is small, motile, usually plentiful, and less energetically expensive, and the female, in which the gamete is larger, more energetically expensive, made at a lower rate, and largely immobile. Misogamy is thought to have evolved from misogamy, the fusion of similar gametes, multiple times in many species.

The introduction of misogamy has caused males and females to tend to have different optimal mating strategies. Females are therefore typically more likely to be selective in choosing mates.

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Monogamy is suggested to limit fitness differences, as males and females will mate in pairs. Several behaviors and ecological concerns may have led to the evolution of monogamy as a relevant mating strategy.

Partner and resource availability, enforcement, mate assistance, and territory defense may be some of the most prevalent factors effecting animal behavior. First introduced by Learn, facultative monogamy occurs when females are widely dispersed.

This can either occur because females in a species tend to be solitary or because the distribution of resources available cause females to thrive when separated into distinct territories. In these instances, there is less of a chance for a given male to find multiple females to mate with.

In these situations, male-to-male competition is reduced and female choice is limited. The end result is that the mate choice is more random than in a more dense population, which has a number of effects including limiting dimorphism and sexual selection.

The habitat cannot sustain multiple mates, so monogamy may be more prevalent. This is because resources may be found more easily for the pair than for the individual.

sea aquarium seahorse monogamous animals monogamy monterey bay horse fish
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The argument for resource availability has been shown in many species, but in several species, once resource availability increases, monogamy is still apparent. With increased resource availability, males may be offsetting the restriction of their fitness through several means.

In instances of social monogamy, males may offset any lowered fitness through extra pair coupling. The male may not be related to all the offspring of his main mate, but some offspring are being raised in other broods by other males and females, thereby offsetting any limitation of monogamy.

Males exhibit parental care habits in order to be an acceptable mate to the female. Any males that do not exhibit parental care would not be accepted as a sexual partner for socially monogamous females in an enforcement pattern.

This theory assumes that without bi parental care fitness level of offspring would be greatly reduced. Related to paternal care, some researchers have argued that infanticide is the true cause of monogamy.

This theory has not garnered much support, however, critiqued by several authors including Lukas and Clutton-Brock and Dixon. This is not seen in all species, such as some primates, in which the female may be more dominant than the male and may not need help to avoid unwanted mating; the pair may still benefit from some form of mate assistance, however, and therefore monogamy may be enforced to ensure the assistance of males.

monogamous mating lions animals mate why pride monogamy panthera leo ann receptive
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Bi-parental care is not seen in all monogamous species, however, so this may not be the only cause of female enforcement. An example of this would be sentinel behavior in avian species.

The main advantage of sentinel behavior is that many survival tactics are improved. As stated, the male or female will act as a sentinel and signal to their mate if a predator is present.

This can lead to an increase in survivorship, foraging, and incubation of eggs. Male care for offspring is rather rare in some taxa of species.

This is because males may increase their fitness by searching for multiple mates. Males have the opportunity to find a new mate earlier than females when there is internal fertilization or the females exhibit the majority of the care for the offspring.

The evolution of this care has been associated with energetically expensive offspring. In these cases, the male has a greater chance to increase his own fitness by seeing that his offspring live long enough to reproduce.

seahorse sea seahorses indonesia horse creatures horses aquarium dragon animals ocean nano fish marine most tank monogamous creature mermaids cavalluccio
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Without monogamy, bi-parental care is less common and there is an increased chance of infanticide. Monogamy as a mating system in animals has been thought to lower levels of some PRE and post ovulatory competition methods.

Because of this reduction in competition in some instances the regulation of certain morphological characteristics may be lowered. This would result in a vast variety of morphological and physiological differences such as sexual dimorphism and sperm quality.

Sexual dimorphism denotes the differences in males and females of the same species. In polygamous species there is a noted sexual dimorphism.

In monogamous species sexual conflict is thought to be lessened, and typically little to no sexual dimorphism is noted as there is less ornamentation and armor. This may have something to do with a feedback loop caused by a low population density.

In the continuing generations sexual selection will become less and less relevant as mating becomes more random. A similar feedback loop is thought to occur for the sperm quality in genetically monogamous pairs.

sea seahorse belly merimbula dragon animals ocean seahorses horses creatures monogamous rainbow horse brown
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Once misogamy has emerged in a species due to gamete dimorphism there is an inherent level of competition. As soon as sperm and egg are the predominant mating types there is an increase in the need for the male gametes.

Sperm in polygamous sexual encounters have evolved for size, speed, structure, and quantity. Typically the sperm of the highest quality are selected.

In genetically monogamous species it can be expected that sperm competition is absent or otherwise severely limited. Therefore, sperm quality for monogamous species has a higher variation and lower quality sperm have been noted in several species.

An example of this is in the Eurasian bullfinch which exhibits relaxed selection and sperm competition. The sperm of these males have a lower velocity than other closely related but polygamous pas serine bird species and the amount of abnormalities in sperm structure, length, and count when compared to similar bird families is increased.

The evolution of mating systems in animals has received an enormous amount of attention from biologists. This section briefly reviews three main findings about the evolution of monogamy in animals.

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Other factors may also contribute to the evolution of social monogamy. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation of why different species evolved monogamous mating systems.

Sexual dimorphism refers to differences in body characteristics between females and males. A frequently studied type of sexual dimorphism is body size.

For example, among mammals, males typically have larger bodies than females. Sexual dimorphism in body size has been linked to mating behavior.

In polygamous species, males compete for control over sexual access to females. Large males have an advantage in the competition for access to females, and they consequently pass their genes along to a greater number of offspring.

This eventually leads to large differences in body size between females and males. Polygamous males are often 1.5 to 2.0 times larger than females.

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In monogamous species, on the other hand, females and males have more equal access to mates, so there is little or no sexual dimorphism in body size. Several studies have reported a large amount of sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus, an evolutionary ancestor of human beings that lived between 2 and 5 million years ago.

These studies raise the possibility that Australopithecus had a polygamous mating system. Studies suggest sexual dimorphism reached modern human levels around the time of Homo erectus 0.5 to 2 million years ago.

This makes it difficult to identify the sex of the fossils. Researchers sometimes identify the sex of the fossils by their size, which, of course, can exaggerate findings of sexual dimorphism.

Recent studies using new methods of measurement suggest Australopithecus had the same amount of sexual dimorphism as modern humans. This raises questions about the amount of sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus.

Humans may have been partially unique in that selection pressures for sexual dimorphism might have been related to the new niches that humans were entering at the time, and how that might have interacted with potential early cultures and tool use. If these early humans had a differentiation of gender roles, with men hunting and women gathering, selection pressures in favor of increased size may have been distributed unequally between the sexes.

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Even if future studies clearly establish sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus, other studies have shown the relationship between sexual dimorphism and mating system is unreliable. Some polygamous species show little or no sexual dimorphism.

Some monogamous species show a large amount of sexual dimorphism. Studies of sexual dimorphism raise the possibility that early human ancestors were polygamous rather than monogamous.

But this line of research remains highly controversial. It may be that early human ancestors showed little sexual dimorphism, and it may be that sexual dimorphism in early human ancestors had no relationship to their mating systems.

Males with large testes produce more sperm and thereby gain an advantage impregnating females. In polygamous species, where one male controls sexual access to females, the testes tend to be small.

One male defends exclusive sexual access to a group of females and thereby eliminates sperm competition. In species where the young are particularly vulnerable and may benefit from protection by both parents, monogamy may be an optimal strategy.

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Monogamy tends to also occur when populations are small and dispersed. This is not conductive to polygamous behavior as the male would spend far more time searching for another mate.

The monogamous behavior allows the male to have a mate consistently, without having to waste energy searching for other females. Furthermore, there is an apparent connection between the time a male invests in their offspring and their monogamous behavior.

A male which is required to care for the offspring to ensure their survival is much more likely to exhibit monogamous behavior over one that does not. The selection factors in favor of different mating strategies for a species of animal, however, may potentially operate on many factors throughout that animal's life cycle.

For instance, with many species of bear, the female will often drive a male off soon after mating, and will later guard her cubs from him. It is thought that this may be due to the fact that too many bears close to one another may deplete the food available to the relatively small but growing cubs.

Monogamy may be social but rarely genetic. For example, in the cichlid species Variabilichromis moor ii, a monogamous pair will care for their eggs and young but the eggs are not all fertilized by the same male.

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There are species which have adopted monogamy with great success. The vole is extremely loyal and will go as far as to even attack other females that may approach him.

This hormone is released when a male mates and cares for young. Due to this hormone's rewarding effects, the male experiences a positive feeling when they maintain a monogamous relationship.

To further test this theory, the receptors that control vasopressin were placed into another species of vole that is promiscuous. After this addition, the originally unfaithful voles became monogamous with their selected partner.

They take turns incubating the eggs, and then supplying their fledglings with food. Black vultures will also attack other vultures that are participating in extra pair copulation, this is an attempt to increase monogamy and decrease promiscuous behavior.

Similarly, emperor penguins also stay together to care for their young. This is due to the harshness of the Antarctic weather, predators and the scarcity of food.

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One parent will protect the chick, while the other finds food. After the chick no longer needs their care, approximately 85% of parents will part ways and typically find a new partner every breeding season.

Horn bills are a socially monogamous bird species that usually only have one mate throughout their lives, much like the prairie vole. At this time, she will lay eggs and will be cared for by her mate.

The males are willing to work to support himself, his mate, and his offspring in order for survival; however, unlike the emperor penguin, the horn bills do not find new partners each season. It is relatively uncommon to find monogamous relationships in fish, amphibians and reptiles; however, the red-backed salamander as well as the Caribbean cleaner Toby practice monogamy as well.

However, the male Caribbean cleaner Toby fish has been found to separate from the female suddenly, leaving her abandoned. The red-backed salamander exhibited signs of social monogamy, which is the idea that animals form pairs to mate and raise offspring, but still will partake in extra pair copulation with various males or females in order to increase their biological fitness.

Zara's night monkeys are another species that proved to be monogamous. In an 18-year study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, these monkeys proved to be entirely monogamous, exhibiting no genetic information or visual information that could lead to the assumption that extra pair copulation was occurring.

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This explained the question as to why the male owl monkey invested so much time in protecting and raising their own offspring. Because monogamy is often referred to as “placing all your eggs in one basket” the male wants to ensure his young survive, and thus pass on his genes.

The desert grass spider, Agelenopsis apart, is mostly monogamous as well. Male size is the determining factor in fights over a female, with the larger male emerging as the winner since their size signifies success in future offspring.

This beaver is fascinating, as it is practicing monogamy in its reintroduction to certain parts of Europe; however, its American counterpart is not monogamous at all and often partakes in promiscuous behavior. In this instance, the scarcity of the European beavers' population could drive its monogamous behavior; moreover, it lowers the risk of parasite transmission which is correlated with biological fitness.

Monogamy is proving to be very efficient for this beaver, as their population is climbing. ^ a b c d e f g Other, Alexander G., Phelps, Steven M., Morin, Anna Bess & O. Wolff, J.

Social but not genetic monogamy is associated with greater breeding success in prairie voles ^ Sec, Kristina M.; Mattersdorfer, Karin; Studebaker, Christian; Koblmüller, Stephan (2008). “High Frequency of Multiple Paternity in Broods of a Socially Monogamous Cichlid Fish with Bi parental Nest Defense”.

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“The evolution of social monogamy in mammals” (PDF). “A key ecological trait drove the evolution of bi parental care and monogamy in an amphibian” (PDF).

“A role for central vasopressin in pair bonding in monogamous prairie voles”. “Looking after your partner: sentinel behavior in a socially monogamous bird”.

Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Center, Appeal University, 2009. “Genetic Monogamy and Bi parental Care in an Externally Fertilizing Fish, the Large mouth Bass (Micrometers salaries)”.

“The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences.

Multiple mating and its relationship to alternative modes of gestation in male-pregnant versus female-pregnant fish species. Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(44), 18915–18920.

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“Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates” (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

“Infanticide and the evolution of pair bonds in nonhuman primates” (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

“Adaptive significance of male parental care in a monogamous mammal”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences.

“Sexual selection accelerates signal evolution during speciation in birds”. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences.

^ Leslie, H.; Dillingham, M. A.; Morley, K.; Pizza, T.; Richardson, D. S. (2013). “Cryptic female choice favors sperm from major biocompatibility complex-dissimilar males”.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. “Sperm storage mediated by cryptic female choice for nuptial gifts”.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. “Mating systems, sperm competition, and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in birds”.

^ T Lode “la Guerra DES sexes Chen LES animal” Eds O Jacob, Paris, 2006, ISBN 2-7381-1901-8 ^ Finn, M.V. In: Origins of the social mind: Evolutionary psychology and child development, B. Ellis & D. Bjorklund (Eds.

“Randomization procedures and sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus aphaeresis”. Lorenzo, C.; Garcia, A.; Martínez, I.; DE Castro, Bermúdez; Carbon ell, E. (1997).

“Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans”. “Sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus aphaeresis was similar to that of modern humans”.

Early hominid sexual dimorphism and implications for mating systems and social behavior”. “Sperm competition and the evolution of testes size in birds”.

“Sexual selection and the comparative anatomy of reproduction in monkeys, apes, and human beings”. CS1 main: DOI inactive as of November 2020 (link) ^ Harcourt, A.H.; Harvey, P.H.

T. R. Bulkhead (2000), Promiscuity: an evolutionary history of sperm competition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

^ Sec, Kristina M.; Karin Mattersdorfer; Christian Studebaker; Stephan Koblmüller (2008). “High Frequency of Multiple Paternity in Broods of a Socially Monogamous Cichlid Fish with Bi parental Nest Defense”.

“Social but not genetic monogamy is associated with greater breeding success in prairie voles” (PDF). “Regular Articles: Genetic monogamy in Monterey's horn bill, Focus Montana”.

“Regular Articles: Experimental analysis of monogamy in the Caribbean cleaner Toby, Gobiosoma Evelyn”. “Regular Article: Social monogamy in a territorial salamander”.

“Correlates of genetic monogamy in socially monogamous mammals: Insights from Zara's owl monkeys”. “Candid reproductive biology: an integration of proximate mechanisms and ultimate causes” (PDF).

“Use of space and movement patterns in monogamous adult Eurasian beavers”. For example, if your partner uses injection drugs and shares needles with an infected person.

So the simple answer to your question is, yes a monogamous person can contract HIV. For most modern westerners their nearest contact with polygyny will be through what they have read of Biblical society: Abraham, David and Jacob all had multiple wives.

In fact, it is mainly pastoral and early agricultural societies which show polygyny. The extreme wealth imbalance which begins with managed farming make it easy for a rich man to acquire and support multiple wives, while the relative porosity of nomad foraging cultures limit the development of polygyny there.

However, more than 90 percent of birds are monogamous animals, though none of them show affection quite like macaroni penguins. Check out these amazing photos of baby animals and their mamas from National Geographic.

Nagel Photography/Shutterstock Humans have love songs and poetry, but sandhill cranes have “unison calling” to profess their bond to the world. Steven L. Gordon/Shutterstock Long before male seahorses carry their babies in the pouch on their stomachs, they flirt with potential mates by intertwining tails and dancing around each other.

Seahorses generally have a fairly short lifespan, so monogamy might not be quite the same commitment as it is for these aquatic animals that life forever. Nagel Photography/Shutterstock An alpha male and his female partner are basically a power couple; the social hierarchy of all other gray wolves in the pack depends on them.

Male owls “flirt” with potential mates by giving them dead mice and screeching, and females who are interested respond by croaking. Reptiles4all/Shutterstock The shingle back skin is a type of lizard native to Australia that returns to the same partner each mating season.

The males woo the females by caressing and licking them, but the romantic chase pays off; their partnership could last more than 20 years. Sergey Kleenex/Shutterstock Vultures have a rather grim reputation, but at least they can be creepy with a loving mate.

During courtship, male vultures circle the females with extended necks, and then chase and dive toward them. Couples stay together all year round, and once eggs join their family, they take turns incubating them for 24-hour shifts.

A genetic study by Charles University in Prague even found that beavers stay faithful to their mates. When these monogamous animals court, they curve their necks toward each other in a heart shape, lift their wings, and bow.

Bestiality, the act of having sex with an animal, tends to conjure images of a mucky, socially inadequate, desperate farmer sneaking into the barn after dark, or depraved groups of thrill-seekers forcing sex with drugged, abused, or otherwise mistreated animals (like the case of Douglas Spin and the animal-sex-tourism farm in WashingtonState). But the sexual identity that can be attached to bestiality, neophilia, remains little understood.

There was a carnival in a parking lot across the street from my house and it had a parade of them walking around in circles. I begged my parents to let me go, so I could ride the ponies, but when I got on a horse’s back I was absolutely horrified.

It’s not as if I didn’t have friends or engage in activities, but I was a little nerdy and not at all athletic. I don’t think I had any more or less trouble with the “in” crowd than any other kid, and I know a few people looked up to me for my abilities in math, science, and the fact that I was always willing to help people.

He was aware of my sexual preference and interested himself in dogs after a fashion. In all honesty, I’ve never liked kissing men; rough beards do not turn me on.

Because I didn’t get to know her first, and I’ve since come to understand that enthusiastic participation makes the experience better. I think a lot of people build up that first experience and whether they are straight or a profile.

I’ll tell you about the first time I had sex with my current mare friend. We were in a barn with all the lights out and a nice warm heater; it was lovely.

So, she was settling in for the night, and I went to the stall and I just sat in the corner. I let her come to me, and that’s one of the things I am very adamant about: I never use a halter or any kind of restraint.

In the case of the first time with my current mare friend I was sitting with my back to the wall, and she had actually pressed into my face hard enough that I was pinned there performing oral sex. I wouldn’t say she was trying to dominate; I think she was just expressing her enjoyment.

So we have this plastic bucket upside down, and I’m standing on it and my drawers are dropped. I’m in the corner of the stall, and my mare friend has turned around and is looking at me strangely, and she comes over and sniffs and rubs and snuffles me.

Because horses love biting things I was a little concerned; I kept my hand in a way that I could save myself if I needed to. But the fascinating thing is that after having oral sex she turned away from me, lifted her tail, and walked backward into me and actually on tome.

Each time I have a conversation about this I see other people’s darkness projected onto what I do. Yes, anyone could tie up a horse to make sure it couldn’t hurt you and then do whatever they want to it.

The popular image of that person on the farm who goes and abuses animals because there’s no other outlet, that’s not the case. When I first gave a horse oral sex I was in my early 20s, and one of the things I had to overcome was the thought that it’s disgusting to go down on a horse, much like the way some men feel about women.

So it was at the back of my head at the time, and it’s kind of strange because there’s nothing about horses that’s disgusting to me. And, as I discovered, mares taste very, very nice, like mown grass or fresh hay, and they really enjoy oral stimulation.

I’ve always made sure, except for the first few times when I was a neophyte, that my partner has an orgasm, whether it’s a human or a horse, because I want her to have a wonderful time, and oral is something she almost always enjoys. She tenses up a lot and “winks” her clitoris repeatedly.

When I was younger I was experimenting with stallions, and that was not really my thing, so I don’t have as much memory of those. I have severe hemorrhoids so it’s too painful, and that made some of my gay relationships difficult, but I was always happy to pleasure my partner.

When it comes to humans, do you identify as gay or straight? That changed in my early 20s, but right now I would say I’m 90 percent heterosexual with humans and with horses.

The very first human I ever loved died of AIDS about six weeks after I met him. After questioning her repeatedly on what she was legally required to do if I confessed certain things to her, I decided to come clean and explain to her why horses are so important tome.

When I heard the news I was in upstate New York with some friends. I remember everyone was trying to console me, and I left the house and went out to the pasture and just screamed.

Or is the human model the wrong way to think about it? That’s sort of how I see it, but I guess it’s silly to project human-relationship standards onto an animal.

You see, I’ve been married to a human woman for 19 years. I don’t want to sound trite, but communication is very important in marriage.

She’s offered to stand guard to make sure that I get privacy because one of the issues I have at the moment is that my mares can’t live on my property. So I haven’t been living with my mare friend for almost two years.

But that’s to protect her: If I get caught, I can guarantee you the first thing they are going to do is put her down. Until I can find extra money in my budget to move her out of a public stable.

I was sitting on the corner of a box, and she came over, and she sidled up to me, and she put her belly against my shoulder, so I could rub her where it was hurting, and I thought to myself at the time … sorry, this is making me a little emotional … I thought that it was something I could do to help ease her off on her journey across the rainbow bridge, which is what profiles talk about. When animals die they will go across the rainbow bridge and wait for their companions there.

You know, a lot of people would be jealous, but I wouldn’t as long as she was happy and enjoying herself. A lot of animal sex tends to be forced, although I’m pretty darn sure my mare friend could protect herself and make sure she was getting what she wanted out of any sexual situation.

I’ve become attracted to Arabians after meeting my current mare friend and seeing the kind of bonding they can do with humans. She said, “What do you like about horses ?” And I said, “Everything … everything from the hock and the hoof to the nostrils and the thighs and the neck and the way the neck curves and the muscles along the flank.” I can’t identify one thing that stands out for me, or something that I have to have in a horse.

As members of society we are educated in what we should be looking for in fellow humans, whereas with horses we don’t have any of that teaching. Since there’s so much stigma attached to being a profile I imagine that means you don’t tell many people.

I’m a private person, and I have no desire for people to know what I’m doing with my penis. Having said that, though, you are quite correct that it’s something that makes people feel confused and alone, and they have no idea what to think about what they are, and they can’t talk to anybody.

I’ve heard stories of people getting shock or aversion therapy. I’ve always been a very political person, and one of the reasons I started seeing a therapist is because I found that lately I’m having trouble with what people say about profiles.

It’s been very hard dealing with those emotions and the heaviness of what it would be like to get caught and what’s being said and done to profiles, and the fact is, rather than actually engage with us, people would prefer to ignores. I pay my taxes, I make fairly good money, I have a nice house.

The experience of being a zoo adolescent was extremely lonely. I had no one to turn to, nobody to ask questions, and even if I had trusted someone I feel now like I would have gotten bad, hetero normative advice.

I guess one of the major criticisms, aside from moral concerns, is that an animal can’t ever give verbal consent. I believe that question is asked because there is no answer to it and so it proves the point that zoos are bad.

First, why are people concerned about consent when my sexuality is involved but not when it comes to drinking milk or eating steak, both of which require artificial insemination and semen collection, which are very sexual acts? You put your arm inside the cow, and you masturbate the bull.

Second, if someone is mute and can’t write or give you a verbal response, are you allowed to have sex with them? I don’t know how often this comes up when a mute wants to have sex, but that’s another way of looking AIT.

No smart person does that because the dog could bite your hand. If he’s perky and happy you go in for the pet; if he’s not you don’t want to interfere with him.

So for me that’s a good way to make people understand that an animal doesn’t need words to consent to being touched. The first person I talk to about my mare friend is my wife so there’s nothing there for her to be jealous of.

If I happen to see a tail flicked off to the right side at the right time I might snap that photo, but it’s not something that I’m always looking at. When I was younger there was a lot of that sort of thing, but I think that’s more to do with being a walking hormone.

When I look at beauty porn I see animals who aren’t being taken care of and are probably drugged. A lot of it is made just for the money by the same producers as other porn, and they have about the same respect for animals as they do for women.

It’s nerve-racking coming to grips with having an alternative sexuality like this, and until you have a lot of experience you really doubt yourself. It’s brought me so much joy being around horses, and I’m not just talking about the sex but the riding and the grooming.

One of the things that a Kinsey study showed is that most of those who engaged in sex acts with animals didn’t make it to old age. I do know that almost every profile I’ve ever talked to has had a brush with death.

The fact that I hear teenagers saying they don’t know where babies come from doesn’t make sense to me There’s this infamous video from Europe of a man who is having sex with chickens.

I look to do harm reduction to the meat I eat. I kid you not; she’ll back into me and ask me to rub things almost every day.

When we are going some place new there’s usually a hiatus because she’s not comfortable with her surroundings, so generally if we move stables there would be a break. She understands it, and it doesn’t happen very often, especially now that she’s in a public stable.

My dream home would have the barn as part of the house. I’ve spent four- or five-hour evenings with a mare because she wanted more.

It tends to happen more during summer nights because it gets quite cold in winter. I just wear barn clothes, nothing fancy because I’m going to get dirty.

Our fifth anniversary was on Halloween and I groomed her extra special. I like going out into the paddock and sitting with her and watching her eat.

But it’s not a traditional date; she doesn’t really have much in the way of choice except to accompany me or not come to me. I have to load her up in a trailer and take her out of her comfort zone, so I have a little of trouble calling it a date.

But on our anniversary I spend extra time grooming her, and I feed her apples. I love it when people compliment her because it makes me feel like I’m taking good care of her.

I try not to judge, but I tend to be unhappy when people are so focused on the number of animals they’ve had sex with, when the only goal is to have another notch on the belt. I met someone who keeps a spreadsheet of the width and girth of every stallion he’s ever slept with.

That objectifies the animal, and it removes the personal relationship. The only reason it would be a dilemma is because my wife means so much to me, and she’d be very unhappy with that.

Part of that is because we have a new horse in the pasture, and this bothers me quite a bit. It’s so subtle it almost sounds silly, but she moves away from me, and she’s never done this before so that’s really on my mind right now because I want to repair the relationship.

I assume I did something or helped the vet do something that caused her pain or upset her in some way. It’s so hard to communicate the subtle things that change between me and an equine partner, but I really have to pay attention, and if I missed what happened it’s a real case of sleuthing.

I would love it if we had telepathy or if there were a little machine I could pop on her forehead and see what she’s thinking, but I would never want to spend the time talking to her as if she were a human, because she’s not. If you’ve ever wondered whether your horse actually shows affection, you’ll be happy to learn that they most certainly do.

If a horse comes to you when you walk out into the pasture, not because they expect food but because they recognize you, then they are showing affection. If a horse is willing to approach you on their own, without being asked, it shows that they like your presence.

That’s why it’s important to always remain calm and relaxed when working with your horse. If your horse is used to you being a calm and decisive leader, they will positively associate you with a happy atmosphere.

A horse that respects you and pays attention to you will watch your every move. Next time you go to groom your horse, tie them up and walk away to do something else for a moment.

To learn more about this, check out our article, How to Get Your Horse to Pay Attention to You. Horses are herd animals, and they will rarely go anywhere alone without a buddy.

Horses are the same way with humans; they want to see what they can get away with and in what areas they can be the dominant creature. Horses do this by testing you, whether it’s disobeying your cues or trying to scare you by acting as if they’re going to buck.

A horse that has come to terms with you being the leader will respect you. Don’t get me wrong, while horses may be vying for the alpha spot, they also love to be led.

They won’t question your cues; instead, they’ll respond willingly. I can’t tell you how many horses I’ve met that started out being jumpy and aggressive to be around or to ride.

After spending time with them and being patient, the horses soon came around to trust me and to know that they could relax. Horses are flight animals, so with any new person they meet, they’re going to determine whether you’re a threat that they need to flee from.

Tucker has a little quarter pony named Missy as his girlfriend. Next time you go looking for your horse in the pasture, you probably will be able to spot them not too far away from their buddies.

Horses touching noses or blowing into each other’s nostrils is basically like a handshake. By breathing into each other’s nostrils, the horses can smell whether the scent is familiar or unfamiliar.

You may have seen two horses standing with their heads at each other’s backs, using their teeth to reach each other’s scratchy patches. When horses are young, their mother licks and grooms them.

It becomes a very familiar and comforting task that represents the bond that mother and foal have. Likewise, when horses get older, they’ll do it to one another to show the same kind of fondness towards one another.

Any time I turn my horse out into the pasture, he whinnies for his friends. A horse may whinny in order to locate the rest of his herd.

We teach our horses to respect our personal space; that means that they shouldn’t ever step into our bubble and crowd us. I didn’t realize this until I started to notice repetitive behavior in my horse.

I quickly realized that this wasn’t a sign of affection; rather, my horse was impatient to get back into the field! Remember, in order to for your horse to respect your space, you have to be consistent in what you teach them.

Many animals are serially monogamous, meaning they pair up with one partner at a time to raise offspring, but then pair up with a new partner the next year (rather like some human beings, who go from marriage to marriage throughout their lives). Sexual dimorphism, a term referring to the physiological differences between males and females, is relatively pronounced, which contributes to a higher degree of equality between the sexes.

Paired gibbons not only mate together and raise offspring together, but spend a lot of time grooming each other and doing other shared activities. The difficulties and time involved with migration and other aspects of swan life probably have contributed to the tendency to form long-term partnerships.

Wolves commonly mate for life, and relationships among brothers and sisters in the pack are often as fierce as the bond between their parents. Penguins, another species that faces numerous challenges when it comes to raising offspring in a harsh environment, will sometimes mate for life.

They have received a great deal of attention for their mating patterns, perhaps as much for the hardships that they face as their tendency to pair up loyally. Those with the shortest breeding season interestingly enough seem to have the lowest rate of divorce.

However, there are a few species, like prairie voles, eagles, and wolves, that probably outdo us in that respect. But perhaps the most noticeable pattern is that monogamy, whether serial or not, is largely a matter of choice in any species, human or otherwise.

When mating, the female deposits her eggs into his pouch, and the male fertilizes them internally. He carries the eggs in his pouch until they hatch, then releases fully formed, miniature seahorses into the water.

Because of their body shape, seahorses are rather inept swimmers and can easily die of exhaustion when caught in storm-roiled seas. They anchor themselves with their prehensile tails to sea grasses and corals, using their elongated snouts to suck in plankton and small crustaceans that drift by.

However, worldwide coastal habitat depletion, pollution, and rampant harvesting, mainly for use in Asian traditional medicine, have made several species vulnerable to extinction. The alpha male and alpha female within packs mate for life and share leadership roles and responsibilities caring for their young and other pack members.

Bald Eagles These fearsome raptors may not seem like the romantic type, but they also partner up for life. According to studies on their behavior, they court and reinforce their bond through elaborate displays that involve locking their talons in mid-air before free-falling through the sky.

Thanks to raptor cams, we’ve also been able to see these giant birds delicately caring for their young. Beavers Known for their elaborate dam building skills, beavers are monogamous creatures who stay together for life, living in family groups, or colonies, made up of parents and their offspring.

Adults stay together in these colonies and care for their young for the first two years of their lives, teaching them valuable skills, before they go off to find their own mates. Albatross They don’t just mate for life, but engage in an elaborate courtship ritual before settling down with a partner that consists of a precise sequence of dance moves when choosing a partner.

Females deposit eggs in the male’s pouch, where he fertilizes and carries them until giving birth. Arctic foxes usually mate for life, and both mother and father help raise the pups.

A recent study of urban coyotes shows that these canine cousins are loyal to their mates and never stray. Ravens mate for life and live in pairs in a fixed territory.

Barn Owls They mate for life and become very emotionally attached to their partner. Condors They mate for life, and can live to the ripe old age of 50, but they reproduce slowly, and young condors are a big responsibility for parent birds since they are unable to fly for their first 6 months, and remain reliant for a further 2 years.

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