Hello world of horse lovers, experts and trainers. I have a rather strange problem here. I'm trying to keep this short, but forgive me... It's still going to be a lot of reading... I work security during 7pm-7am four days a week at a farm filled with horses in various stages of boredom and stress. The caretakers do what they have to (grooming, clean stall, take them to the paddock, take them back to stall, fresh food and water when needed and a couple carrots at night) and nothing more. There aren't any "toys." And most of the time the only social interaction they seem to have at all is when their food is being tossed in (it's a thing of a sort of greenish straw-like grass I forgot the name to. It's supposed to be high in nutrients.) and when they "talk" to the horses in the other stalls. The owners are a couple of rich people who I don't know the names to who just simply own the place and live somewhere else. They are among the people that own horses simply just to say they own horses because they can afford it. I'm not going to go over all the horses, but I would like to pick out a couple with curious behaviors that I don't understand, no matter how much research I've done. First off, I'll start with a large, 13 year old beautiful mare, which I will call Horse A, for sake of privacy. My very first time actually coming face to face with a horse, and both of us were clearly nervous about it. But insanely curious was I, so I made the mistake of opening her stall door to come pet her, as I normally do whenever I see something cute. I realized my stupidity soon after, no worries, as I had no clue how to read her at all. She approached me timidly, and I mistakenly believed that she was showing behaviors like a cat. (Ears down, head lowered, inching closer with her nose to smell.) I lowered my head to blow at her softly with my nose, as I had learned that several animals do this as a form of "hello." The movement startled her enough to charge at me and stomp at the ground with her two front hooves. Instinctively, I literally jumped back, out of the stall. Now, armed with knowledge of my obvious offense and mistake, I keep trying to re-approach her anew. But she does not trust me. She has gotten to the point where she will come up and sniff me without showing any "get away from me" behaviors but stays far away as she can and shows signs of tension and stress when I get too close. (I have never even smacked her or pinched her. Just said "no" very firmly and raised my arms to make me seem bigger for a moment. Just to get her to move.) Horse B is a male (gelded) horse maybe 11-12 years old and who seems to have been the only one who liked me, despite his nervousness around me. He nickers when he sees me through the bars and approaches, ears forward but otherwise relaxed. I let him sniff my hand and he does that lip nuzzle thing that horses do when they are showing affection or grooming. The other day he nodded his head at me after nickering and snorted. I had asked the manager of the farm who was present at the moment what that meant and he said that he wants to be petted. Later Once alone, I said hello, he nickered at me softly, and I opened the stall door. He came up and nuzzled my shirt and I started scratching his neck. He started lifting his head, ears still forward and I softly pet that round part of the jaw(?). He nipped my collar bone, and I immediately reacted. I wasn't expecting it. We both backed away at the same time and he turned his head and looked away. I told him "no" then confused I left the stall. He doesn't nicker at me anymore. Horse C... Well... He's about the same age. Gelded as well. He has solid walls so he doesn't see any other horse but the one across from him, and when I just walk by he gets very, very tense and stressed. One night, I approached trying to find out if maybe he was in pain. He pinned his ears and charged me a few times (this time I knew better, didn't move and said "no."). Once he calmed down, I told him he was a good boy and opened the stall door. Immediately, he jumped a bit, startled perhaps, but not enough for me to say he reared, then literally hit me with his chin onto my forehead hard enough to knock me down and make me see stars for a second. I quickly shut the stall door and waited a second to calm myself down out of sight. Once that was achieved, I knew it was too late to correct that behavior, so I slowly stood up to meet his eyes. He stared at me for a minute then ignored me. I talked to him softly, calmly, and he started tensing up again. Ears pinned, and he'd yawn. Act like he was biting at me, then yawn again. Now, I know that this is a sign of stress, and I was about to walk away to call it quits (obviously this horse wanted zilch to do with me and clearly I was just making it worse.). However, I noticed during his yawn that he was missing literally all his front teeth. Nothing but gums. He had his back teeth, because I could hear them at the end of the yawn when he clamped his jaw together, and at first I thought this was why. Maybe because he didn't have his only form of working offense besides his hooves, he felt strongly fearful of me? But he never once went to obviously rear at me, or kick me (thankfully). His behavior overall, if I could properly describe it, is precisely how I react to seeing a spider. I don't intend to kill it, but I don't want it anywhere near me so I do my best to scare it away. I tried to earn his trust a second time tonight, earning another bop on the head. I lost my cool and crouched down and literally started crying. Not because it hurt, because unlike before, this one was a lot softer. Probably because it hurt him when he did it before as well. But because I am going through a rather oddly similar situation with a person friend I lost and was trying to get back as a friend. And I had what I could only call a female moment. I mention this only, because the reaction of this emotion from the horse wasn't at all like before. At first he reacted startled, as my crouching movement was startling. He got close to sniff at me, ears forward, nuzzled me once very lightly then slowly walked away. I made sure to give him a carrot as a sort of "thank you." I imagine he likely thought the behavior from me was weird, and evidently decided I wasn't a threat to him and just wanted to ignore me. But I'd like to think that maybe that was a genuine sign of compassion, or even pity. Horses can pick up on our emotions for sure. Horse D is another gelded horse with a curious attitude... This one isn't clear if he wants my attention at all. He comes up. He never nickers or is friendly, but he doesn't try to scare me away. I opened the door just tonight, after a long period of constantly doing research on behaviors and what they mean, and confidently I approached this short stocky horse. At first, he was scared, but I offered him my hand and let him come to me. Then he was alert, but not tense. He nuzzled me but began to headbutt me in a way to push me, and if I resisted he'd nip. Thinking this was a test to see who was boss, I pushed him away from me at his shoulder and firmly told him "no, not okay." Then I'd wait a second then coax him back. At first this worked, I though. He, ears forward, approached again then started licking me and nuzzling. In what appeared to be grooming. I raised my hand to pet him back and immediately he nipped me. I'd push him, he'd yeild, then after coaxing he'd return and repeat the whole thing. Next time he bit and tugged at my pants, then my belt, then my shirt. After a few more attempts to pet him I gave up and just let him groom me, thinking perhaps he didn't trust me enough when he saw my hands to know it was a good thing. Then he bit me on my forearm. Hard enough to leave teeth marks and a very small, faint bruise, but not hard enough to break skin. But this was different. He didn't bite then move. He bit and HELD. I had to smack him on the jaw (I couldn't reach his neck) to get him to let go. I waited for him to stop acting aggressively and corrected appropriately (I hope) ( trying to bite; smack his nose -NOT HARD- or pinch, and a charge earned waving hands and loud noise) before I pat him on the nose and finally left. I tried to figure out what warranted such behavior and after an hour or so I came across something that matched. Not the behavior specifically, but his expression while he was grooming me before he bit me. His ears were what I thought were "relaxed" not pricked or alert, not pinned, just kind of loose, but the rest of him was incredibly tensed up. "Pain." Maybe he was trying to tell me he was in pain? Or he was frustrated? But he'd also sort of "bare" his teeth. Which I found out wasn't actually baring his teeth but a flehmen response? Either way I left him alone and have since proceeded to seek help on him in particular. A friend of mine offered that perhaps he was reacting to my hormones? Either way, I want to know what he's trying to tell me. Back off and stay away? Or stop trying to pet me? Or maybe he was licking the salt off my arm (it was a hot day) and was getting mad when I'd move?