Horses are interesting animals! People have always been fascinated with them. A recent study examined horses ability to read emotions. This unique concept might change how you interact with your own horse. If you knew they understood your feelings, would you act differently around them?
In one clip of NATURE: Equus, “Story of the Horse”, scientists uncover that horses can not only express different emotions, but can also recognize many of them in both other horses and people. This interesting concept was tested through the use of pictures and sounds.
It was discovered that horses have 17 different facial expressions. That’s more than a chimpanzee and dog. The expressions are very subtle though. They’re easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them!
Horses also seemed to recognize that the mouth and eyes are key elements in reading human emotions. Most were interested in the smiling face, but turned away from the angry one.
You can see more in this clip:
Riders and handlers should take this into consideration when interacting with horses. Since they’re sensitive to our expressions and emotions, we should be aware of how we’re coming off. This could greatly improve our relationship with them!