Study: Human Interaction Shapes Horses’ Negative Emotions

It only makes sense. When training a horse – in fact with any interaction with a horse – you need to understand and appreciate the horse’s point of view. Some basic horse behavior facts can be found on our website. Remember: Your frustrations and fears will be mirrored back to you. Remain calm when your horse reacts negatively. Think of all things that they could be reacting to – if you are not the culprit – the article below gives excellent suggestions. Also its important that if your horse will not calm down, there is a good chance something might be medically wrong with them. This does not mean all horses cannot be around sensitive, upset or depressed humans. There are horses that are specially trained to handle and aid people with emotional and cognitive difficulties – but not all horses have the capacity to do this. As each of us is different in our personalities, the same is true about our equine friends. ~ HfH

From: The Horse
By: Christa Lesté-Lasserre

upset-horseSome get depressed. Some get aggressive. And some just “turn off” completely and have no reaction at all.

We don’t need science to tell us that horses have a variety of behaviors with which to express negative emotions. But a recent review of behavior studies by a French behavior researcher confirms that these negative emotions—and the way horses express them—can be a direct result of the way the animals are trained and managed.

“Although more research is needed, the elements we already have clearly indicate that we should consider equine welfare to be critical not only in the horse’s health and physiological state, but in his relationship with humans as well,” said Clémence Lesimple, PhD, researcher at the University of Rennes. Lesimple presented her findings at the 2014 French Equine Research Day held March 18 in Paris.

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1 Comment
  • Sue

    I’d be backing up from the horse in this photo!

    May 22, 2014