When asked about how horses and humans interact with each other, it is likely that most people will only think of the image of a rider sitting on horseback, clutching the reins and urging the horse “Go!”.
In that picture, the person is the transmitter and the object the recipient is. The animal is expected to obey the given command and do nothing else. However, horses are not passive creatures that were born to be part of a one-way communication with humans.
In fact, they have their own motivations, desires, and emotions, the things they try to convey when interacting with people. There are many recent studies that have shed light on horses’ ability to understand and communicate with their caregivers. This article will analyze current science-based insights into the different ways horses communicate with the humans around them.
Humans began to domesticate horses around 4,000 to 3,000 years before Cong Nuyen. Smith, a horse cognitive and communication researcher, said that the herd’s natural herd behavior could be the basis for domesticated: “Horses are highly natural herds, they also evolved towards colonies and is a good communicator. This herd may have facilitated domestication, helping them to overcome the species barrier to understand human signals.
Once horses were domesticated, their close and regular interaction with humans could have spurred a greater development in the ability to communicate between species. This includes the ability to evaluate the human facial expression of a horse, something Smith has studied thoroughly.
In recent experiments, Smith and her team showed 28 domesticated horses a picture of a human face. Faces have different expressions, expressing emotions like happiness or anger.
Smith found that photos of angry faces caused negative reactions in horses. Their heart rate increased significantly and they stared at the picture with their left eye. In the mammalian brain, what the left eye sees is processed in the right brain, which specializes in dealing with negative stimuli.