According to a report just out this month, horses can read human emotion. While this may not be news to horse owners, this was the first time a research study has concluded that horses can distinguish between angry and happy human faces.
Psychologists at the Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognitive Research Group at the University of Sussex studied 28 horses between April 2014 and February 2015. Their findings indicated that the horses reacted with specific behaviors to photographs of people with negative facial expressions. When the horses were presented with images of angry faces, the horses looked more with their left eye and their heart rate rapidly increased. The findings were published in February in the journal Biology Letters.
According to Amy Smith, who co-led the research, “What’s really interesting about this research is that it shows that horses have the ability to read emotions across the species barrier . . . ” Read More
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