Horses React to Human Expression in Photographs

Horse Smiling

Volunteers, who did not know what was on the pictures, showed large pictures of a male with different facial expression to 28 horses.  The horses knew what mood the person was in simply by looking at the photographs.  Researchers noted how the horse was reacting based upon their body language and facial expressions, and the horses reacted in a predictable manner to the photos.

Amy Smith, a doctoral student in the University’s mammal vocal communication and cognition research group, said “What’s really interesting about this research is that it shows horses have the ability to read emotions across the species barrier. We have known for a long time that horses are a socially sophisticated species but this is the first time we have seen that they can distinguish between positive and negative human facial expressions.  The reaction to angry facial expressions was particularly clear – there was a quicker increase in their heart rate, and the horses moved their heads to look at the angry faces with their left eye.”

Anyone who has been spent time with horses knows that they can read human mood and emotional.

Original Story and Photograph: The Guardian

Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773

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