Are Horses Human

Paul Gonzalez
• Monday, 30 November, 2020
• 38 min read

Humans don’t founder, although a diabetic’s loss of blood supply to the legs has some comparable pathology. Contrary, the forelimbs and hind limbs of the horse are essentially devoid of muscle below their so-called knees and hocks, with the tendons and ligaments being a “spring loading” system of recoil that adds to their efficiency of movement. Because we stand upright, and they are prone, this creates the forelimb concussion issue for the horse, but also loads the spring.

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Horses don’t have clavicles (collarbones), so the front limbs are held to the body by soft tissue alone (muscle, tendons, and fibrous sheets of fascia). Internally, the horse has lungs similar to ours, but a gastrointestinal tract that is more complicated.

Humans are omnivores (eating both meat and plant material), while the horse is a herbivore (grass eater or grazing species). If the valve is not stimulated, the horse can passively reflux up to the oral cavity.

Horses and humans have similar small intestines divided into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The horse’s gastrointestinal tract is subject to parasite infestation that can cause problems.

An example of this is a tapeworm infestation where the valve of the ileum enters the cecum and colon. The cecum is a large “blind sac” in the horse, analogous to the human ’s relatively small appendix.

The cecum and colon of the horse combine to provide digestive hind-gut fermentation. The colon is about 35 feet long in the horse and unsecured enough to displace or twist, causing mild to severe colic.

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The horse’s eyes are located to where vision is almost a complete arc with only a minimal blind spot in the front and one down a line in the back. This allows for predators to be spotted from the rear, and we often learn unexpectedly that the horse can generate its “spook” or flight response from a perceived threat that comes from behind.

Human eyes are obviously focused to the front, like most predators, and our opposition can easily sneak up on us from the rear. Outside the occasional ear wiggling by a comic, we must turn our heads to increase our sound reception.

These air-purifying features of the head help horses tolerate much of the adverse air environment of stall confinement. This upper airway system is most often overloaded in times of high heat and humidity.

It has been shown that tying the horse’s head up–such as during transport–increases the potential to develop respiratory disease. We would need to stand on our heads to duplicate the horse’s clearance mechanism.

But horse’s can cheat our observation skills by having both hair and pigment to hide injury or disease. The findings are the cardiac electrical conduction systems of a stalking predator versus a flight animal, the latter having an enormous ability for the athletic first response that can take a heart rate from resting to about 300 beats per minute coming out of a starting gate.

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The horse epitomizes the aspects of being a flight animal by its unique heart electrical conduction system, its spleen, and the act of birthing. The horse shows status as a flight animal by its unique heart electrical conduction system, its spleen, and the act of birthing.

The differences lie in the ability to contract the cardiac muscle fibers by activating electrical stimulation, not in a linear highway of conduction (type A), but that of a conduction system that reverses direction at the same time as flowing forward. For example, cardiac axis determinations used to localize infarcts or individual heart chamber enlargements in humans is rarely definitive in horses.

They obviously don’t need blood doping since the adrenalin of the flight response results in the contraction of the spleen. The act of foaling separates the mare from all other species by an explosive process that takes 20-45 minutes to complete.

The human birthing can be long hours in the process–and a toddler takes one to two years to get up and moving on two legs. Their size dictates that excessive ground contact causes skin, muscle, and bone secondary trauma.

The horse to human bond grows perpetually both physically and emotionally by understanding and education. The instinctive behaviors of a horse include flight and claustrophobia (while humans have panic attacks!).

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It is important for social animals to be sensitive to others’ emotional cues, because they can process and react to valuable social and environmental information more efficiently if they can understand others’ emotional states. Previous studies have demonstrated that dogs are very sensitive to human cues, such as pointing and facial or vocal expressions.

In this study, we investigated whether horses are sensitive to human emotional cues and adjust their behavior accordingly. These findings support our hypothesis that horses exhibit sensitivity to negative human emotional cues.

Emotions are important for social animals because animals’ emotions function as beneficial cues to identify valuable resources such as food or to avoid danger by providing environmental information. Emotions also enable animals to predict individuals’ behavior and determine how to behave in a specific context.

Recently, several studies have reported that dogs are highly sensitive to not only nonspecific but also human emotional cues. However, there are still few studies that examine whether other domesticated animals, in addition to dogs, exhibit sensitivity to human emotional cues.

In this study, we used a gaze-following task to investigate whether horses (Equus Catullus) are sensitive to human emotional cues (happy, neutral, disgust) and if they adjust their behavior accordingly. In the study, the experimenter suddenly turned her head to either right or left and showed emotional cues.

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The results revealed that horses significantly decreased the frequency with which they followed the experimenter’s gaze and the total looking time during the gaze-emotional cue presentation in the Disgust condition compared to the Neutral condition. These results suggest the possibility that horses are sensitive to human emotional cues and behave on the basis of the meaning implied by negative human emotional cues.

Emotions aid in social animals’ survival because others’ emotions provide environmental information and allow an individual to find valuable resources or avoid threats . Moreover, reading others’ emotional cues is necessary for animals to maintain their social bonds with group members , because emotional cues enable individuals to predict other individuals’ behavior and determine situation-appropriate behaviors .

In fact, some researchers reported that social animals such as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), dogs (Cans familiars), and horses (Equus Catullus) are sensitive to other nonspecific emotional cues . Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that dogs are very sensitive to human emotional cues.

For example, dogs can discriminate their owner’s and unfamiliar humans’ positive facial expressions from neutral ones . It is also reported that dogs can match human facial and vocal expressions that exhibit similar emotional valence as well as nonspecific emotions and can refer their owner’s expression when they face a novel object .

It is also demonstrated that dogs who were presented with two boxes choose the one that the human experimenter reacted toward with a happy expression significantly more often than the one that the experimenter reacted toward with an expression of disgust . These studies suggest that dogs are very sensitive to both nonspecific and human emotional cues and change their behaviors accordingly as a function of human emotional cues.

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Dogs’ ability to use human communicative cues such as pointing and eye gaze was compared with wolves’ (Cans lupus), the closest relative species of dogs, by the object choice task . In this task, the experimenter expressed communicative cues indicating that the opaque bowl contained food, and the subjects were tested on whether they chose the bowl with food.

The dogs were able to discern the correct bowl with greater frequency than the wolves. These results indicate that sensitivity to human social cues is not shared among most can ids and it is peculiar to dogs.

Furthermore, the ability to use human social cues in object-choice tasks is reported in domestic horses and pigs (SUS scrota domestic) . These studies suggest that adaptive responsiveness to various human social cues may be shared with domesticated animals.

Therefore, it is necessary to study whether other domestic animals are also sensitive to human emotional cues. Horses have lived with humans as cooperative working animals for transfer and transportation for approximately 5500 years .

Recently, they also have played active roles in leisure and therapy as a companion animal similar to dogs. Thus, horses may have built close and cooperative relationships with humans similarly to dogs.

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Therefore, it is considered that horses have developed sensitivity to emotional human social cues, which is supported by some studies. For example, they can use human cues to select an opaque bucket containing food in an object-choice task .

Horses are also able to perceive whether a person is attending to their specific needs and decide how they request food and from whom . Furthermore, it has been reported that horses heart rate rose faster when they were exposed to an angry face of unfamiliar human male than when they were exposed to his smiling face .

A recent study found that horses remember past facial expressions of specific people and use this emotional memory to guide future interactions . Moreover, it has been reported that horses are sensitive to emotional human vocal expressions, and they notably show a freeze posture for significantly longer periods of time immediately following negative human vocalizations .

However, the neutral condition was not set in all these previous studies in horses , which suggests that horses evaluate angry human faces relatively as negative, not absolutely by comparing the basis of human neutral faces. Thus, it is possible that either horses evaluation of human emotional cues is biased to be positive and both human positive and negative emotional cues are generally recognized as more positive than neutral or horses evaluation of human emotional cues is biased to be negative and both human positive and negative emotional cues are generally recognized as more negative than neutral.

By adding a neutral condition to the study, we would be able to test whether horses have the ability to absolutely evaluate human positive or negative emotional cues in comparison with the neutral condition. In this study, we investigated whether horses are sensitive to human emotional cues (happy/neutral/disgust) using a gaze-following task.

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(Source: ourhorses.org)

In this task, the experimenter suddenly turned her head to the right or left side and displayed an emotional cue in front of a subject horse. We used an expression of disgust rather than anger, which has been used in previous studies to investigate whether horses are sensitive to other negative emotions.

In a previous study of pointing-following behavior, human disgust facial expressions and voices delayed dogs’ exploration toward the baited bowl, although dogs followed the experimenter’s pointing gesture . Therefore, in fact, this basic co-orienting response, gaze following, is phylogenetically widespread and is found in primates, domestic animals, and so on .

Previous research explored long-tailed macaques’ (Maraca fascicularis) sensitivity to human facial expression with a gaze-following task . The research suggests that gaze-following tasks may be used to reliably investigate animals’ sensitivity to human emotions.

In the mentioned gaze-following task study , long-tailed macaques changed their frequency of gaze following depending on the human experimenter’s facial expressions. Moreover, the looking time has been used as an index of horses attention toward conspecifics and humans .

More concretely, we predicted that horses would follow the human experimenter’s gaze more frequently and look in that direction longer in the Happy condition than in the Neutral condition, because we assumed that when the experimenter shifts her gaze and shows positive emotion, the subject horses will willingly look in that direction. Moreover, we predicted that horses would follow the experimenter’s gaze less frequently and look in that direction for a shorter period of time when disgust was expressed, rather than neutrality.

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It is reported that horses experience stress as a result of human anger and of conspecifics’ negative (agonistic) expressions and exhibit avoidant behaviors . The horses lived at the Sinai Livestock Farm of Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, and they were pastured in a herd through the year.

In the experiments, a lead was used to control the horses, and a stopwatch (SEIKO-watch, ALBA-pico mulch-timer ADME0029, Tokyo, Japan) was used to measure the time limit. All trials were recorded on two video cameras (SONY HDR-CX670, Tokyo, Japan) attached to a tripod.

The experimenter’s facial expressions were based on the classical textbook of human facial emotion and a previous study of sensitivity to human emotional cues in dogs . As the happy emotional cue, the experimenter smiled, lowering the corner of her eyes, showing her teeth, and vocalizing “Wow!” with a high-pitched and mild voice.

As the disgust emotional cue, the experimenter frowned, crinkling her nose, and vocalized “Ewe!” shortly with a low-pitched voice. The facial expressions and voices were validated by a third-party individual who was one of our laboratory’s members.

She evaluated the three emotional cues as being appropriate by referring to the previous study on dog sensitivity to human facial and vocal expressions . Procedure We used a slightly modified version of the test paradigms used in the previous dog gaze-following study and the effects of facial emotional expressions in a monkey gaze-following task .

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The experimenter waited to bend down and look down outside the sliding doors before the trial started. After the horse calmed down, the assistant looked at the floor (Figure 1 b) and gave the vocal cue “Yes” to indicate the start of a trial to the experimenter.

The assistant was blind to the order of the emotional condition and the direction where the human experimenter would turn her head. When the trial began, the experimenter stood up and captured the horse’s attention by waving a hand, calling its name, and clicking.

When the horse faced the experimenter, she quickly exhibited a gaze cue by turning her head to the backspace of either the right or the left barrier. She displayed one of the described emotional facial expressions and matched vocalization one second after the gaze shifting and continued to display the emotional facial expression for two seconds.

Experiment Design Three experimental conditions were established as a function of emotional cues. During the inter-trial interval, the horses were allowed to feed freely around the waiting space in order to relax.

We measured the total frequency of gaze following during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition. The “looking time” began when the horse began turning its nose bridge toward the direction of the experimenter’s gaze and ended when the horse began changing the nose bridge direction or the experimenter started to turn her head back to the front before the horse changed direction.

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We measured the total looking time of the horses during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition. We also tested the effect of the trial order on the total frequency of gaze following and the total looking time according to the condition by the Wilcox on’s signed rank test.

Another observer who was blind to the study’s purpose coded a randomly selected sample of trials (20%) to assess inter-observer reliability for the total frequency of gaze following and looking time during two gaze-emotional cue presentations. Reliability between the two coders (total frequency of gaze following: Spearman (9) = 1.00, p < 0.001; total looking time: Spearman (9) = 0.982, p < 0.001) was sufficient.

The caretakers of subject horses gave permission prior to their participation. Total Frequency of Gaze Following The responses to emotional cues were significant (Friedman’s test: n = 13, of = 2, 2 = 8.86, p = 0.012), as shown in Figure 3.

The result of the postdoc comparisons revealed a significant difference only between the Neutral and the Disgust conditions (Wilcox on’s signed rank test: p = 0.014). However, there was not a significant difference between the first and the second trial in all conditions for the total frequency of gaze following (Happy: p = 0.564, Neutral: p = 1.000, Disgust: p = 0.157).

Total Looking Time The main effect of the emotional cue was significant (Friedman’s test: n = 13, of = 2, 2 = 11.66, p = 0.003), as shown in Figure 4. The result of the postdoc comparison revealed a significant difference only between the Neutral and the Disgust conditions (Wilcox on’s signed rank test: p = 0.012).

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However, there was not a significant difference between the first and the second trial in all conditions for the total looking time of the horses (Happy: p = 1.000, Neutral: p = 0.674, Disgust: p = 0.180). In this study, we investigated whether horses are sensitive to human emotional cues using a gaze-following task.

We predicted that the human experimenter’s emotional cues would influence the horses behavioral responses and that the total frequency of gaze following and the total looking time would change among three conditions. More concretely, the horses would follow the human experimenter’s gaze more frequently and look in the direction toward which the experimenter shifted her gaze for a longer period of time in the Happy condition than in the Neutral condition.

The horses would also follow her gaze less frequently and look in the direction toward which the experimenter shifted her gaze for a shorter period of time in the Disgust condition than in the Neutral condition. In fact, we found that the horses looked in the direction toward which the experimenter expressed disgust for a shorter period of time compared to the other conditions.

These results indicate that the total frequency of gaze following and total looking time decreased in the Disgust condition compared with the Neutral condition. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the emotional cue displayed by the experimenter in the Disgust condition caused the horses avoidance behavior.

In a previous study, the horses heart rate rose faster when they looked at an angry human face than when they looked at a smiling human face . Thus, in our study, it may be possible that horses experienced stress resulting from the disgust emotional cues and avoided it similarly to how they would react to angry expressions.

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Simply, horses exhibited decreased gaze following and total looking time only in the Disgust condition because they were stressed by the experimenter’s disgust emotional cue and attempted to avoid it, though we need to investigate whether horses attempt to avoid the item behind the opaque screen because it produced disgust in the human experimenter, or they avoid the experimenter and her gaze because of her expression of disgust. This result corresponds to a previous study’s result in which dogs showed more difficulty in distinguishing positive human emotional cues from neutral ones than in distinguishing positive human emotional cues from disgust ones .

There are two possible explanations for the lack of horses differential responses between these conditions. Simply, the difference of the total frequency of gaze following and total looking time between the Happy and the Neutral conditions were not significant because responding to positive emotional cues was not urgent or necessary for the horses.

Second, the particularity of the horses living environment may affect the results. The subject horses in this study were usually pastured in a herd and did not have many chances to interact with and share positive emotions with humans, although they had been trained for riding.

This possibility may explain the lack of significant difference between the Happy and the Disgust conditions. To explore this possibility, horses that spend ample time in individual stalls and often interact with humans, such as those in horse-riding clubs, should be studied under the same conditions.

The results of this study support our hypothesis of horses sensitivity to negative human emotional cues. The study is relevant in that it suggests the possibility that horses not only are sensitive to human emotional cues but also change in their behaviors.

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It may be beneficial to repeat this experiment with a vocal cue added in the Neutral condition. Therefore, so far, we cannot generalize our results unless we can replicate them with more than one human experimenters’ emotional cues, and we have to discuss our data carefully.

Further, testing using other methods, such as the social reference and object choice tasks, should be conducted in order to obtain more robust evidence that horses are sensitive to human emotional cues. It has also been reported that they can use human emotional cues to select one of two alternatives in an object-choice task .

By using these methods, horses ability to use human emotional cues can be clarified. Furthermore, studies on other domesticated animals, such as cattle and sheep, and comparisons among breeds or roles in dogs or horses are necessary to reveal which factors affect their sensitivity to human emotional cues.

Through these investigations, we can obtain more insight about the context that has facilitated the development of animal sensitivity to human emotional cues and whether domestication has affected this response. The results suggest the possibility that horses are sensitive to negative human emotional cues and behave on the basis of the meaning implied by negative human emotional cues.

In the future, studies on other domesticated animals, such as cattle and sheep, and comparisons among breeds or roles in dogs or horses are necessary to reveal which factors affect animals’ sensitivity to human emotional cues. Through these investigations, we can obtain more insight about the context that has facilitated the development of animal sensitivity to human emotional cues and whether domestication has affected this response.

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All horses in this study were provided by the Sinai Livestock Farm of Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, and we are grateful to all farm staffs for their cooperation. Cognitive bias as an indicator of animal emotion and welfare: Emerging evidence and underlying mechanisms.

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Bultmann, D.; Tomatillo, M. Can domestic dogs (Cans familiars) use referential emotional expressions to locate hidden food? Hare, B.; Brown, M.; Williamson, C.; Tomatillo, M. The domestication of social cognition in dogs.

Freedman, A.H.; Groans, I.; Schweitzer, R.M. Ortega-Del Echo, D.; Han, E.; Silva, P.M.; Laverne, M.; Fan, Z.; Marx, P.; Lorente-Galdos, B.; et al. Genome sequencing highlights the dynamic early history of dogs.

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Marks, K.; Gas, M.; Miles, Á. Comprehension of human pointing gestures in horses (Equus Catullus). Na wroth, C.; Bernbach, M.; on Boreal, E. Juvenile domestic pigs (SUS scrota domestic) use human -given cues in an object choice task.

Troops, L.; Macomb, K. Attributing attention: The use of human -given cues by domestic horses (Equus Catullus). Nakamoto, A.; Horn, Y.; Fajita, K. Horses (Equus Catullus) adaptive change the modality of their begging behavior as a function of human attentional states.

Troops, L.; Grounds, K.; Nathan, J.; Macomb, K. Functionally relevant responses to human facial expressions of emotion in the domestic horse (Equus Catullus). Troops, L.; Grounds, K.; Smith, A.V.

Macomb, K. Animals remember previous facial expressions that specific humans have exhibited. Macomb, K. Domestic horses (Equus Catullus) discriminate between negative and positive human nonverbal vocalizations.

Nakamura, K.; Takimoto-Inose, A.; Hasegawa, T. Cross-modal perception of human emotion in domestic horses (Equus Catullus). Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Clues ; Prentice-Hall: Oxford, UK, 1975.

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From, R.; Hartman, P. Does affective information influence domestic dogs’ (Cans lupus familiars) point-following behavior? Boohoos, J.J. Gaze following in monkeys is modulated by observed facial expressions.

Troops, L.; Macomb, K.; Rely, D. Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus Catullus). Troops, L.; Macomb, K. Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus Catullus) extends to familiar humans.

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Total frequency of gaze following during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition. Total frequency of gaze following during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition.

Total looking time of the horses during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition. Total looking time of the horses during two gaze-emotional cue presentations per trial of each experimental condition.

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Ethologist Léa Land of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, and her team designed a study in which 11 horses were trained on a “discrimination task.” Here, the horses (all female) learned to choose between two photos on a computer screen. And indeed, the horses were able to identify the faces of their keepers 75 percent of the time, which is significantly more than chance.

Meanwhile, other research has found that horses could remember the interactions they had with human beings five months previously. But the French study shows that beyond remembering what they have learned or human interactions, horses also have an excellent memory of people and particularly of their faces.

Horses haven’t just been used for farming and transportation over the years, but for quality companionship as well. Up until now, this may have been viewed as wishful thinking on behalf of the horse owner as no real scientific evidence has ever produced proving otherwise.

A recent study now shows that idea of horses understanding our emotions may not be too far fetched. Photographs of humans making various facial expressions would play a key role in the study.

During the study, researchers used the photographs showing a variety of human expressions to the horses. When shown photos of angry expressions, the horses showed a similar reaction to being threatened or anxious.

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Professor Karen Macomb from the University of Sussex feels that this study doesn’t just show that horses can read human emotion, but they can also retrieve the memory later. To learn more about how horses are able to understand human emotions, check out the study in full.

These qualities are part of the reason why horses can develop such a strong bond with humans. As they have evolved and become domesticated, horses became a valuable source of transportation, labor and companionship.

With qualities unique to their species, horses have become one of the few mammals that can form a lifelong, mutually beneficial and deep emotional connection with humans. In the wild, horse family groups consist of one or two stallions, several mares and all of their foals.

While stallions take possession over their herd, they are typically lead by an older, dominant mare. She isn’t necessarily the strongest, but is the most experienced, and maintains dominance through her attitude rather than physical intimidation.

They learn behavior by observing mares in a pack, and without a reference, they won’t gain the manners and skills that social horses develop naturally. People can satisfy some of a horse’s need for companionship through grooming and spending time playing with them.

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Psychologists demonstrated that horses could recognize a human ’s mood from their facial expressions and differentiate between anger and happiness. In each case, the horses responded negatively to the people presented as angry and positively to those shown as happy.

Not only can horses understand the various moods and facial expressions of humans, but they can also communicate their own emotions. Two groups were held in individual stalls, while the third was allowed to roam free in a pasture.

Paired with observations of heart rate, skin temperature and breathing pattern, scientists identified the kinds of whinnies horses make in different environments. This kind of vocal communication may be a learned behavior or effect of domestication.

Horses may have adopted these snorts and whinnies as a result of years of interaction with humans. By being able to display their emotions understandably, horses can create a deeper bond with humans.

At the start of each petting sessions, the humans’ heart rates were higher than afterward. Humans typically understand this dynamic and respect horses space and needs.

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Horses share a similar family structure, can communicate emotions and feel empathy, learn to trust, show stress, thrive in open spaces, require social relationships to be healthy and learn by observation. Humans know horses will retaliate against poor treatment or resist people they don’t trust.

It’s unlike most other types of physical movement for humans, which means it targets different areas of the body than many other sports or exercises. Core and trunk strength: To stay balanced while riding, a person’s muscles need to remain in specific positions to keep them centered and upright.

Riding targets mostly muscles in the core and torso, including those in the pelvis, back and abdominal areas. Cardiovascular health: As riders improve their technique and build muscle over time, they’re able to pick up the pace and allow their horse to run.

Some even venture into speed and agility courses, where balance and directives become essential and need to come naturally. Faster speeds and different styles of riding require even more effort from the rider, meaning they expend more energy and start to see cardiovascular benefits.

Stable work involves many weight-intensive and repetitive jobs, such as hauling hay, shoveling, lifting feed bags and leading horses. Considering these tasks are regular parts of daily care, they help build muscle strength and provide cardiovascular exercise.

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With so many opportunities for physical benefit, horse riding and care are excellent forms of exercise. The horse and rider train together, growing a close relationship and providing one another with positive experiences.

From the initial stages of forming a human relationship with horses to learning how to train them, riders will gain a wealth of mental and emotional benefits from the process. It can help people open up and feel more secure in themselves or even overcome the adverse effects of trauma.

Not only do they need to be assertive with directions, but they also have to get past the tendency to hesitate or doubt decisions. As their relationship gets stronger, riders put more trust in their horse and can relax and enjoy their experiences.

They’ll also pay attention to body language, facial expressions and movements to understand people. Over time, humans and horses can develop a powerful way of communicating, without needing to resort to verbal cues.

Humans are naturally social, and emotional development is vital to forming and maintaining strong relationships with others. Creating a bond with a horse is a perfect way to learn how to open up emotionally and understand the importance of patience, trust and communication.

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Therapeutic horseback riding can also help with behavioral issues and emotional trauma in children and young adults. For young people who have been through abuse, forming a relationship with a horse can teach them trust.

Children who have trouble connecting with others can learn valuable lessons about navigating social scenarios by bonding with a horse. Whether they’re looking for gentle physical therapy or a way to learn emotional skills, spending time building a relationship with horses can help people through recovery.

They fought bravely alongside soldiers and helped transport crucial supplies. Horses do bond with humans and their relationship with soldiers was likely stronger than those developed prior, considering the highly emotional environment.

Currently, most horses are companion and therapy animals, meaning humans greatly value their relationships. In the company of people, horses can display happiness, stress, trust, worry and many other moods.

Avoid eating and drinking in barns, stables, and other areas where horses are housed. Vaccinate horses based on risk factors for your area and facility and as recommended by your veterinarian.

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Yes, but the good news is that direct horse to human disease transmission is rare. Here’s a quick refresher on some bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral diseases that can potentially be transmitted to us directly from the equines in our lives.

This list does not include diseases like West Nile that can be passed indirectly from horses to humans, for example through an insect bite. It is most often associated with prolonged exposure to moisture in the form of rain or sweat under blankets or tack.

The disease can result in painful lesions and swelling on the back, muzzle, and limbs that characteristically form dry, ‘nobly’ crusts. Transmission: The bacteria can be transmitted from horses to humans through direct contact with infected animals.

Treatment and prevention: Topical and systemic antibiotics are used to treat dermatophilosis. Although not life threatening, dermatophilosis can lead to secondary infections if left untreated.

The fungi can be transmitted between horses by contact with infected individuals and contaminated objects such as grooming equipment and tack. The clinical signs of ringworm in horses usually consist of patches of crusty, dry skin with hair loss, and circular lesions that are itchy.

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Transmission: The fungus can be transmitted from horses to humans by direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair or touching contaminated objects. Some horses are carriers that do not show any signs of disease but can actively transmit the organism.

Transmission: People that work around horses can get Salmonella by touching contaminated surfaces and accidentally transferring the bacteria from their hands to their mouths. In horses, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to alleviate pain, and gastrointestinal protectants such as bio sponge or activated charcoal may bind the bacterial toxin.

Severe cases may require treatment with IV fluids and electrolytes. Identification of infected horses and strict bio security protocols are the best approach to preventing the spread of the disease.

Transmission: The parasite can be transmitted from horses to humans in contaminated water, soil, or surfaces and can survive in the environment for long periods. For those with compromised immune systems or severe infections, anti-parasitic drugs (such as nitazoxanide) and anti-motility agents (such as operative) can help relieve diarrhea.

Treatment and prevention: The antibiotic metronidazole is commonly used to treat guardians in both species. Transmission: Humans can become infected when contaminated water contacts broken skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

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Humans: In humans, leptospirosis causes flu like symptoms, including abdominal pain, high fever, chills, vomiting, and jaundice, but neurologic, respiratory, cardiac, and ocular issues can occur. All mammals are susceptible to rabies, but it is relatively rare in horses, with less than 100 cases reported annually.

Horses : Clinical signs in horses include uncoordinated movements (ataxia), partial paralysis (paresis) of the hindquarters, a desire to lie down, lameness, difficulty breathing, colic, increased sensitivity to light and sound, and fever. Rabies can be transmitted from horses to humans through a bite or contact of infected saliva with the eyes, nose, or mouth, or broken skin.

People that are infected can become hyper excitable or suffer from generalized paralysis, and death occurs within 2-10 days. Humans that think they may have been bitten by a rabid animal are given a series of shots to prevent infection.

Bacterial spores have historically been weaponized (in aerosolized form) and are considered possible agents of biological attack or bioterrorism. Fever, loss of appetite, inflammation of the small intestine (enteritis), colic, and bloody diarrhea can occur if the horse ingests the bacteria.

Transmission: The disease can be transmitted from horses to humans through handling of infected animals. This form results when the bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin.

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Lesions with black centers appear on the skin of the arms, hands, face, and neck within 2-3 days. Anthrax is a reportable disease in the United States; the appropriate agency must be contacted immediately.

The primary route of infection is believed to be ingestion of feed or water contaminated by B. Malta, although inhalation and skin exposure may occur. Treatment and prevention: Antibiotics are used to treat cases of Flanders in people.

Flanders is considered a foreign animal disease that is not currently present in the United States. All horses imported to the United States are tested for Flanders to prevent introduction of the disease.

Other clinical signs include drooling or frothing at the mouth, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite. Horses typically recover within two weeks, but outbreaks can have significant financial impacts on the equine industry.

Vesicular dermatitis has been reported around the world, with most equine outbreaks in the U.S. limited to western states. Lesions may form in the mouth and throat in adults and children may develop encephalitis, although it is rare.

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Symptoms include fever, anorexia, headache, backache, joint pain, and weight loss. Clinical signs may include wounds or surgical sites that discharge pus and fail to heal.

Treatment and prevention: Most MRSA infections can be effectively treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early. This means that it is virtually impossible to eliminate exposure to MRSA in people or horses.

Disease prevalence varies, but R. equip can be detected on most horse farms around the world. Horses : A foal can inhale airborne bacteria into their respiratory tract or ingest contaminated soil.

Clinical signs may include fever, labored breathing, cough, and depression. Transmission: Since it lives in the soil, R. equip can be inhaled in dust on farms or enter the body through broken skin.

Among people with healthy immune systems, infections may only affect a small part of the body and are commonly associated with wound sites. Treatment and prevention: Antibiotics can be used to treat the infection in horses, but they can also result in potentially serious side effects.

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Early detection in foals through blood work, ultrasound screening, and antibiotic treatment as needed is currently the best approach to ensure a successful outcome. In humans, a combination of antibiotics may be used to treat the infection, with surgical intervention to drain large abscesses in some cases.

Dogs detect illness and lead the blind, and horses memorize difficult dressage patterns and can sense incoming weather. Understanding animal intelligence requires a deeper look into the linguistic, logical, social, and emotional capabilities of each species.

How do their behaviors affect their basic quality of life, and do they make decisions that can improve their living circumstances? By assessing these capabilities, we can start to compare our equine friends to our tail-wagging canine family members.

While most domestic dogs aren't responsible for finding their own meals, they're still considered predators in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom. It's a lot easier to munch on grass than it is to take down a rabbit, and behaviorists generally agree that predators have a kind of intelligence that prey animals lack.

As herd animals, horses are able to protect themselves from harm, and living within that tight-knit community also gives them a strong sense of emotional and social intelligence. They form relationships with other horses within the herd, and studies show those connections also extend to humans.

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A horse named Clever Hans, for example, is revered as one of the smartest domestic animals of his time. It was once believed that Hans, an Orlon Trotter horse, could do complex math and word problems.

Hans responded by tapping his hoof eleven times and delivering the correct answer. Hans responded to a person's involuntary body language to give the correct answer every time.

When Hans was blindfolded or otherwise unable to see the person who asked, he would simply keep tapping his foot with no clues to give him the right answer. While Hans couldn't actually do math, he did show that horses have a kind of emotional intelligence that is seen in few other animal species.

Another facet of measuring animal intelligence is how quickly they can learn a new skill and remember that newfound knowledge. From the basic “sit” to more complex behaviors, we all know dogs are capable of learning countless skills.

How quickly a dog or horse learns is related more to the trainer's skill and not the individual animal's intelligence. While horses possess strong emotional intelligence and an intuition that's hard to beat, dogs learn new skills quickly and adapt well to life with humans.

horse human study horses animal talk communication confirms handlers behavior talking cognition training humans communicate thehorse different animals scientists farm
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Both animals are capable of impressive cognitive abilities, and evidence shows both horses and dogs have their strengths and weaknesses. But at the same time, a dog's abilities as a predator give them natural instincts that relate to overall intelligence.

My “what-if” mentality persisted well into adulthood until I finally realized that there was a lot I could do to decrease the chances of dangerous horse experiences. While horses can be dangerous, risks can be substantially mitigated with things like knowledge, situational awareness, and safety equipment.

Yet, if you ask any seasoned equestrian about how the risks associated with horses influence their decisions to ride, the vast majority will tell you that danger and injury are a negligible part of horse riding and pale in comparison to the appeal of horse/ human partnership. Most equestrians agree they gain far more than they risk by spending time with horses.

Practical preparedness includes, at minimum, a proper-fitting helmet, safe footwear, and a qualified coach or mentor. Boots that are safe for horseback riding have at least a 1 heel that minimizes the chances of accidentally getting stuck in the stirrups during a fall and causing you to be dragged by the horse.

Boots with heels also help you keep your feet securely in the stirrups, increasing your balance, while riding. Safety gear is essential, but finding a qualified and knowledgeable equestrian guide also is critical.

horse injuries related humans blame falling might riders were pony rider pinto accidents involving judgement preventable considered handler experts poor
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The emergency dismount is a method of jumping off a horse’s back quickly in case things get out of hand. Stay Calm If you haven’t noticed already, you will soon find that horses are incredibly intuitive animals.

Instead, they simply sense your fear, and think that your emotions are cueing them in on a greater danger… like tigers! There are several things that new horse riders can learn from basic equine psychology.

Another thing you need to realize is that horses can be startled easily, so don’t make big, sudden movements around them. Likewise, don’t make loud and unprecedented noises that might scare them.

A strong but peaceful presence will foster trust between you and any horse you encounter. We get to interact with remarkable, profoundly intuitive creatures that genuinely want to be our friends.

She focuses on communication between horse and rider, with an emphasis in kind training tactics. She resides in Auburn, WA, USA, with her husband, and daylights as a non-profit administrator.

To be seated on horseback, five feet above the ground, brings authority; to gallop hell-for- leather with the wind in your face lends the rider wings, as if at one with gods. This wonderful creature have played in human societies since they were domesticated some six thousand years ago has been so crucial that it is no exaggeration to say that the development of nations and cultures would have been quite different had they not existed.

The horse become integral to all the great early cultures, and with the recognition of its innate value it comes to be perceived differently. Horses were decorated and adorned; they become to a large degree status symbols, and we highly prized.

Individuals took a prove in their horses, and this, combined with a necessity for military horsepower, led to breeding regimes and intelligent animal husbandry. Satisfying human ’s innate desire to compete when not warring, chariot- racing was an intoxicating, fast and furious sport, and usually involved either two-horse or four- horse teams.

It was from the splendor of Ancient Greece and Rome, from the second millennium BC onward, that the most tantalizing myths and legends sprang, and the horse again took center stage. The stories so often recounted were vividly illustrated in paint, bronze, marble and mosaic, with Pegasus remaining one of the most often depicted and best known of mythological horses. The relationship between the horse and human is one that has constantly changed, shifted and evolved with the passage of time.

Strength and speed are two of the equine qualities that humans have exploited since horse were first domesticated, and as the urge to compete is strong in many people. The powerful, stocky horse shows no apparent signs of panic in spite of the fact that lions claws are tearing at him, and both horse and rider are dressed with a degree of splendors that may seem inappropriate to the bloody business of slaughter.

Tutankhamen in his chariot attacking Africans,1567 -1320 BC painted Woodward, Egyptian National Museums painting is one of several scenes decorating an elaborate wooden chest, which was one of the treasures uncovered during the excavation of Tutankhamen’s tomb, and remains in excellent condition, with the paintwork surprisingly bright and colorful. One of them with bared teeth, showing his age. Those horses,obviously larger that those in Persians’, are surging forwards.

Thehorsespaintted by bright red is plunging into their attack with a ferocity that matches that of the young king. Tutankhamen has the chariot reins tied around his waist to free both hands for shooting, indicating horses are good trained.

Istanbul, Archaeological MuseumALEXANDER was perhaps the most charismatic leader in history: a legend in his own lifetime, he has been regarded as the model o fa great ruler and general throughout succeeding ages. The ancient accounts of his life include the story of how he won his horse, Buccephalus(Ox head), by demonstrating, as a twelve- year- old boy, that he could control and ride his grown stallion that was regarded as dangerously unmanageable.

In this desperation of battle and even the pain inflicted by the fierce Greek bits (the riders once held reins in one hand.) Since people first learned how to ride, there must have some who delighted in showing off exceptional equestrian skills, not only those that had an obvious purpose, such as the ability to use weapons of war when on horseback, but others that simply demonstrated athleticism and a high degree of mutual understanding between man and horse.

Greek horsemen of the fifth century BC riding bareback with the most casual ease and grace, their horses lively and spirited, but fully under control; Small but powerful, the horses prancing pose conveys eagerness and dynamism. Statuette of a Horse and Rider Greek, mainland, early fifth century B.C. BronzeHeight 8.3 cm., length 7.5 cm., width 2.5 cm. Princeton University Art Museum, gift of FrankJewett Mather Jr. (y1948- 8)The horse’s head is large in proportion to its stocky body and short legs.

660-630 B.C. CeramicHeight 19.07 cm., width 19.7 cm., maximum thickness 2.45 cm. Tampa Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Knight Kowalski in honor of j. Michael Padgett, Curator of Classical Art, 1990-1992 (1991.023.001)Conditions medium red to light brown clay is coarse and contains mica and darker red inclusions. A male figure wearing a belted tunic rides bareback, his head and upper body turned frontally to face the viewer.

While holding onto the reins with his left head, his right hand is swung back, clutching a riding crop, now largely affected. People have always invested nature, including other animals, with symbolic meetings and mystical powers.

In religious myth and magical folk-tale, horses take their place as symbols of speed and power, courage and loyalty, beauty and nobility.” The idea of a flying horse is, however, far older and more widespread that its focus Graeco-Roman culture”, A depiction of a horse with huge, feathered wings can look wonderfully plausible, and the idea of flight is no more than an extension of the qualities of speed and grace that are already associated with the species. 34540, 34543, 34895Syracuse, via Minerva, old temple of Athena, nearaedicula E, 1913-14 excavationsThis terracotta tablet represents the winged Gorgon Medusa, her legs positioned in the “Knielauf” pose, an Archaic convention that represents a figure running at great speed.

Originally the figure was set in a square black background, and the tablet has been reassembled from several fragments with missing areas restored, especially noticeable on the right side. With her right hand, the Gorgon grips the belly of the small winged horse Pegasus, tucking the creature under her arm.

The feathers of his lowered wing are painted black and purple, and his long cord-like tail hangs above TH Gorgon’s foot. Bennett, Michael J. Magna Graecia: Greek Art from South Italy and Sicily.

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