Horses in tune with human ‘herd-mates

By: Horse Deals


Horses in tune with human ‘herd-mates
Horses in tune with human ‘herd-mates
A team from the Department of Animal Environment and Health at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala has tested the effect of anxiety in humans on horses, either ridden or led.
The horses were of various ages, sexes and breeds, and the humans were of mixed sexes and ages and had a variety of backgrounds in horses.
Each human was asked lead or ride their horse between two points four times. Participants were told that just before their fourth pass an umbrella would open as they went by, even though this did not happen.
In every case, the human’s heart rate increased and so did the horse’s, indicating that it detected anxiety. This mirrors behaviour in the wild, where horses are in tune with their herd-mates to react swiftly to threats.