Did you know that horses can sense human emotions as well, often in startlingly precise ways, alerting us to our grief or anxiety before we ever realize it? It’s been stated that dogs and horses understand humans better than philosophers.
The capacity of horses to perceive human emotions via sound and touch is exceptional. Horses, on the other hand, can interpret people’s facial expressions. This profound ability has hitherto only been proven in dogs. While horses can’t see color and have a blind spot right in front of them since their eyes are on the side of their heads, their eyesight is actually better than that of domestic cats or dogs.
Horses understand us very well. They don’t always comprehend the human causes behind our emotional reactions, and they don’t always respond as a person would. But they are aware.
Horse herds communicate at a level that is frequently inaudible to humans—a system of minute movements, gestures, tension and release, hormones, and other signals. So everything we do has significance for them, even if we are unaware of it.
Horses that have a loving connection with a person may react to that person’s needs with great and practical compassion. But these are incredibly exceptional connections that don’t simply happen. They need mutual trust, learning, and being open to one another as sentient and intellectual creatures. Until that bond is made, a horse may feel scared or anxious when a person is sad, worried, or in pain.
Some horses greet every person with quiet kindness. These horses are often used in rehabilitation programs and are true models of how to live in the world. Sadly, there are horses whose backgrounds are filled with dread and misery, and our negative feelings will exacerbate this. But horses, trust me, are aware of how they respond.