Horses are able to recognize human faces and facial expressions, as well as the full spectrum of human emotions, according to research from the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth.
The study would heavily rely on images of people with diverse facial expressions. The images of the horses with various human expressions were used by the researchers during the study. To determine how the horses responded to each emotion, they watched the animals’ eye movements. The horses did not react much that much when pictures of neutral emotions were given to them. The horses’ responses to being threatened or anxious when presented images of angry emotions were identical.
According to Professor Karen McComb of the University of Sussex, this study not only demonstrates that horses can sense human emotion, but also that they can afterwards recall the information. The horses could remember a person’s expression after observing it on their face when they later encountered them. This was clear from the horse’s actions during the second encounter.
Horse lovers no longer have to question whether horses can actually perceive and comprehend what they are feeling. We now know that horses are capable of knowing more than we may have initially believed thanks to experts at the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth.