Study: Horses Can Smell Human Fear, Happiness

Researchers confirmed that horses can smell specific odors in human sweat that reflect emotions like fear and happiness, which could open doors to a whole new way of understanding emotion transfer from human to horse, they say.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

horses can smell fear
Researchers confirmed that horses can smell specific odors in human sweat that reflect emotions like fear and happiness, which could open doors to a whole new way of understanding emotion transfer from human to horse, they say. | Photo: iStock

Have you ever felt that a horse could smell your fear? Recent study results suggest he probably did—quite literally.

Horses can smell specific odors in human sweat that reflect emotions like fear and happiness, Italian researchers have learned. And that finding could open doors to a whole new way of understanding emotion transfer between species—and specifically, from human to horse.

“We noticed that horses had increased levels of arousal when they smelled human ‘fear’ and ‘happiness’ odors,” said Paolo Baragli, DVM, PhD, a researcher in the University of Pisa Department of Veterinary Sciences, in Italy

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
122 votes · 122 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!