Study: Horses Can Smile … in Their Own Way

Recent study results suggest horses have specific facial expressions that reveal positive emotions akin to “happiness,” in a sense.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

can horses smile
Expressions of a positive welfare state included having their necks moderately raised, their eyes half-closed, and their upper lips extended and either immobile or twitching, among others. | Photo: iStock

Do horses smile? They sure do.

Recent study results suggest horses have specific facial expressions that reveal positive emotions akin to “happiness,” in a sense. And while those expressions might not be the cheesy cartoon grin or the human ear-to-ear, they do represent the “equine happy face.”

“What we’re seeing really is a kind of ‘smile,’” said Léa Lansade, PhD, of the French Horse and Riding Institute and the National Institute for Agricultural Research’s behavior science department, in Tours

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:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
92 votes · 92 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!