Exploring the Horse-Human Relationship
Posted By Jo on July 2, 2009
A new study by researchers in the Department of Animal Environment and Health at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala apparently shows that horses’ heart rates can be affected by a human’s heart rate. The study had people both ride and lead horses near someone holding an umbrella. The person with the horse thought the umbrella was going to be opened on the fourth time around, but it was not. There was an increase in both the human’s and the horse’s heart rate even though the umbrella was not opened, and the fourth pass was similar to the three previous passes.
This study is evidence that subtle gestures we may or may not be aware of can influence our horse. Heart rate is one of them to consider. If we are leading or riding a horse who is fearful, we must always remember to be calm, no matter what the situation may be. Calmness can prevent situations from arising, and if they do arise, it can prevent them from escalating. We also have to remember that if we are fearful when riding or when leading a horse, the horse will pick up on that. The most helpful thing we can do is learn how to center when being around horses. Horses are herd animals, and it’s only natural for them to pick up on our nervousness and wonder if there is a reason to be nervous. READ FULL ARTICLE