Latest Horse Articles & News

How do horses read human emotional cues? -
July 2, 2018

Scientists demonstrated for the first time that horses integrate human facial expressions and voice tones to perceive human emotion, regardless of whether the person is familiar or not.

Recent studies showed the herd-forming animal possesses high communication capabilities, and can read the emotions of their peers through facial expressions and contact calls, or whinnies. Horses have long been used as a working animal and also as a companion animal in sports and leisure, establishing close relationships with humans just like dogs do with people.

Funding boost for biosecurity welcomed by veterinarians -
July 2, 2018

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has welcomed the government’s announcement of increased funding for disease surveillance as part of a $137.8 million investment in biosecurity.

President of the AVA, Dr Paula Parker, said that general disease surveillance is important to maintain Australia’s favourable animal health status and for the early detection of animal disease outbreaks.

Academic to evaluate impacts of horse assisted therapy -
June 5, 2018

A Loughborough University academic is to assess how equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) impacts people living with and beyond cancer.

For three years, Dr Carly Butler, of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences, will be evaluating a new Macmillan Cancer Support service launched in Derbyshire that aims to use horses to improve the emotional health of people affected by cancer.

Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East -
May 17, 2018

Donkeys may have worn bits as early as the third millennium BCE, long before the introduction of horses in the ancient Near East, according to a study published May 16, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Haskel Greenfield from University of Manitoba, Canada, Aren Maeir from Bar-Ilan University, and colleagues.

Can foundation training in Thoroughbred foals make a difference to welfare and performance? -
April 27, 2018

Thoroughbred racehorses have something of a reputation. The perception is that they are generally trained for one job, to run fast. The expectations for other desired behaviours, e.g. to lead correctly, stop lightly, accept hoof handling, and other maintenance procedures and to keep their heads in stressful situations might fall by the wayside; as long as they can run!

Study finds horses remember facial expressions of people they’ve seen before -
April 27, 2018

A study by the Universities of Portsmouth and Sussex reveals that horses can read and then remember people’s emotional expressions, enabling them to use this information to identify people who could pose a potential threat.

Published on 26 April 2018 in the journal Current Biology the paper ‘Animals remember previous facial expressions that specific humans have exhibited’ is authored by a team of psychologists, co-led by Dr Leanne Proops, from the University of Portsmouth, and Professor Karen McComb, from the University of Sussex – both specialists in animal behaviour.

The equine herald of a new age -
April 26, 2018

As they had for more than a decade, Stuart Tyson Smith and his colleagues were excavating a tomb in what was Upper Nubia in their years-long UC Santa Barbara-Purdue University mission to understand the history of an ancient village on the fringes of Egyptian dominance.

But rather than finding mummified human remains, they unearthed the skeleton of a horse so well-preserved it had hair on its legs. It had been covered with a burial shroud, and among the items found with it was a piece of iron that appeared to be a cheek piece from a bridle.

Giving Equine Herpes Virus the wobbles -
April 19, 2018

Work aimed at developing a new vaccine to protect against abortigenic and neurological equine herpes virus (EHV) has begun at veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust (AHT).

Healthy soil lifts animal weight -
April 13, 2018

Managing soil by well-designed grazing is the key to an animal’s growth and wellbeing shows new research that links soil health, pasture value and sustainable production

Individual pastures on livestock farms yield surprisingly dissimilar benefits to a farm’s overall agricultural income, and those differences are most likely attributable to the varying levels of “soil health” provided by its grazing livestock, reveals a study published today.

Can behaviour indicate disease risk in horses travelling long distances? -
April 6, 2018

It is commonly known that horses travelling by road over long distances have an increased risk of respiratory illness following long journeys. Some horses seem to cope well, whilst others seem to be more susceptible to post-travel sickness. What if we could predict which horses are most likely to get sick and, therefore, implement prevention and treatment regimes more effectively?