Friday, July 28, 2017

Do horses smile?

Sort of. Horses have a facial expression that resembles a smile - and is sometimes taught as a trick.

However, an equine "smile" with the teeth visible and the upper lip curled is actually the flehmen response, which a horse does to get a better sniff, particularly of another horse. It does not mean the horse is happy.

In fact, an actual horse "smile" - which any regular rider can identify - is the ears either softly pricked forward or tilted back, depending on where their attention is, and a softness around the eyes and jaws.

This horse is relaxed, happy, and interested in the camera - or, more likely, the possibility of treats.

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