Do human emotions effect a horses performance????

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Do human emotions effect a horses performance????

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  • Can horses pick up on human emotion

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    11-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Exclamation Do human emotions effect a horses performance????

Hi all,
I'm new to this site and I'm doing a science project this year and my topic is Do human emotions really effect a horse's performance. If anyone has any opinions on the topic or can help me answer this question and also use as some first hand resources that would be great. Along with some experiments I'm already performing. I would greatly appreciate all of your help.

Thank you for everything,
Marissa and Abbey
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    11-22-2011, 06:47 PM
Ther sure do! If your nervous or scared, a horse feeds off of how you are sitting in the saddle, how your hands are moving and such. In turn, they will start to act up and be silly. That's why it's really important to keep calm when doing anything with horses. I know that my nerves have cost me a couple barrel races in my life.
    11-22-2011, 06:52 PM
Oh yea I was tense going up to some cows on a trail ride and my 3 year old never saw them before there was a barb wire fence nd last time I was at this place with my QH he took after the sheep and almost took out the fence 4 hours from the trailer and no way to get him out other wise then walking. So I was scared and he was paniking and as I calmed he calmed.
    11-22-2011, 07:17 PM
Super Moderator
Without a doubt! Horses are genetically programmed to always be alert to the emotional statis of the other herd members, especially the leader. If one member of the herd becomes nervous, the others pick up on it quickly. IN the wild, their lives depend on this, so they are exceedingly good at scanning anybeing that is near them and picking up on any emotional state.
They cannot help but then be affected by this emotional state.
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    11-22-2011, 07:36 PM
I have heard and been told that it does. But your horse will make a frown turn around.
    11-22-2011, 07:42 PM
Absolutely. When we get nervous or tense or excited, we unknowingly show it through our body language. It's not that the horse knows how you're feeling by looking at your expression; they feel a definite difference in your riding when you become tense or excited. They can feel distraction very well also. Often times, your signals become less clear when you're distracted.
    11-22-2011, 07:46 PM
You betcha they do. I can't remember where I read it, but someone did an experiment with 4 riders. They were jumping small verticals. They told all the riders in advance that when they got to a specific jump, someone what going to jump out at them. It was a little white lie. Nobody jumped out at them. Because the riders were anticipating it happening, all of the horses spooked at that fence. Rider energy definitely translates to the horse.
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    11-22-2011, 07:56 PM
Super Moderator
For sure!
Sometimes, my mare will be acting especially badly and when I analyze what I'm doing, how I'm feeling, whatever, I'll usually realize that I'm incredibly tense or nervous about something. Or sometimes, I'll start out kinda tense, she'll start being naughty, I'll get tense-r, she'll be naughtier, etc until I realize and de-tense-ify myself at which point she'll generally calm down significantly.
However, if I'm around her and I'm feeling sad or fragile, she'll generally be the most forgiving, laid back, gentle soul imaginable.
    11-22-2011, 08:10 PM
Absolutely. I was having an awesome ride one day then got a phone call that had me bawling my eyes out. My horse obviously picked up on it and starting jigging. I had to hang up and take her home before I finished my breakdown.
    11-22-2011, 08:36 PM
No doubt about it! When I'm confident and relaxed Dallas rides beautifully. When I'm nervous or upset he picks up on it and starts acting nervous himself. When I'm nervous on Shaymus he actually gets slower and more gentle, which is why he is the best babysitter ever. Once I was riding Dallas after a friend of mine hung himself and I was such a mess Dallas just fell apart too, not a pretty ride. Lol. Horses definitely feed off of what their riding is feeling.

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