Is Your Horse Happy?

Most of us with any horse savvy feel that we have a solid sense of when our horses are happy, and that we don’t need a whole lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo to tell us so. However, research suggests that we may not be as skilled at discerning equine well-being as we think. Subtle or non-existent behavioural cues, human desensitization to equine suffering and ignorance about what well-being looks like all compromise our ability to identify equine happiness. Fortunately, there are objective measures that can provide greater insight into our horses’ psychological well-being. Here, I will explore why our own understanding of a horses’ happiness is prone to error, and how we might do a better job of ensuring that our horses really are the “happy.” WHY IT IS HARD TO IDENTIFY A “HAPPY” HORSE 1. The problem of stoicism Although most of us believe that if our horses are stressed…

Subscription Upgrade Required

Upgrade your subscription now for full access or register to continue reading.


Subscribers: enter the email and password connected to your subscription.

First time logging in?
Click here.

Tablet/Mobile users must also refresh after login to activate subscription.

Not a subscriber yet?
Click here to see our print and digital subscription offers that include full access to all articles.

Subscribe now and enjoy full access to

Your All-Access Digital Subscription includes unlimited access to all articles as well as a digital subscription to each issue of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, and Canadian Thoroughbred.

digital subscription

Get full access to including all articles from Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.

print subscription

Read the digital editions of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.

View Print and Digital Subscription Offers

Love our Articles?

If you enjoyed reading the articles on this website, consider subscribing to get upcoming issues as they are published! Simply click on the button below to see your options.


to top