Do Horses Feel Bad When You Fall Off? Amazing Truth About Horse



  • Horses have feelings and there is the possibility that horses can feel bad when you fall off.
  • When riders fall off, horses feel confused or scared. Horses respond with visual cues against any emotion.
  • If a horse behaves differently after a rider falls off then the rider should remain calm.

Do horses feel bad when you fall off? It’s a question that has long been debated among horse riders. Some people say that horses can sense when something is wrong and they feel guilty, while others believe that horses simply don’t understand what’s happening.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at how horses react when their riders fall off and what, if anything, you can do to help your horse recover from the experience.

Do Horses Feel Bad When You Fall Off? Maybe They Can

There is a greater possibility that horses do, in fact, feel bad when their riders fall off. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because every horse is different.

The brain regulates the release of hormones that control emotions, and in different situations, horses feel different emotions. So when a horse rider falls off, the horse feels an emotion called “remorse.

According to research published in “The Journal of Physiology and Behavior”, horses have positive and negative emotions. Their emotions can be assessed through their behavioral and visual changes.

For example, the horse uses the right eye when encountering novel objects while the left eye is in response to negative stimuli. This research further confirms that like the brain of vertebrates, the right hemisphere of a horse’s brain controls the negative emotions in horses.

Similarly, it has been experimentally proved that horses have the ability to understand human emotional cues. It means if a human feels disgusted or angry then the horse can comprehend this emotion and are sensitive to it.

Horses show behavioral changes - Do horses feel bad when you fall off

Therefore, horses respond with visual cues against any emotion. In negative human vocalization, horses depict a frozen posture.

Some horses may appear to be unfazed by having a rider fall off, while others may become skittish or agitated. The best way to gauge your horse’s reaction is to pay close attention to their body language and behavior both during and after the event.

What you should look for in your horse’s body language are signs of stress or fear, such as dilated pupils, sweaty palms, or increased respiration. If your horse is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s likely that they are feeling some level of discomfort.

Additionally, if your horse begins to buck or bolt after you fall off, this is another sign that they are feeling stressed or frightened.

Thus, if you will feel bad, reacts in anger or get hurt then the horse may also feel guilty or bad for you.

How do most horses react if the rider falls off? Horses’ Reactions

When a rider falls off, the horse may feel scared or confused. If the fall was due to something the horse did, such as tripping or bolting, the horse may also feel guilty.

However, it’s important to remember that horses are prey animals and their first instinct is to flee from danger. This means that, in most cases, the horse will not stay around to see if the rider is okay.

If you do fall off, try to get up quickly and move away from the horse. Horses are more likely to be calm if they can’t see you.

If the fall was due to something the horse did, such as tripping or bolting, it’s important to stay calm and avoid yelling at the horse. This will only make the situation worse. Instead, try to walk the horse around until it calms down.

Horse may feel guilt or bad for you if you fall off

In most cases, the horse will not be injured when the rider falls off. However, if you are concerned about your horse’s health, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

When a rider falls off, different horses will react differently. Some horses will run away while others will stay. It’s important to know how your horse will react in such a situation so that you can be prepared.

So, here is the reaction of some common breeds of horses to the falling of a rider.

How does an American Quarter Horse React When Rider Falls Off?

The American Quarter Horse is a horse breed that was developed in the United States for use in quarter-mile sprint racing. The American Quarter Horse is the most popular horse breed in the United States today and is also used for rodeo, show jumping, and other forms of equestrianism.

American Quarter Horses are intelligent, agile and willing to please, making them easy to train. However, they may become agitated if a rider falls off and they are not used to it. The American Quarter may react by running away, kicking out, or rearing.

It is important to work with a qualified trainer to help your American Quarter Horse get used to this type of situation. Once they are comfortable with it, they will usually be fine.

How does an Arabian Horse React When Rider Falls Off?

An Arabian horse is one of the most popular breeds in the world. They are known for their beauty, athleticism, and intelligence. Arabians are also very versatile and can be used for a variety of disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, and eventing.

It is important to be aware of how an Arabian horse will react if you fall off while riding. This breed is known for being high-spirited and can become agitated easily. If you are not prepared for how to handle the situation, it could result in serious injury for both you and the horse.

If a rider falls off then an Arabian horse may be startled or feels threatened, it may react by bolting, rearing, or even striking out with its hooves. While these behaviors are usually not malicious, they can be dangerous for both the horse and the rider.

How does a Thoroughbred Horse React When Rider Falls Off?

A thoroughbred horse is known for its speed, power, and grace. These are used for racing and other high-intensity sports. Sprinting, jumping and hunting are all activities that require a lot of energy, and thoroughbreds have been bred to excel at these.

However, they are also known for being high-strung and difficult to handle. The accident rates for thoroughbreds are high, and they are often put down when they can no longer compete.

When a rider falls off a thoroughbred horse, it usually reacts by running away. This can be dangerous for the horse, as it may get lost or hit by a car. If the horse is spooked by something, it may also jump or fall.

How does a Morgan Horse React When Rider Falls Off?

The Morgan horse is a versatile American breed that was developed in the early 19th century. They were bred for their strength and stamina and were used for farm work, transportation, and even racing.

Morgan is known for their compact build, strong legs, and intelligent eyes. It is often referred to as “the people’s horse” for its friendly dispositions.

However, when a rider falls off a Morgan Horse, they may become agitated and attempt to run back to the barn or stable.

In some cases, Morgan may become frightened and run away. It is important to keep an eye on Morgan’s behavior after a rider falls off and to take corrective action if necessary.

What You Can Do To Help Horse?

If you find that your horse is behaving differently after you fall off, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better.

  • First and foremost, try to remain calm. This will help your horse stay calm as well.
  • Secondly, give your horse some time to adjust to being ridden again. Go on shorter rides at first and gradually increase the length and intensity of the rides as your horse starts to feel more comfortable again.
  • Lastly, make sure that you’re using proper riding techniques when mounted on your horse. This will help prevent falls from happening in the future and will help your horse feel more secure when being ridden.

What to do After Falling Off a Horse? Step By Step Guide

If you’re a horse lover, then you know that there’s nothing quite like the bond between rider and steed. But even the most experienced riders can have spills now and then.

Whether you were thrown or simply lost your balance, there are some steps you should take after falling off to ensure both you and your horse are healthy and safe.

1. Check for Injuries

The first thing you should do after falling off your horse is to check for injuries. This means checking yourself for obvious signs of trauma like cuts, bruises, or broken bones.

It’s also important to check your horse for any injuries it may have sustained in the fall. If either you or your horse is injured, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

2. Assess the Situation

Once you’ve checked for injuries, take a moment to assess the situation. This means taking stock of where you are, what happened leading up to the fall, and what condition your horse is in. This information will be important later on when you’re debriefing with your coach or trainer.

3. Get Up Slowly

If you’re able to, get up slowly from the ground. You might be feeling a bit shaken up and disoriented, so it’s important to take your time getting back on your feet. Once you’re standing, brush yourself off and check for any cuts or bruises.

4. Check Your Equipment

Now is also a good time to check your equipment to make sure everything is secure and in place. This includes your helmet, saddle, and stirrups. Checking your equipment will help you feel more secure when getting back on your horse.

5. Calm Yourself and the Horse

Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. It can be helpful to talk to your horse in a calm voice as well. Horses can sense when their riders are tense or nervous, so remaining calm will help put them at ease as well.

If the horse is panicking, it will only make the situation worse. Speak to the horse in a soft, reassuring voice and try to slow down its breathing by stroking its neck or face.

Once the horse has calmed down, you can assess the situation and decide whether or not it is safe to get back on.

6. Mounting After Falling Off

Once you’re feeling more composed, it’s time to get back on your horse. If the horse is still agitated or you are injured, it is best to call for help. However, if the horse seems calm and you are not injured, you may be able to mount and ride away.

Have someone hold your horse steady as you put your foot in the stirrup and swung yourself up into the saddle. If you’re feeling particularly uneasy about getting back on, start with small steps like just sitting in the saddle for a few minutes before adding any additional movement.

Remember that it’s normal to feel scared after falling off, but with a little time and practice, getting back in the saddle will become easier and less daunting.

7. Reflect on What Happened

Last but not least, once you’re home from the barn and have had some time to settle down, it’s important to reflect on what happened leading up to the fall.

This reflection can be helpful in preventing future accidents by helping you identify any warning signs that may have been present before but went unnoticed.

Falls are an inevitable part of riding horses but that doesn’t mean they’re not scary when they happen. By following these five steps, however, you can ensure that you handle yourself—and your horse—after a spill in the best way possible.


No matter how experienced a rider you are, there will always be a chance that you could fall off your horse during a ride. If this happens, don’t worry—your horse probably doesn’t feel bad about it.

However, that doesn’t mean that the experience isn’t stressful for them. Be sure to pay attention to your horse’s body language and behavior after you’ve fallen off so that you can help them recover from the experience if necessary.

With a little time and patience, you and your horse will be back to enjoying rides together in no time.


  1. De Boyer Des Roches, A., Richard-Yris, M., Henry, S., Ezzaouïa, M., & Hausberger, M. (2008). Laterality and emotions: Visual laterality in the domestic horse (Equus caballus) differs with the objects’ emotional value. Physiology & Behavior, 94(3), 487-490.
  2. Baba, C., Kawai, M., & Takimoto-Inose, A. (2019). Are horses (Equus caballus) sensitive to human emotional cues? Animals, 9(9), 630.
  3. Smith, A. V., Proops, L., Grounds, K., Wathan, J., Scott, S. K., & McComb, K. (2018). Domestic horses (Equus caballus) discriminate between negative and positive human nonverbal vocalizations. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1-8.
  4. Hötzel, M. J., Vieira, M. C., & Leme, D. P. (2019). Exploring horse owners’ and caretakers’ perceptions of emotions and associated behaviors in horses. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 29, 18-24.

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