Do Horses Feel Sadness? Conditions of Sadness



  • Horses feel sadness when separated from their loved ones.
  • Horses miss their owners when they are sold.
  • Horses grieve the death of their babies but they don’t weep or cry.
  • Horses may become withdrawn and stop eating and drinking. They may also start self-harming, such as biting or kicking themselves. They may also narrow their eyes when they are sad.

Do horses feel sadness? This is a question that has long been debated by horse enthusiasts and scientists alike.

It seems inconceivable that such a large, powerful animal could experience something as complex as sadness, but recent studies have shown that they do indeed feel a wide range of emotions.

In this blog post, we will explore the latest research on horse emotions and discuss some of the ways that these creatures express their sadness.

Do Horses Feel Sadness? Research Suggests so

Did you know that horses feel sadness and other emotions? It’s true. In fact, they may even experience more complex emotions than we do. This is because they are highly sensitive creatures that can pick up on the smallest details in their environment.

For example, if a horse loses its herd mate, it may experience profound sadness. Or, if it is mistreated by a human, it may feel hatred or anger towards them.

Scientific research on the emotions of horses has been ongoing for many years. A study published in the journal looked at how horses react to stress. They found that when horses feel stressed, the level of plasma cortisol, a hormone associated with stress is dropped.

Another study found that horses who were separated from their herd mates experienced a significant increase in cortisol levels. This suggests that horses do indeed feel sadness when they are separated from their loved ones.

Do horses feel sadness? yes they do

Horses when separated from their herd mate, show signs of neighing, calling, pacing, jogging, sweating, bucking, rearing and refusing to eat. Aggressive behavior is also common in such cases.

When horses experience sadness, they may show changes in their behavior. For example, they may become quieter and more withdrawn. They may also stop eating and drinking, which can lead to health problems. In sadness, horses may also start self-harming, such as biting or kicking themselves.

If you notice that your horse is behaving differently than usual, it may be a sign that it is feeling sad. If this is the case, you should do your best to provide it with emotional support. This can include providing it with a safe place to stay, giving it regular attention, and making sure that it has access to food and water.

Do horses get sad when they are sold? Horse Miss the owners

Horses get sad when they are sold. Horses usually form very strong bonds with their owners and caretakers. When they are sold, these bonds are broken and the horses may feel lost and confused.

Horses have great memories with their owners and can often recognize those years after they have been sold. In one study, horses were able to remember their former owners and showed a preference for them over strangers. 

When horses are moved to a new home, they get sad. They may miss their old home and the friends they had there. They may also be confused by the new surroundings and not know what to do.

Horses may also feel scared and anxious about their new surroundings and the people they will be living with. As a result, horses may show changes in their behavior, such as becoming withdrawn and refusing to eat or drink.

When sold horses get sad in new surroundings

If you are thinking about selling your horse, it is important to consider its emotional needs. You should try to find a buyer who will provide the horse with a good home and will be able to care for it properly.

You should also say goodbye to your horse in a way that is respectful and reassuring. This can help to ease its transition into its new life.

Do horses feel sad when their babies die? Yes They Grieve

Yes, horses do feel sadness when their babies die. In fact, they may even experience more profound sadness than we do. This is because they are highly sensitive creatures that can pick up on the smallest details in their environment.

Horses exhibit grief on the death of a foal or other horse.  After the death of a foal, the mare will usually display signs of depression and lethargy. She may stop eating and drinking and become withdrawn. The mare may also start self-harming, such as biting or kicking herself.

Can horses cry from sadness? No, they Don’t

Horses don’t cry from sadness in the way that we do. Horses don’t weep due to emotional stress or pain. However, they may produce tears to cleanse their eyes and prevent infection.

Horses also have a third eyelid, which is called the nictitating membrane. This membrane can help to protect the eye from debris and keep it moist. The nictitating membrane may also be used to express emotion. For example, horses may narrow their eyes when they are angry or scared.

Horses don't cry due to sadness but they have tears

If a horse’s eyes appear to be watering, it is usually due to an infection or irritation. However, if the tears are accompanied by other signs of distress, such as increased heart rate and sweating, then it may be a sign that the horse is feeling sad.

How does a horse show sadness? Signs of Sadness

Horses show sadness in many ways. They may become withdrawn and stop eating and drinking. Horses may also start self-harming, such as biting or kicking themselves.

Horses may also narrow their eyes when they are sad. This is because they are trying to hold back tears. However, horses don’t actually cry from sadness in the way that we do.

Another way to tell if a horse is sad is by observing its behavior. If the horse is normally social and playful, but suddenly becomes withdrawn and stops playing, it may be a sign that something is bothering it.

What can I do to help my sad horse? Possible ways

If your horse is showing signs of sadness, there are several things you can do to help.

First, you should talk to a veterinarian or equine specialist. They will be able to help you determine whether the horse is actually experiencing sadness or if there is another medical issue that needs to be addressed.

If the horse is sad, there are several things you can do to help cheer it up. You can try playing music or providing toys. You can also try offering the horse treats or praising it when it does something good.

Horse can be made happy

Do horses feel sad for no reason?

No, horses do not feel sad for no reason. If a horse is suddenly sad, it is usually because something has happened to upset it. This could be anything from being separated from its herd mates to losing a foal.

If you notice that your horse is feeling down, try to figure out what might be causing the problem. Once you know what the issue is, you can try to resolve it.

Can Horses tell if you are sad? Observations Say so

Yes, it is believed that horses can tell if you are sad. They are very intuitive animals and pick up on emotional cues very easily. If you are feeling down, your horse may try to comfort you by nuzzling you or staying close by.


Horses have long been known to exhibit signs of sadness, grief, and even depression. In fact, horses may be one of the only animals that truly experience these emotions.

Recent studies have shown that when a horse is sold, they often show signs of sadness such as decreased appetite and activity levels. They may also mourn the death of their mate or foal for an extended period of time.

What do you think, do horses feel sadness? Do you believe that they are capable of complex emotions like we humans are? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Pawluski, J., Jego, P., Henry, S., Bruchet, A., Palme, R., Coste, C., & Hausberger, M. (2017). Low plasma cortisol and fecal cortisol metabolite measures as indicators of compromised welfare in domestic horses (Equus caballus). PLOS ONE, 12(9), e0182257.
  2. Overcoming Separation Anxiety in Horses by Sophie Baker.
  3. Stone, S. M. (2010). Human facial discrimination in horses: can they tell us apart?. Animal cognition, 13(1), 51-61.
  4. Scherrer, N. M., Lassaline-Utter, M., & McKenna, B. C. (2014). Characterization and outcome following excision of masses in the nictitating membranes of horses: 50 cases (1998–2012). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 245(7), 812-815.
  5. Disorders of the Nasal Cavity and Tear Ducts in Horses By Kirk N. Gelatt , VMD, DACVO, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida.
  6. Freeman, D. W. (2007). Training horses safely. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.


  • Elsie J. Johnson

    Elsie J. Johnson is a hippophile (who love horse). She has spent the last 12 years of her life caring for and observing horses' emotional intelligence or needs. She is studying and paying close attention to how the horse reacts in a particular situation.

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