Have you ever wondered how smart horses are and how does it compare to other animals? We answer the most puzzling questions about the horse’s mind.

Many studies that have been conducted have proven that horses have impressive cognitive abilities, and furthermore, they reveal that horses are extremely intelligent – much more than we may think.

Horses, just like humans and other animals, have their own unique way of communicating. They will communicate to greet each other, call each other, or as a warning against predators. In the wild, horses need the ability primarily to warn the herd of danger. Through domestication of horses, their cognitive-communication skills have developed significantly, allowing them to communicate with us.

How big is the horse’s brain?

Horse brain is smaller than the brain of an adult person and weighs about 900 grams. This is the weight equivalent to that of a child’s brain. Despite a few differences, the horse brain is very similar to the human brain.

The horse brain, just like the human brain, is divided into two lobes, namely the right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere handles the right side of the body.

Are horses smarter than dogs?

While some horse enthusiasts who work with horses on a daily basis claim that horses are smarter than dogs, it is difficult to make a definitive verdict due to the significant differences between the two species.

Some studies suggest that dogs are smarter than horses, yet some claim that horses are smarter than many animals, including dogs.

It seems reasonable that predators and hunting animals should be smarter because of their need to forage, but there are no studies that explicitly support this rule.

How smart are horses when compared to other animals such as dogs or dolphins? Do horses recognize us?

Before we answer these questions, it should be mentioned that the evolution of horses and dogs was significantly different, just like their position in the ecosystem. Dogs are hunters and are considered predators, where, on the other hand, horses are fleeing animals, prey. Their responses to certain stimuli are completely different, which makes comparing them to each other not entirely simple, and the result does not provide a clear answer.

Are horses smarter than camels?

Camels are known to retain memories very well, and exhibit behaviors that demonstrate their high intelligence, but they are much more docile. If you deal with horses on a daily basis, you know that they can remember being hurt by a human for a very long time, whereas camels quickly forgive their caretakers for any harm done.

Which animals are the smartest?

According to many studies and observations, it is chimpanzees that possess the highest level of intelligence among animals.

Can horses read human body language?

Horses are excellent at reading human body language and are able to tell if a person’s attitude toward them is dominant or submissive.

One study found that horses tend to move toward those who display a submissive posture, i.e., hunching, with arms and legs lowered close to the body, and relaxed knees.

Are there differences in intelligence levels between horses?

Research shows that some horse breeds are more intelligent than others. Experts say that each horse breed should be studied to adjudicate its level of intelligence.

During the research, it was shown that Arabian horses and Thoroughbreds have one of the highest levels of intelligence. Among these breeds, some individuals were shown to be able to identify numbers, colors, letters or shapes.

Why do horses let us ride them?

When reading about the high intelligence level of horses, you may be asking yourself – why do they allow people to ride them? Why don’t they run away from people and why are they so mellow when we are beside them?

First of all, we should not conclude that horses allow themselves to be ridden due to their stupidity. They let us ride on their backs because they trust us and repay us for the time we spend with them.

Wild horses flee when they sense danger, but knowing that humans are no threat, they do not run away from people.

Are horses colorblind?

Horses are not completely color-blind. Horse vision can be compared to the way a daltonist sees. They perceive colors differently, but they are not completely colorblind.

The horse’s spectrum of color perception is mainly blues and greens. Horses do not see red or its derived shades, so a red apple or carrot appears to a horse as greenish or brown.

Can horses see in the dark?

Horses can see much better than humans in low light. All thanks to the membrane at the back of their eyes, which reflects light very well.

Are horses dangerous?

Domesticated, calm horses won’t intentionally attack to do harm, but because of their flight instinct, they can run into humans when spooked by something. That said, horses often injure people, but it is unintentional, i.e. by stepping on a foot or falling while riding.

Are horses carnivores, omnivores or herbivores?

Horses are undoubtedly herbivores. They have flat teeth and a long digestive system that breaks down plant cellulose fibers.

Are horses considered pets?

Horses are relatively peaceful animals, considered by many as pets and kept for fun and company. However, experts warn against treating horses the same way as dogs or other pets. Horses that are treated this way can develop serious behavioral problems.

At this point, horses are mainly bred as working animals, for farming or as therapists. Slightly less frequently they are bred for meat.


Horses are among the friendliest animals that humans can interact with. They are intelligent, and the fact that horses have been domesticated is not at all indicative of stupidity or submissiveness.