How many times have you been watching a movie or reading a book and thought “that’s a horse I would love to own”?
It doesn’t matter how fictional or unrealistic they are, you can’t help but fantasise about owning one of these amazing creatures. Often, they’re the characters your childhood dreams were built on.
Let’s take a look at the top 8 fictional horse characters.
1. Mr Ed.
Horse riding is all about communication. But don’t you just wish you could actually speak to your horse. It would make things so much easier.
The famous Mr Ed could talk – in fact, he could barely stop talking!
Gandalf’s noble horse from The Lord of The Rings. Shadowfax is perhaps the most noble and dignified of any fictional horse character.
Shadowfax was ‘foaled in the morning of the world,’ the original and perfect horse.
In fact, he’s almost the most dignified character ever written, animal or human. It’s not so much that you’d like to own Shadowfax, but that you’d like to know him.
A thoroughbred with too much spirit for ploughing fields, Joey is the storied character of War Horse, the wildly successful book, film and stage play.
The best-natured of all the horses on the list is Bullseye, from the Toy Story films.
More like a puppy, Bullseye is full of enthusiasm and friendliness.
The colourful, beautiful flying horse from RainbowBrite, the 80s cartoon series.
Starlite was able to fly on rainbows, and her colourful mane and tail made her an excellent horse to fantasise about.
The horse from The Neverending Story who, in the novel, is actually a speaking character.
A complicated character, Artax’s death was a difficult one for most readers, but reminds us of the emotional complexity of the horses we love.
A horse capable of talking, but hiding his gift from his war-mongering owners, Bree is another complex character from the Chronicles of Narnia.
8. Black Beauty.
For some of us, this might have been our first horse love.
The novel does an excellent job of stokes the fires for a horse lover, reminding us of the need to treat every animal with love and respect.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Horse Movies of All Time
Horses are capable of understanding human emotions, according to new study.
Have you ever suspected that your horse understood what you were saying to it? You might not be wrong!
We all know that horses can learn to react to signals and cues, but they can also understand the emotional state of humans.
Horses can look at a person and recognise their facial expression and the corresponding emotion, a new study has found. Not only can they distinguish between different facial expression, they also understand the importance of emotions like anger or calmness.
The study tested horse’s heart rates and head movements in response to different facial expressions. They found that angry facial expression made horses turn their left eye towards the image and have a raised heart rate. Even more impressive, they could understand photographs of angry faces.
This study leads to the idea that horses are much more emotionally intelligent than previously thought. The study implies that horses are able to cross over the emotional barrier that comes with being a different species to humans.
Another study found that horses are capable of producing 17 facial expressions of their own; 3 more than chimpanzees and 10 less than humans. It’s more evidence for the idea that the emotional word of the horse is highly developed and strongly linked to the emotional experience of humans.
So if you’ve found yourself defending the idea that riders and their horses share special, real emotional connections, you’ve just found scientific evidence to support you.