I have just completed a course with Karolina Westlund – http://illis.se/en/
It looked at the 7 core emotions as described by Jaak Panksepp and how these affect our animals.
1. SEEKING – can be a positive or a negative emotion depending on whether the horse is seeking something they want or seeking to avoid something they don’t like.
2. PLAY- this is something we can tap into when training.
3 CARE – the mutual grooming and nurturing side of horses.
4. FEAR – can be as little as mild anxiety or a full flight response.
5. RAGE – fear can escalate into aggression or frustration if the horse can’t escape or get what he wants.
6. GRIEF or PANIC system may be seen in separation anxiety.
7. LUST – fairly self-explanatory
I would recommend this course to anyone interested in looking into emotions in more depth.
We often over look how our animals feel and many horses suppress their emotions and behaviour due to the way they are trained. Horses are an affiliative species and prefer to live in harmony with their friends. We often unwittingly suppress natural behaviour because we don’t understand the function and/or because we are afraid of losing control.