Start Research Visual Laterality in the domestic horse (Equus caballus) interacting with humans (Farmer, 2010)
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Visual laterality in the domestic horse (Equus caballus) interacting with humans

Kate Farmer,  Konstanze Krueger, Richard W. Byrne.  Animal Cogn. 2010 Mar;13(2):229-38. Epub 2009 Jul 17

 

Horses show a consistent tendency to prefer having the person on the left. This has traditionally been attributed to training practices, but our study demonstrates that this is also the horse’s preference. We compared groups of horses that had either been traditionally trained (predominantly from the left) or bilaterally trained (equally on the right and left) and in both groups the horses showed a preference for putting the person on the left. 

This was the first study I authored on this topic, and the first to look at equine laterality in interactions with humans. The left eye preference found here, combined with other studies which found the left eye to be preferred for negative associations, led to much discussion as to the significance of the "person on the left" preference. Recent research is pointing to the possibility that the left may be preferred for social interactions of all kinds.

 

 

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