As anyone fortunate enough to have experience as a pet owner knows, the emotional connection between people and their pets can be incredibly strong. Even if we’ve only been out for a few hours, our pets greet us at the door with a frenzy of joy and relief. On the internet, you’ll find countless videos of emotional reunions between animals and their beloved humans after they’ve been apart for years. We might normally associate this “I’m so glad to see you” behavior with cats and dogs — and it’s no accident these two species are by far the most popular pets. But how about horses?
Horses were domesticated over 4,000 years ago and soon became, for lack of a better term, the workhorses of human civilization. Their ability to pull plows and haul heavy loads led to an increase in agricultural output and the profound consequences that followed. Horses also proved useful in the realms of transportation and warfare. But people have also long admired horses for their own sake, keeping them as companions rather than working animals.