What Smells does your horse like?

What smells make him pull this face?
* The Flehmen response is when a horse raises its head, curls its lip and inhales. It helps the horse get a better sense of something interesting in the air.
* There have been very few studies of the sense of smell in horses, but we know that stallions do not rely on smell to detect a mare ready for mating, rather her behaviour gives the signal.
* Horses can identify other horses by smell and these individual compounds are mostly a component of hair.
* There is a genetic basis so a horse may recognise its relatives.
* If a person is handling several horses in turn, the scent of the last horse may be detected by the next horse so in this situation it would be better to handle any aggressor in the group last.
* The smell of predator urine causes a fright response in horses and this persists even if the horse has never met such a predator.
* Strong and unfamiliar smells like eucalyptus oil can cause a similar reaction.
* People that are scared or stressed emit specific odours associated with fear and it has been suggested that this will make the horse more flighty or agitated. Research has shown that the opposite may be true, as long as the stressed person is still, with the horse reacting more calmly. This goes to explain the value of equine-assisted therapy for anxiety disorders in humans.
* There is scope to use particular smells associated with positive experiences as a training aid, but the challenge is to identify the smells horses particular like.
What smells does your horse likes, and what smells make him give the Flehmen response?