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Old 05-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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Do Horses Cry??

Have you ever seen a horse with tears falling from its eyes???

Are they crying or is there another reason they do this? I cant find any info on the web about it.

When I first got Gypsy she did it the first day we got her. I have also noticed at times other horses "crying". So, are they really crying or sad???????

Does anyone have any idea on this?????
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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allergies or dirt in the eyes will make them appear to cry.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:55 PM   #3
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Could be a clogged tearduct or dirt in the eyes, or flies bothering the eyes or allergies, or dry eyes, or an ulcer, or scratches. Oh my, the reasons could be many. Usually not a major but you could haveyour vet look and tell you what it is.

"Animals are such agreeable friends--they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms..." --George Eliot

In Loving Memory of Spikey...My Best Friend...I Miss You RIP 1988-2009
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:08 PM   #4
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As far as I know, only humans produce tears for emotional reasons.

Horse's eyes stick out from the sides of thier heads and are vulnerable to all sorts of irritation and damage because of this.

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Old 05-20-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thought so.......I did only notice it coming out of one eye each time. Maybe it was just trash or allergies in their eyes......I feel better now lol It would break my heart to know a horse cried.....
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:15 PM   #6
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Perhaps you should have the tear ducts flushed.
No horses do not get upset and cry.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:38 PM   #7
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I agree with the others, maybe just gunk or allergies.

Not for emotion
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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I say yes, they cry. Firm believer in animal emotions" When elephants weep was a favorite book of mine". As for personal experinces? Here's mine.

When our mare Bonnie's lost her very first foal a filly we named Rain (hind site seems sort of fate took a firm hold of her name there) she had teary eyes for 3 days afterwards standing devoltedly over the spot where her filly had been put down. Her filly had been kicked by another mare breaking her leg and nearly taking it off. Seeing Bonnie so listless and seeing those tears i tell you it was harder then having Rain put down! Nearly broke my heart to bits everytime I saw her.

But, in the same horses eyes water or weep for many otehr reasons as well. Allergies, dust, sun sencitivity etc...
A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:58 PM   #9
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Well I agree horse have feelings I do not believe they cry.
Sorry-do not.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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I do believe they cry when having pain, too many stories to say here. but just one...... a burrow I have cried when his favorite mare was taken to her burial place, he just put his head on my shoulders and bellowed and tears were coming down his nose.
But if the mare is dripping with tears than like it has been said perhaps allergies or clogged tear ducts.
An old eye injury will cause the eye to drain, I have a pony that almost lost her eyesight from a scratch and to this day 5 years later that eye drips.
Consult a vet and get them to look, perhaps they can help answer questions for you too.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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Anthropomorphism. Most of us are guilty of it, although in most cases it is simply not real.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:03 PM   #12
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Horses definitely cry

Hi all,

First post here. I just wanted to relay my experience with horses shedding emotional tears. We had a beautiful part-arab mare, approx 7 years old and when we bought her she had a gorgeous palomino filly foal at foot.

Some months later we sold the palomino filly who was now 18 months old. The day the new owner came to pick her up, she was loaded onto the float and almost immediately our mare, Sonia, began to cry. Tears flowed down her face from both eyes. Then my mum started crying and we sisters also started crying. It was so terribly sad. Sonia had never cried before to our knowledge, and we later found out that she had previously had a foal and that, too, had been sold. I firmly believe her previous experience with 'losing' that foal made her realise that the palomino foal was now going off the property, never to be seen by her again.

No allergy, no dust, no fly problems. Just pure emotional outpouring.

Just wished to share this, as I've often raised it when people suggest to me that humans are the only animals to have tears through emotions. Must read that book about elephants too. Thanks Sassy.

Kind regards,
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:22 AM   #13
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This is an old thread but an interesting post...

I have never seen a horse cry, I've seen them with eye issues but I have to say one of the most emotional things to watch was a Percheron gelding watching his pasture mate get hauled away by a tractor the careless owners didn't bother to move the horses before burying the mare. The Percheron was running around kicking at the tractor, whinnying at the tops of his lungs, throwing his head all over. My heart broke for him because I felt I witnessed him "cry" out in his own way. He was honestly never the same horse after that. I on the other hand was crying like a blubbering fool watching all of this!
My boyfriend said I needed to choose between him or my horse...I better go grab my saddle

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Old 07-29-2011, 08:27 AM   #14
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When I had to put my older mare down a few years ago my gelding mourned for a couple of weeks, Cherokee was about 25 years old and had foundered very badly (we do not know on what or how) and we had seperated her from the other horses in a lot next to theirs. She continued to worsen until my husband and I decided to end her suffering. We locked the other horses up to where they could not see her being put down. Some how the 4 other horses must have known as each and every one of them was whinnying and raring and kicking when we led her to the little pasture. Once the deed was done and she was buried we let the other horses out into the adjoining pasture and they all just watched the mound of dirt and whinnied and paced the fence. My gelding stood there for two weeks and whinnied and watched that mound of dirt. He lost weight and was very depressed. This mare was his "auntie" weaning mare and they were very attached. I cried each and every day just watching him mourn for Cherokee just like I was. I did not see tears but knew he missed her too.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #15
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When I took my paint mare out for training for 30 days, Boomer, Zip and Jack cried like lost colts for two days. I came home with the empty trailer and for two days Boomer stood over the fence by the trailer calling to it.
Jack and Zippy eventually recovered and went about their business but Boomer ... he never got over it.

Boomer moped about the pasture. Everytime I came and went with the trailer he'd get really excited. Once he found out she wasnt in there, he'd go back to his spot and hang his head. It actually brought a tear to my eye. He was heartbroken at the loss of his mare.

He even went through a bout of having teary eyes the first week. I'm sure it was something in the air though Jack and Zippy didn't have teary eyes.

When she returned, he didn't even look at the trailer or meet us at the gate. All hope lost, he just stood there beaten and dejected by her stall in his "waiting for Mae" stance. Poor dorky horse.

I pulled into the pasture and opened the trailer and she looked over her shoulder and whinnied at him. Suddenly he raced over to the trailer, eyes wide, nickering and whinnying acting like a colt to it's mother.

It's a good thing I didn't sell her. He might have died from a broken heart.

Proud horse mother of:
Zippys Delight, Peppys Chrome Sensation, and Go-Boomerang-Go!
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #16
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crying pony

an old post, but thank you to all who shared their experiences. we purchased our first pony beginning of March 2012. a long life dream for my daughter and me to have our own stables. We ended up buying a small 17 month old should have been gelding, that's another story, but he wasn't going to reach the height expected so was being sold on. he looked a sorry sight but we fell in love with him and he responded within minutes of our handling him. he'd been in a field with a mare and another foal for 6 months after being passed on from his first owner. once we got the passport we found out he was 22 months, so even smaller than expected. The first few days on the stables we are using, he was continually watering from the eyes, the vet said there was no infections. he then bonded with all three of the horses at the stables and after breaking through his isolation fencing he settled with the other ponies/horses. a week ago one of the horses left, being moved to another stables, she was stubborn to load and the handler was getting rough with her, so I took over and gently encouraged her to load, half way up the ramp, the owner took over as it was too slow for her, then she refused to move again. it wasn't until I got into the front of the trailer that she came willingly onto the trailer. They went and I had the 2 older horses snorting at me as I passed them. our little pony was again crying and this lasted for 3days, with his head low. I've done more bonding with him and he stopped crying, until today, which is why I am on this site now.
we've been doing some gentle training with him, he's never had a rug on, never had his feet sorted and he wasn't a gelding, so in the first few weeks of having him, he's been gelded, feet trimmed and he's getting used to a rug. today when doing some gentle exercise after the two other horses went into their stables, he was nice and responsive until he just stopped, refusing to move I looked closer at him and he was crying and I don't mean just a bit of tears, his whole eyes looked sad and tears were rolling both sides down his face. I stroked him and he just hung his head down into my arm and this overwhelming feeling came over with a sadness, we went for a little walk and he followed in submission, then put him away for the night. from reading the comments above there seems to be mixed feelings as to horse tears, but from what I felt from our little pony today and the emotion that seemed to come from him when he hung his head in my arm, tells me he was crying, now I need to find out why. We're his 3rd owners that we know of, the passport only had the first owner details on and I had to find her to get the passport on my name. He's a treasure and I hope we can now help him resolve the tears. when we got him he looked scruffy and bloated. there is a picture of him on our new Facebook page ther is a one month on photo there too, cant believe the changes n hm in just a month. my 12 yr old daughter is looking after this page and is so proud of her new pony.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HighHorse View Post
Anthropomorphism. Most of us are guilty of it, although in most cases it is simply not real.
I agree
Horses can become very herd bound/sour to the point that they risk hurting themselves if their buddy is out of their sight, but that has more to do with security than anything else.
Soon as they bond to another horse, you get that same 'tied to the hip' syndrome, and those horses can actually be dangerous when you try to ride them out by themselves
It has more to do with their herd mentality than anything else. It is not much different than weaning a foal
The mare at first will be frantic to have her foal back, but after a period of separation, will just settle in and be happy with the rest of the herd. Ditto for the foal
Some adult horses that have become too herd bound , need to be 'weaned'
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:50 AM   #18
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Crying horses

My Shetland has a month old foal which is at the vets due to a paralysis tick. The mother has fretted since he got sick and had tears streaming down her face when I drove away with him. She again ran around fretting and cried most of the day afterwards. It's been the third day since she's seen him and she's just starting to settle now. I bring him home tomorrow hopefully it's a very happy reunion. This horse definitely cried from emotion.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #19
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Theoretically people release stress hormones when they cry, so it makes sense a horse under stress could also do so. It also could be as simple as a horse under stress doesn't blink enough, and the body responds by an overproduction of tears.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #20
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Horses hurt as much inside as we do through grief.
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