Facial expressions in stressed horses

Last changed: 17 February 2022
A horse with green halter, photo.

Being able to identify pain in sick and injured horses is important in order to provide proper treatment. One possible method of identifying pain in a horse is to examine the horse's facial expression. Since pain can trigger both emotional and physiological stress, more information is needed on how stress can affect the interpretation of horses’ facial expressions.

The aim of the project is to be able to correctly identify pain even in environments where emotional states are frequently present, for example in animal hospitals.

Go to the Swedish version of this page to read more.


The one-year project was launched in 2019 and was financed by SLU Future One Health (previously SLU Future Animals, Nature and Health).

SLU Future One Health supports interdisciplinary research that is part of the One Health concept – optimal health and welfare for both humans and animals in sustainable ecosystems.

Read more about SLU Future One Health, ongoing research projects and forthcoming funding opportunities.