The vibrissae, known as “whiskers”, are thick and hard dander which grows on the horse’s muzzle, around the nostrils and around the lips. This hard and very flexible dander also grows around the horse’s eyes and grows from the womb. It does not grow endlessly, it reaches a natural length, and this is based on the horse; the vibrissae regrow: a vibrissa falls, and a new one grows back. As human hair, they grows from the root and they fall so, throughout its life, the horse will change the dander over and over again. We must not cut them, because this would damage the organism of the horse and its delicate and very important sense of smell. The vibrissae are distinguished from other dander because they are blood dander, so their root grow from the deep layers of dermis, with blood and lymphatic vessels, nerves and muscle fibers, they touch nerve endings and rest on a vascularized network. So we can be say that, unlike body dander and eyelashes, they are receptive, not protective. They are the tactile and olfactory sense , they are a sensory organ of the horse : this essential dander is real tactile receptors and are connected to the dense network of the nervous system. Each vibrissa corresponds to a precise point of the brain of the horse in the sensitive cortex. The vibrissae are made to capture the magnetic fields, the movements of air and the spaces surrounding the horse, the distance from objects and are a sort of radar to locate his peers, food, water and, in case, the distance from dangers, the temperature, the state of an object (solid, liquid, etc. ..). Along with the sense of smell, they help the horse get more information about a smell and choose the pasture: for this reason the horses are able to choose which plants to eat. We see that horses are very sensitive to climate changes: when there is inclement weather, even though the sky is clear or slightly cloudy, we notice that horses change their attitude, also during a seismic tremor, even thought it is not perceived, they feel it and this is due to the the vibrissae, so they capture the magnetic fields and their changes, they can practically “touch the air”. Have you ever noticed that blind in one eye, both-eyed or partially sighted horses can orient in one way or another? This happens thanks to the vibrissae, which compensate in some way for the lack of sight along with the other senses.

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