There were no horse programs on TV last night and I wasn't up for re-runs so I watched a documentary about chimpanzees. It kept me glued to the screen since it stated that chimps are humans' closest relatives. We share 98% of our DNA. Of course, it's easy to see the similarities but the single greatest difference I noticed was in the eyes. Each time the camera focused on the face of an individual chimpanzee, I couldn't help but think that their eyes seemed shuttered, as if they were hiding what they were thinking from the camera. There was no gleam, no mischief, no smile. Only the constant message that the brain behind the eyes was thinking, judging the human and perhaps feeling a tad superior. The commentator suggested that chimpanzees are always plotting, considering their own "political" future. How can they get more power in the group. It shows in their eyes.
I see much more when I look into my horses' eyes. Sometimes I see contentment with my company. Sometimes there's a touch of worry if there's a bridle in my hand. Just because I need to get something done, doesn't mean my horse feels the same need. Sometimes I even see a glint of laughter if one is just out of my reach and it knows full-well it can escape to freedom by taking two quick steps out of my reach. But usually, that hint of laughter changes to acceptance and the animal will honor my wishes over his or her own desire to graze the day lazily away. A horse knows your thoughts, good bad or indifferent. You'll never see judgement or politics in a horse's eyes.
It seems people are becoming more like our chimpanzee relatives.