December 3, 2023

A social media video of a horse startling herself by catching a glimpse at her own reflection has left the internet in hysterics.

The viral video, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times to date, showed the well-maintained horse getting spooked after seeing herself in a small mirror that had been left standing upright on the grass.

“She’s seen many mirrors in her life and never once spooked at them, this one, however, was different,” the video’s creator Emily Shippam, who is based in the United Kingdom, wrote under the post.

How To Calm a Startled Horse

Molly Newton is a former doctor of veterinary medicine and the founder of PetMeTwice, a website that offers pet care advice to the public. She told Newsweek why horses tend to get started and what can be done to soothe them afterwards.

“You’d be surprised to find that, horses, being prey animals with strong survival instincts, can get spooked by various triggers such as sudden movements, loud noises, unfamiliar objects, or changes in their surroundings,” she said.

“I’ve encountered cases where underlying health issues contributed to a horse’s nervousness. Identifying the specific cause of your horse’s spookiness is the initial and crucial step in addressing the problem effectively.”

“When it comes to calming a spooked horse, it’s important to maintain your own composure. Horses can sense our emotions, so projecting confidence and reassurance is key. Approach the horse slowly, use soothing tones, and offer gentle pats or scratches to comfort them,” she added.

Newton also advises that the spooked horse’s owner return them to a familiar and safe environment to alleviate any anxiety they may be feeling.

“If your horse experiences frequent spooking, consulting with a professional trainer or equine behaviorist can provide valuable insights into desensitization techniques and trust-building exercises. Always remember, patience and empathy are fundamental when assisting a spooked horse in regaining its confidence,” she explained.

A stock image of a horse walking towards a car’s door mirror. A viral TikTok video of a horse startling herself after catching her reflection in a mirror has led to plenty of laughter online.
Getty Images

What Do the Comments Say?

Since it was shared to the social media platform on September 2 by @Cariad.Equestrian, the TikTok post has been liked by 91,000 users and commented on more than 240 times.

“Me looking at my reflection,” one user joked.

Another user added: “The way I flinched like I was riding.”

The TikTok post can be seen here.

Newsweek reached out to @Cariad.Equestrian for comment via TikTok.

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