Do Camels Scare Horses? Check Exciting Facts Now!

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 11/01/22 •  5 min read

You might have noticed how strangely your horse behaves whenever it comes across a camel. Even though horses are generally friendly, why are they alarmed by camels? Do camels scare horses? 

Honestly, it’s a rumor. Horses are not really fearful of camels. Horses can easily sense the stinging odor of camels. As it disorients the horses, they generally prefer to avoid camels.

But why does a minor smell or noise trigger them? Can camels and horses get along? Check our content and get to know now!

Do camels scare horses? 

Horses are pretty gentle, friendly, and curious-minded. They get startled even by a slight change in the environment. But why are they so cautious?

As we already know, carnivorous animals are always after horses. So, they tend to be triggered even by noises and stinging smells.

Camels are usually heavy and give off a foul odor. As horses have a sharp olfactory system, the stinging smell from such a colossal animal threatens them.

However, camels are never terrified of horses. In fact, they just ignore horses and roam on their own.

Do camels scare horses 

How does a camel smell & why? 

Camels give off a wet slimy pungent smell because of their ruminating and urination habits. 

As a ruminating animal, camels tend to chew and store the chewed food in their rumen. After fermentation, they belch it up inside their mouth. So, even you will feel a stinky goat-like odor from camels.

Moreover, camels have a habit of defecating and urinating on themselves. So, it significantly aggravates the unpleasant odor.

What other animals do horses hate?

At first glance, it may seem like horses despise camels. But they just actually avoid them due to their unpleasant odor. There are some other animals whom horses really hate. Let’s check it out!

Dogs, cats, and butterflies make mild/strange noises. Horses think of it as a threat and get anxious. They hate it when a dog/cat is around them. In fact, horses might even kick them out of their way. You will sometimes notice its aggressiveness toward other small animals as well.

See also: Did you know that you can feed horse feed to cows? It’s true! Let’s debunk the myths about this topic and learn more about the benefits of doing so.

Can horses & camels get along? 

Horses literally hate the stinging smell of camels. So, can they even get along? Even if you introduce them properly, will they hang out together?

After the introduction, you have to let them spend some time together. Both of them are herbivores and friendly. If the horse doesn’t feel any threat from the camel, they will eventually get along.

Moreover, horses can easily adapt to different circumstances. So, if you train your horse properly, it won’t be a big deal for him to get along with a camel. (Read details about 30 days of horse training costs.)

For instance, Mongolians breed horses and camels together to satisfy their regular milk and meat requirements. Arabians arrange camel and horse racing every year on special occasions. (Read more: How Closely Related Are Horses And Camels? )

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What to do if a horse is scared? 

Whenever horses encounter any threat, they respond to it by fleeing. However, some of them might choose to fight or freeze. 

So, how will you calm your scared horse?

Relax the horse

In order to relax your horse, at first, you have to be calm. Horses are quite keen-minded and notice everything around their surroundings. So, if you are tense, the tension will reflect on it. Rub his body and assure him it will eventually relax it.

Desensitize It

As a newbie, it might be tough to desensitize the horse. Get some help from a trainer or an experienced rider. Keep the objects he is scared of nearby and make him used to them slowly. Thus, he will eventually learn to ignore and pass by them.

Keep it focused on you

If your horse is specifically focused on you, it won’t be scared by minor changes in the surroundings. As horses feed on the rider’s mood and emotions, you have to be calm & cautious as well.

Don’t overreact

Even if the horse is scared and jumpy, be cool and balanced. Try to control it just like usual. Never get stiff, calm with legs, or push the horse.

Settle it down with other calm horses

If your horse hangs out with a team of confident horses, it will eventually become relaxed.


See related article: Looking for information on whether it’s illegal to use horses as transportation? This article will provide you with quick facts on this topic.


Are camels or horses more aggressive? 

Horses are usually calm and friendly. However, you can easily trigger them to be aggressive. It might especially go out of control if it feels cornered. In contrast, camels are relatively ill-mannered and aggressive. But camels don’t get scared/triggered like horses easily.

Do camels usually scare horses?

Camels don’t actually scare horses. But horses are not comfy with the stinging smell of camels. They prefer to avoid camels instead

Do horses really hate the smell of camels?

As camels are ruminating animals, they have a pungent goat-like odor. They also pee/defecate on themselves, which really worsens the smell. In contrast, horses have a sensitive olfactory system. So, they can’t really bear the foul smell of camels. 

Final verdict

Do camels scare horses? I bet you were pretty puzzled by the rumors that – horses are afraid of camels. It’s not the truth, indeed. Horses can’t bear the pungent smell of camels. If you train and desensitize your horse properly, it will learn to get along with camels. 

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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