That question is at the heart of a case in Connecticut Supreme Court Tuesday, and, depending on where the decision lies, it could have far-reaching financial implications for the state and possibly a new legal precedent for the country.
According to an article by the Associated Press, farmers and horse owners say that classifying horses as innately vicious would make the animal uninsurable. That could, in turn, threaten an industry that contributes more than $200 million a year to the state's economy, the article reports.
Tuesday's appeal hearing is the latest in a case that dates back to 2006, when a boy was bit in the face by a horse named Scuppy at Glendale Farms in Milford.
"The injury suffered by the boy was foreseeable and the owners of the farm had a duty to use reasonable care to restrain the animal to prevent injury," the AP writes, citing the Appellate Court.
According to the Connecticut Farm Bureau, the state supreme court will be ruling on whether the Appellate Court properly concluded that horses as a species are naturally vicious.
"Such a conclusion would reverse the existing legal standard and have far-reaching consequences for the keeping of horses in the state," the Bureau writes on its website.
In 2010, a New Haven Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the owners of the horse, stating that the father of the boy who was bitten failed to show that Scuppy had a history of aggression.
But, in 2012, an Appellate Court ruled that horses are "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious," NBC Connecticut reports.
How do you think the state Supreme Court should rule?