Originally Posted by CheriseSarah97 View Post
He'd been out of racing for a good 10 years so he has been used to the schooling and normal horse yard way of life...
Horses don't forget. They learn from new experiences (so you can desensitize them to things that are initially bad), but at least according to what I've read, they don't really seem to ever actually forget anything. So if your former racehorse learned that a certain set of cues meant "run like heck until the human says stop", and was never retrained to give those cues a different meaning... Well, I'd really hope I knew the cue for stop
Some interesting articles on horse memory: Horses Never Forget Human Friends : Discovery News Understanding a Horse’s Memory | Horseman Magazine learning and memory in horses | The Cognitive Horse Horse memory
From the last one
In the late 1990’s, Evelyn Hanggi, co-director at the Equine Research Foundation (ERF) in Aptos, California and colleague Jerry Ingersoll tested the ability of three equines to learn to select pictures that were projected on a computer screen according to specific criteria (e.g., color, shape, location). In 2008, they tested them again.
They had not seen the pictures for 10 years. Yet they were able to repeat the same tasks with a nearly perfect level of accuracy. Not only were they able to remember the specific objects learned years ago, they were able to apply those previously learned rules and concepts to new objects.