Originally Posted by Serendipitous
I hear reports all the time of horses who are difficult personalities being exceptionally kind to children or people with disabilities. I have seen it myself. So if you (general you) think horses can be exceptionally kind (above and beyond the normal) in certain situations, shouldn't the converse be true? Or is it that horses have a greater propensity to be "kind" than they do to be malicious?
People are often "mean" out of instinct as well. My father is startled easily and without thinking will smack anyone who surprises him if they are in arm's reach. As a child, I thought this was mean. Do horses premeditate their actions? I don't think so. Can they be mean (overreact to certain stimuli because they can) in the moment? I think so.
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Reacting to stimuli is not being mean by any stretch of the imagination. If the horse spooks and lands on your foot he isn't "out to get you", maybe a bit disrespectful of your space because you were not dominant in that situation, but it wasn't mean spirited. To be mean requires premeditated thought and planning. It requires spite to think, I don't like x and therefore will for no reason intentionally cause them pain or discomfort.
And as far as the nice thing, I think that's overhumanizing the horse. They are herd animals and instinct tells them to protect and nurture the young in the herd. They are also a naturally curious animal and want to investigate things. When they are not harmed or made uncomfortable by a situation, or even rewarded for being in a certain situation they seek further reward or associate the situation with something positive and seek that. Posted via Mobile Device