Interesting article -they DO remember! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-08-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting article -they DO remember!

Whatever your discipline, NH or traditional......I found this interesting.

Horses Never Forget Human Friends : Discovery News
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-08-2011, 09:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing, definitely an interesting read.

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-08-2011, 10:21 PM
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Great article! I know Huey understands more than I could possibly have imagined. He definitely knows basic commands like "trot" and "canter" and "stand". He also knows "carrot stretch" (he starts heading for the barn at a good clip, since we always do these in the barn aisle where there is nothing scary to distract from the stretch. He learned "carrot stretch" by the third time we did it. I found out this morning that he also knows "keep going!" when I was practicing sitting trot and he thought I was going for a down transition and started to drop out of the trot. When I told him to keep going (without changing my leg or hand aids) he picked right back up to his former pace. He's so good at getting this kind of thing that I just tell him everything now because he understands so much more than I expect him to.

He also memorizes patterns super fast. I can't practice something like leg yields or turns on the forehand, more than 3 times before he starts offering to do them without the aids. I have to keep changing things up constantly to make sure that he's doing whatever in response to an actual request from me, and not because he's taking the initiative and offering to do it all his own!
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-08-2011, 10:44 PM
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One day last spring, my horse decided he no longer wanted to trailer load one. We were over an hour from home and it took the better part of 2 hours to get him into the trailer. The next day, my friend who originally trained him 4 years ago came over to "have a talk" with him. He hadn't seen her in over a year. I swear that horse sighed when he saw her coming like, "oh crap, it's her". Yes they certainly do seem to remember people from their past. Thanks for sharing.

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 11:53 AM
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This was a really interesting article!
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ThursdayNext View Post
He also memorizes patterns super fast. I can't practice something like leg yields or turns on the forehand, more than 3 times before he starts offering to do them without the aids.
OMG do they remember patterns! THAT'S why people suggest you don't practice Dressage tests to death, or else your horse will do them on his own. (I figure it's best to practice the test on the horse that ISN'T going to be shown, so your show horse is fresh.)
I agree with the study. I teach my horses a LOT of English bc I like to have them do things with verbal commands such as exit the turnout and go directly to their stalls when it's muddy, since it's only 15 ft. from the gate to the barn door, instead of me walking into 6 inches of slop. My horses know how to "open the gate", know that we're going to the "Field" (my big north pasture), and I like to teach them the English for every cue. This winter my 5yo KMHSA is going to learn "park", so I can get all 16'3hh of him to park out when I mount.
Gee, it's nice when a University tells us what we already knew!! =b
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 12:48 PM
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Interesting reading.

I wonder how much they spent on the research basically any horseman knows (that positive reinforcement drives the progress, that horses (as well as cats, dogs, cows, you name it) know the owner, and that horses can learn verbal commands).

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 02:10 PM
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LOL that's funny Kitten Val.
great article thanks for posting it Franknbeans

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Agree, Kitten, just validation for least I know I am not nuts! lol
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 04:25 PM
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I'd like to read the details of that study. The article doesn't go into much depth about language capabilities, and eight months time is not a very long duration....
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