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Saddlebag 08-16-2013 11:51 PM

Is horse smart or what?
A bottle of petroleum jelly is always handy on the quad for bug bites on the horses. This morning the twh snooped thro the basket of stuff and pulled out the jar and set it down. He then lined himself up to show me where he wanted it applied. Is that smart or what?

trailhorserider 08-16-2013 11:59 PM

Ha ha, that reminds me of my gelding! He will walk with his head and shoulders just past me (so I am at his barrel or hips) and then he will lift up one hind leg like a dog, like he is saying "scratch me here please!" And I just about have to, because it's so darn funny when he does it.

He's like "common, PLEASE, I'm itchy and nobody else will scratch around my sheath, butt and belly."

JCnGrace 08-17-2013 12:44 AM

One of mine will show me where he wants scratched too but he's never gone so far as to pick up a jar of meds. I would be going nuts over that (in a good way).

Missy May 08-17-2013 01:20 AM

I trim my mare at liberty. If she is thirsty and when I am not holding one of her feet, she'll saunter off to get a drink, come back and position herself in the exact same position with whichever hoof I was working on exactly where it was before she went to get a sip. If you let them, they will show you.

FlyGap 08-17-2013 03:04 AM

28 Attachment(s)
That's brilliant!
Best my old man did was throw his bucket at me from across the fence, ungrateful old bast....
Dash will crow hop across the field then slide to a stop at my feet and stand rock solid still so I can swat a horse fly, but she has yet to bring me the spray!!

Saddlebag 08-17-2013 07:14 AM

My good trail horse was often loose in the yard. When the horse flies were out he'd block my way. Horse flies aren't easy to hit with the hand so one time I got the fly swatter. Would you believe he preferred a smack from the swatter to the fly bite and within short order I'd pretty much gotten all of them. When satisfied he'd walk off. This same horse figured I wasn't coming fast enough with his grain so he reached over the fence and grabbed a saw horse for cutting firewood and flung it way over his head, landing about 20' behind him. This saw horse was about 5' long and weighed about 40 lbs. The saw horse became firewood as it didn't survive the landing.

RedTree 08-17-2013 07:39 AM

Taking my horses rug off in the paddock, decided he could do it faster took off did a few bucks, it came off and he came back and stood exactly where he was before... Didn't move a muscle after, till I had finished brushing him.

walkinthewalk 08-17-2013 08:18 AM

[QUOTE=Missy May;3377042]If you let them, they will show you.[/QUOTE]

This thread is full of posters who get this.

If more folks "got it", there wouldn't be near as many holler for help questions when it comes to training:-)

It' been nearly 40 years since I took my first guard dog to obedience school and got the bright idea to try and transfer some of that knowledge to schooling my horses.

Horses perfectly understand "whoa", "back up" and they know their name.

If they can understand that, why can't they understand simple phrases and obey them, at liberty, under certain conditions? I say certain because horses, unlike dogs, ARE prey animals and prone to flight.

It is amazing I have been able to teach each of them thru the years. Some are better at some things, simply because of personality.

I have one TWH, who will walk half way thru the gate in the barn aisle and stop before I can say "Rusty, whoa!". He stands there and waits. What he's waiting for is me to tap him on the butt and say "Rusty, back up -- back up for a cookie" and he backs far enough for me to shut the gate that is now in front of him. He is smart enough that I have seen him not move if I leave the word "cookie" out of the phrase. He knows full well what "cookie" means:-P

I have another TWH that has to have meds thru a syringe every AM because he won't eat the stuff in his feed pan. He is insulin resistant so has to have this stuff. He gets the meds mixed with 60 CCs of water, so I only give him a little at a time. He forgets to swallow. When I get to the last 20 CC's I will raise one finger and say "Joker, one more, swallow" and I do an exaggerated swallow. He swallows, I give him the rest of his meds.

After all that, I will say "Joker wipe your mouth" and that is funniest part of the whole routine because he will completely relax his mouth and follow the paper towel around, just like a ten year old child - lol lol lol

So yes, "if you let them, they will show you". Well said:D

Missy May 08-17-2013 03:09 PM

Many moons ago something occurred that removed any doubt I might have had concerning the intelligence of the horse. Taking the lessons from that occurrence, subsequent experiences have led me to believe , with every fiber of my body, that horses are far more intelligent than dogs.

I was on my first wagon train. I went on horseback with relatives that went in their wagons. I slept on the ground between the wagons, the rest of the group slept in one of the wagons. I was dead asleep when a sound finally woke me. It was ice and water being rocked back and forth in an ice chest. At my vantage point and w my flashlight l could see a gigantic hoof rocking the chest. The hoof belonged to one of my cousin’s team of percherons which had stretched himself as far as he could on the tie to rock the chest w its back hoof. I thought, “thirsty”, and “no point in waking my cousin, why I’ll just water the fellow”. So, w him and flashlight in hand I walked toward the river. The later part of the path was a muddy, slick mess from being trod on earlier by hundreds to get water. Even though he was a young guy and unfamiliar with me, in the dark and slick squishy mud the big guy was so careful not to step on my bare feet. When we got close to the river, he just charged into the water, and left me standing near the edge of the bank. I was so panicked. What had I done? He went to the middle of the river and got his fill, then came back, hefted up the muddy bank and returned to my side.

After that I thought – only a poor dumb creature wouldn’t be able to comprehend and process the meaning. They are indeed very intelligent creatures. It seems sad to me that for thousands of years they have served us w/o their intelligence, range of emotions, and sensitivity being fully recognized and appreciated .

Science wants “proof”? I don’t need proof the sun comes up in the east, I can see it. But, okay. There has been relatively little effort put toward measuring a horse’s intelligence – so where would we even obtain this “proof”? Some horses won’t immediately figure out to look for a gate behind them to get to a point directly in front of them? Oh, that’s a real “measure”. I have seen plenty of people that wouldn’t pass that IQ test. First, in order to stylize meaningful tests to even begin to measure equine intelligence - one would have to be intelligent enough to recognize and comprehend the meaning of the fact that horses and humans are different species.

Sorry for long post. I don't ordinarily go into my opinions on the matter b/c hearing "opposition" makes me feel an overwhelming desire to apologize for my species.

jamesqf 08-17-2013 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by Missy May (Post 3381050)
[SIZE=3]...subsequent experiences have led me to believe , with every fiber of my body, that horses are far more intelligent than dogs.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that, because dogs are also more intelligent than some people would like to think. What most people don't take into account is that intelligence is a tool, and humans, dogs, and horses use that tool in different ways to attain our ends.

Too many people draw the wrong lesson from the case of "Clever Hans" Clever Hans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The horse was supposed to be able to count, but when researchers discovered that he had instead figured out how to use subtle body language cues to deduce the answer that the questioner wanted, they just said "Stupid horse can't really do math", instead of recognizing that he was intelligent enough to perform a far more sophisticated task - one which I have to admit I wouldn't have a hope of do myself, despite my "superior" human intelligence, and math degree :-)

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