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Re: [RC] horses smart? - Barbara McCrary

I've observed that some horses are much smarter than others, and I've known only three really smart ones in all my life.  Two of those had gotten themselves into very difficult situations and calmly waited until someone got them out of the problem.  The current one is smart in the way he learns.  He'll look at something the first time, be wary, then give it a try.  The second time on the same obstacle, he'll be less wary and more willing.  The third time his attitude is:  " I can do THAT!"  I admire his attitude.  Various other horses I've ridden:  Some were hyper and slightly hysterical, one never seemed to learn from his experiences....he was doomed to repeat the same mistakes, over and over.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [RC] horses smart?

Over the few years I've had horses, I have come across some folks that think horses aren't smart. I don't accept this.
Was wondering how you folks feel?
I think they are, maybe some more than others and I'm convinced we can teach them to think vs. react too!  But in observing them I think they can have common sense too!
I noticed something that made me chuckle yesterday while riding my horse but also was smart of her, I felt.  It was an almost human reaction.
We were out just taking a nice walk.  I was on the road and then turned off on one of our trails.  The trails were wet and full of grass which I knew eating some of this lusious stuff was definatelly on her mind.  But she was obiedent and polite about it. Anyway, I stopped her and let her take a bit or two and one of her feet sunk a bit.  She quitely moved to a better spot without assistance from me, and I though good girl.
Anyway, as we were walking off towards home we walked about maybe 100 yards or so and she stopped for a moment, took her left hoof and tapped the ground a time or two checking to see if it was solid and then proceeded on.  I chuckled but she apparently kept in mind that some spots were solid while others weren't.
It wasn't pawing it was tapping.  I knew without a doubt she was checking for safety.  I thought this was quite smart and endearing!  I gave her a big pat and hug for that one!
I couldn't help but smile and chuckle!  And I swear I saw a "I know I'm good" smirk on her face too!
Just thought I'd share that!

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[RC] horses smart?, Kathie Ford