How Smart Are Horses?

by joanieeditr on July 19, 2012

in Equine,Ideas,Philosophical,Solutions

Knowing horses, that is a thoughtful pursuit. With a lot of observation and a meditative state of mind horsemen have mined gems of wisdom and built unshakable bonds through knowing them.

Excellent riding skills is one of the benefits that comes as a result of it. For example, when you see older riders, I mean those riding into their 80’s, as riders they are using a skill that is honed from knowing horses not only from the mechanics of riding.

What I know now about horses that I didn’t before is the way in which they are smart, smarter than people. They have an advanced sensory intelligence relative to man’s.

You know what I mean, your senses, right – the amazing touch a concert pianist has, the refined taste an exquisite chef has, the acute smell a, hmm, here I’ll defer to what a canine finding people alive buried in debris has, see what I mean?

The list goes on, a prima ballerina’s feel of movement, a poet or musician who hears their art then writes it down. Speaking of art, what the Renaissance sculptor sees in a block of marble before teasing out something extraordinary. Well, it does make the case for art doesn’t it?

Usually the focus on horses sensory intelligence is their fear factor. Fearing man the predator and then people training around it. It sounds so, and I mean no offense, just a saying, so Neanderthal to get stuck in that. When in fact the horses senses are what gives them the exquisite nature often only rendered by artists or seen only in young stock because that aspect is otherwise neglected in the stable.

To begin with I have a couple of questions about it. Beware, every answer to a question elicits another question though. Here’s one. What if thoughts generate a smell, for lack of a better description?

We know medicine can measure the electrical impulses of thoughts or there wouldn’t be biofeedback therapy. I am calling it smell since we seem to be very dense in that sense. And this is the question from the answer I got, see what question answer you get.

What if the sensory intelligence of horses is elevated and the sensory intelligence of man is repressed. Fearing what I would learn from a heightened sense of sensory intel seems very real! It’s a thoughtful question.

And this is the funny notion, just because I love balance and always see the yin and yang working itself out into a homeostasis. What if the intellectual intelligence of man is elevated and the intellectual intelligence of horses is repressed. If they feared what they would learn from a heightened intellectual intelligence.

Or are the possibilities for the future brighter because these are trainable, knowable, doable capacities for all to cultivate? These are some thoughts for knowing horses. What are yours?

There is science, like the numbers of sniff receptors for example bloodhounds have some billions, and wild camels smell water 50 miles away. Are number of receptors a given? It seems unlikely, just like horses conformation is malleable, or that human brain cells regenerate after all. However it begs the question, what instruments do we not yet know to even create?

If you want to help horses I encourage you to add comments below and return with updates as your discoveries unfold. Because knowing horses better and how smart they are, shared, is a constructive and creative way to honoring, respecting and keeping them safely.

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