Some scientists have raised questions whether size is the only indicator, or whether brain efficiency also plays a role. Additionally, some have concluded that size comparisons are most accurate within the same species (i.e., one study between men and women showed that men scored slightly higher on tests, perhaps due to the fact the male brain is slightly larger).
The bottom line is that the jury is still out regarding the minute details of the science, but overall brain size is a good indicator of intelligence. Often when assessing the intelligence of an animal, we project our own logic upon them and compare their reactions against our perception of how they should react.
Humans are predators, and as a result we tend to be bolder and stand our ground. Before being quick to dismiss the importance of mindset, keep in mind that even humanity cannot fully relate with each other.
Although different cultures can learn to coexist and understand one another, it does require effort by both parties. It's not a mark of stupidity; their reactions are guided by their individual mindset and makeup.
They are incapable of knowing “why” they perform a specific action; it's purely instinctual. Not surprisingly, most people that spit out that theory have not, in fact, worked with horses themselves.
When an unexpected loud noise such as a gunshot rings through the air, most of us will duck or flinch before reason kicks in. During the course of training, generally they perform an act because they are asked, but that doesn't disprove the ability to reason.
Yet no one would claim that a child is stupid or unable to reason simply because he yields to his parent's authority. Horses, like cats or dogs, can show genuine loyalty, emotion and ability to reason.
This fundamental truth expands to all areas of our life: mindset will typically dictate final results, not only with ourselves, but with others too. Your eyes will be closed to the nature of a horse, and the underlying intelligence and emotions that guide them.
You'll fail to recognize the impish glint in a horse's eye when he's toying with you. To put it bluntly, you will fail to see the individuality of horses because you are walking with predefined blinders on.
That is the point where true relationships are created… where a horse may do silly things just to make you laugh, or find harmless ways get your goat much like a mischievous child might. Horses will never be able to speak our language, but don't underestimate their ability to have fun, express loyalty and contentment, and learn our ways.
All it takes is for you to meet them halfway, but unfortunately a closed mind is incapable of accomplishing that. But if you understand that animals are not people and cannot be expected to be, and you carry an open mind while observing and interacting with them over a length of time, you might just come away with a different outlook regarding the intelligence of horses.
I have no time for clever titles or big… | by Ian de Vlaming | Medium I have no time for clever titles or big words when there are all these horses on earth who need hating.
Why do horses constantly have seventy-six thousand flies loitering around their big dumb eyeballs? Horses smell worse than a rotten fish having hate sex with a wet dog.
Their H. P. Lovecraft legs never merit dinner table discussion and its time someone talked about it. They have what appears to be a pork butt mounted atop a biological geometry thesis.
And before you say something like “that’s a really common configuration of knees,” at least other animals have the decency to hide their structural nightmare underneath some combination of fur, fat, and muscle. The horse knee is tastelessly framed by sad short hair, a randomized selection of unnervingly thick veins, and the embodiment of human suffering.
Their legs look like a stiff breeze could snap them in half, and yet they stand tall and still as an act of defiance against reason. Oh, no, it’s tiny, black, angry hammers made of what is basically dense hair.
Horses choose to (and I do believe molars are a choice) agonizingly scrape your flesh apart with an elliptical chewing motion that’s less efficient than an 80-year-old receptionist copying customer information into an Excel sheet using right-clicks instead of hotkeys. “But horses are herbivores and molars are ideal for-” I don’t care about your vegan agenda fella, horses go out of their way to bite people and spread misery, but were too smug to evolve a more effective tool.
But everyone put up with it for a while because we hadn’t figure out we could cut down our trip to the burlesque show by detonating dinosaur meat. “But cars don’t work well off-road,” but a four-wheeler does and it doesn’t make your reproductive organs sore when you ride it for too long.
You also don’t have play that fan favorite game, “stab the pony with my spinning shoe knives hard enough to make a point, but not so hard I pop it” to get a four-wheeler to go faster, just give it the old “firm grip and twist” combo that every boy has mastered by the age of 13. I hope you’ve become aware of how much riding a horse is like being involved in a BDSM sex cult.
The best part, though, is that when a four-wheeler breaks down, you don’t have to take it to a medical professional so that he can send it back to hell with a high velocity chunk of lead. Most importantly, horses have an undeniable relationship to country music, and no upstanding citizen should tolerate that.
Horse lips make children cry, and they show too many teeth when they neigh-scream. Written by Katherine Blockader There's no doubt about the mystique of horses.
They seem to capture our imagination and are a symbol of strength and freedom. There are a lot of traditions and lore around horses, and some information we hold onto may no longer be true.
A horse may have qualities that make them more suitable for a certain sport but that doesn't mean it likes it more. You both like a warm bed, the same kinds of food (to an extent), humans and dogs can survive by hunting, and both humans and dogs live in 'packs'.
Horses are prey that hunters might like to eat, but they are herbivores and their social structure is quite different from dogs (and humans). Although many people believe their horses are companion animals, they are not the same as dogs.
Horses quickly sense which riders are clear communicators and make their cues irresistible. But they don't carry on a conversation the way you sometimes see in the movies, with the constant stream of screams, squeals, and nickers.
But it is really a complex structure of different materials including keratin, blood-rich tissue, and bone. Wonderful riders make riding look easy.
Watch racers or dressage riders and it seems the horse is going through the patterns on its own accord. It may look like sitting but riders use their legs, arms, weight, hands, balance, and brains to ride.
Q: Do my feelings about whether my horse is smart or not, or good or bad, and if that should affect how I train or work with him? If we look at this from a research perspective, we know very well that experimenters’ expectations of their subjects and their desires for certain outcomes can affect results.
This means the experimenter doing the work doesn’t know what treatment the subject has been given, so that he can’t measure or score findings either consciously or subconsciously to get the results he is hoping for. More to your point, there’s been some work to show that experimenters can be biased about their subjects and affect the outcome of their research.
Awhile back, psychology professor and researcher Dr. Rosenthal of the University of California, Riverside, showed that if experimenters were told they had either smart or dumb rats (and there was actually no difference in any of the rats’ intelligence! Rosenthal found students randomly classified as either “exceptional” or “lacking in ability” performed up or down to the level expected by the teachers who did not know the classification was artificial.
One was a warmer and more welcoming emotional climate the teachers provided using both verbal and non-verbal cues for the exceptional students. And the teachers’ input, or the volume and quality of material they taught, was greater for the students they were told were exceptional.
However, we can also turn this around and always start with a baseline expectation of: “This is a good, smart horse.” One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my colleague, animal behaviorist Dr. Sue McDonnell (PhD, Cert.
But we can psyche ourselves into an expectation bias that makes handling and training our horses even more productive and rewarding.