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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,041

    Default OMG my horse is just freakishly intelligent

    I went to visit Fella at his training barn today. They were inside because of the weather so he was a bit antsy. His halter is hung next to his stall door on the left, and on the right of his stall is one of his women, Kita in her stall.

    That horse looked at his halter and gave me the eye! Okay, I'm not anthropormorphizing, and it wasn't a glance, and it was more than once. He pointed at the halter with is nose, looked at me out of the eye on my side and held it (the gesture) for a couple of seconds. And he did it 3 times. It's like when the smart dog brings you his bowl -clearly he has connected the halter to going out in a way that he is able to communicate his wishes.

    I kind of felt like I'd stumbled on some horsie secret we weren't supposed to know. So if I come to any kind of accident in the near future you'll know my horse bumped me off to protect their horsie secrets

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
    Posts
    2,169

    Default

    I'd say it's not that he's freakishly intelligent for a horse--it's that you're a freakishly observant human to pick up on it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,041

    Default

    Haha I'll take that, but it was pretty darned unambiguous.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland
    Posts
    7,032

    Default

    Please get back to us when he starts talking to you and only you can hear him. I know someone in Hollywood who would be interested.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,832

    Default

    I think that's great. I have found my horse, who stands at the gate in the afternoons, and riles everyone up until they ALL are standing at the gate waiting to come in, I have found him standing at the gate with his halter in his mouth. Yes, standing at the gate looking at the bar with his halter in his mouth. As I come down the path towards him, he starts flinging it up and down as if to say Hurry up! I take it for what it is - he wants in!

    I have seen my horse walk down the aisle and step on the edge of those rubbermaid shallow feed bins (sitting upside down) to flip them over, then sticks his nose in one to see if there's anything in it. Nothing in there, he walks to the next one, flips it, checks it out, walks down the aisle this way flipping over the feed tubs. I never knew you could flip them over by stepping on their edge like that, so I learned a new trick myself.

    I think the opposite of what your horse does pointing to the halter with his nose is what mine does - he sees me coming with the bridle and he turns his head to the side and buries his nose behind the nearest blanket hanging on a blanket bar so his nose is hidden. I know he's hiding from the bridle. Goof.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,041

    Default

    Excellent, Kate! So you know exactly how I felt when I realized he was actually taking care to tell me something. How cool, how freaky!

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,917

    Default

    Cute! They do communicate, though we don't always understand them.

    My boy pulls on a different blanket if I pick wrong. He'll push the blanket in my hand away and bite on a different one and look at me.

    Now he has a bad habit... When he's jealous of me with the mare, he starts banging and throwing things.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2006
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    5,484

    Default

    Awww, that is so sweet! What a smart horse to order you around .

    A couple years ago I was in a nasty riding accident and needed a walker to ... uh.. walk. After a few visits, my dear old gelding started nickering as soon as he heard me walk into the barn (the walker made a rather distinctive rattling noise). Now, I swear he knows what my car's horn sounds like. I get out of the car, press the button to lock it, it beeps to say it's locked, and he sticks his head out of his stall and nickers. If he doesn't notice the beep, all I have to do is walk in the barn and say "hi, honey" and he rushes up to the front of his stall and nickers. Gosh I love my horse <3.
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,337

    Default

    My horse recognises my car. My mother and I had the same model and color car for years ~ Tan Corolla. Last fall I traded mine in for a dark blue Sonata.

    I pulled up to the barn, and my horse was out front in a dry lot. He normally comes to the fence and nickers to me, but I was being ignored because he saw a strange car pull up. I called to him, and he whipped around, and the expression of consternation was hysterical.

    "When did you get a new car?!?"



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    My horse recognises my car. My mother and I had the same model and color car for years ~ Tan Corolla. Last fall I traded mine in for a dark blue Sonata.

    I pulled up to the barn, and my horse was out front in a dry lot. He normally comes to the fence and nickers to me, but I was being ignored because he saw a strange car pull up. I called to him, and he whipped around, and the expression of consternation was hysterical.

    "When did you get a new car?!?"
    My old gelding recognized my car as well. All of the lesson kid parents thought it was adorable. He would ignore all other vehicles (in a very busy boarding/lesson barn) until mine showed up. Then he nickered and paced his run. Made my heart happy on a daily basis



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,041

    Default

    Fella recognizes my car too! We are pretty special!

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,832

    Default

    I love that they get so bonded to us. My truck is old and noisy, and my horse hears it coming and starts trotting around. If I spend time in the barn chatting before going out to his paddock, he starts banging on the gate (I hate that, don't want him to hit his leg like that). Yes, I think some of them are freakishly intelligent, those are the ones I like. Peole say when he's in his stall and I'm in the barn, he keeps an eye on me wherever I go in the barn. Guess we're buds.

    I discussed his bad behaviour pinning ears when he was fed, discussed in front of him with another barnworker and discussed going in with a dressage whip and bonking him in the chest to make him stay back when being fed until he 'asked' to come forward with 'good ears' not 'bad ears'. I hadn't worked with him on this behavious, usually I am not around during feeding time. This time I was, and the barn worker didn't want to use the crop, a young girl, so I said I would watch what he does, today, so I can work up a training plan. She went in to feed him, he stood away politely with good forward ears. The barn worker said he NEVER does that, he always is pushy, and any time in the past I have ever gone into his stall to feed him something (hay at noon, ginger snaps in his feed bowl (his favorite cookie)) he has had bad ears and been pushy, so his good behaviour wasn't because of me. Apparently he has been good ever since. I have to wonder if he didn't pick up on the conversation about it, some cue from me that he had to behave politely when being fed, because he is polite now, and I have no idea why, except for the emphatic description of how to deal withhim which took place with him observing and me demonstrating with the crop outside his stall that day.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he figured it out watching me discuss his upcoming lessin, without having to have the lesson its self. Especially if someone had taught him that lesson in the past with some other owner (only have had him two years).
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,659

    Default

    They pick up on so many non-verbal cues that we just don't think about. My pony definitely knows both of my vehicles (car & big truck), and will actually respond when I ask "want to ride?" I either get an encouraging whinny (good ride) or just...the look...(not so good ride).

    When we're in a lesson and waiting our turn to jump a course, I can see her watching the other horses go around, and I swear she's learning the course.

    And I could almost swear she's learned to recognize the dressage letters on the ring, because I'll say "we're going to canter at K"and I can feel her getting ready

    Of course, I know she can't read, she's just responding to me getting ready, but I still like to quiz her now and then.



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