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War Horse..btw how clever is a horse?

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posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 02:57 PM
Today I watched the movie War Horse and made me think...In that movie you see how a man connects with a horse and the horse with him. You can also see how that horse will make decisions that affects others....even an other horse.

Some of us know Mr Ed and I can remember that he was the smartest horse I had ever seen. But when I got older I fortunately did understand that Mr Ed is not that brilliant. Neither are the pinguins, fish, bears, dogs and birds who played a leading role in movies.

What about dolphins? People say that these animals are the smartest creatures other than man on our planet. Because scientist say they are, I believe they are. But in what way I have no idea...same with horses.

But what about horses, really? I never owned a horse and the only one time I did ride a horse it turned out to be a pony. So I have no idea what it is with that animal that horse lovers do seem to have with them.

When horses play a role in movies like westerns they are most of the time characterized as smart animals that have a bond with their owner and have a mind of their own.

I would like to know in what way horse owners appreciate this animal...are they smarter than the average dog and how would a person know that you can trust a horse?

Or am I completely wrong and are horses not that very special.

PS I dedicate my 100th thread to all war horses.

edit on 19/1/2012 by zatara because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:05 PM
reply to post by zatara

I have not seen War Horse yet, but I plan to.
I have always had horses. They are smart but only to a certain extant. They are mostly instinctive and emotional. They dont really work things out. They react instinctively.
I have seen some horses that have been trained to do some pretty neat things though.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:08 PM
Having never owned horses, I decided to do a quick google search. Seems to help to look at horse "learning"

Habituation. This is where, after repeated exposure to a stimulus, the horse becomes used to it, and its reaction diminishes or disappears. While this may involve human interaction, it equally applies to anything in its paddock, such as wind, snow, or hail. Dr Hanggi, in her review, points out that this may be a simple form of learning, but it is important in allowing a horse to filter out non-vital information, enabling it to focus on more important things.

Desensitisation. Hypersensitive animals can be desensitised by getting them used to the stimuli in increments. A trainer, for example, will introduce a bridle gradually to a horse, backing off if the horse shows an unfavourable response. Done properly, a horse will learn to willingly to accept gentle bridling. It is through both these forms of learning that a horse can be made familiar with major stress factors, such as gunfire.

Pavlovian conditioning. This is where a horse becomes conditioned to give a particular response. Dr Hanggi gave the example of a trainer who pairs the word "trot" with the flick of a whip to get a horse to move to a trot. Done consistently, the horse will eventually respond to the verbal cue without the need for the whip. The use of food for reinforcement or even use of the word "good" can be part of this conditioning process.

Operant conditioning. Horses are effective at this form of learning, and it is a standard part of training techniques. When a horse begins to learn the meaning of a new stimulus, its response is initially random. Through trial and error, it will offer the desired response. A trainer using positive reinforcement at the right moment will encourage the horse to repeat the behaviour. Its repetition will be a little hit and miss at first, but with continued use of positive reinforcement, the horse will learn the appropriate response to the stimulus. Operant conditioning can also work by encouraging a horse to do something in the knowledge it will avoid something it dislikes.

I've always been under the impression that horses are "smarter" than other similar animals, but I think the traits arise from being a "prey" type herd animal.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:08 PM
it's a movie. if a horse could do all that, they wouldn't have used 14 different horse's to do all the scenes.

but you can connect to a horse and be in complete control of it. any jockey will tell you that.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:15 PM
reply to post by Neysa

You say they are in EQ instead of IQ? Do you notice the ability of having empathy in a horse? Is there an example you can give in which you notice this emotional response?

Btw...when the lady in the YT vid did to show us that Lucas can recognise shapes I thought she made a mistake and meant if Lucas could understand the english language

edit on 19/1/2012 by zatara because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:19 PM
Horses being animals just as we are ....there exist smart ones and not so smart ones.

The one thing that I see with animals in general is that they aren't motivated by Money as we are...animals simply are interested in surviving until their next meal which meaning that they'll survive another day.

The same applies to my dogs....they've no interest in money.

But they will work for a reward as in food for doing a task.

So if you place their main motivator which is Food in between them and solving a problem....they will work until they figure it out.

Horses and all animals for that matter can be trained as dogs can...using their main motivator which is food.

And lots of kindness goes a long way as well.


posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by zatara

Exactly! I agree with MeesterB completely. Many of the behaviors I see are related to the fight or flight response associated with a prey animal.
I don't know if empathy is part of it. I see them reacting to fear, physical affection, anger, hunger and boredom. My horses display alot of curiosity and playfulness.
My old gelding, Satar, who passed away last summer used to pick up sticks and chase his pasture mate with them. He also liked to pick up a plastic trashcan lid and chase the other, trying to hit him with it. Not in a mean way. They were playing.
I don't think they are any more or less intelligent than my dogs or cats. It's just easier for me to relate to them because I am also an emotional creature.

Btw...when the lady in the YT vid did to show us that Lucas can recognise shapes I thought she made a mistake and meant if Lucas could understand the english language

Horses can understand simple voice commands, but I believe it is related to repetition.
Satar responded to the words walk, trot, canter, ho, back and cookie. lol
edit on 19-1-2012 by Neysa because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by Neysa

Did your horse die of old age? And were you there when he passed away and if so did you notice anything out of the ordinairy?

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:43 PM
reply to post by zatara

He was dying of old age but I had my vet help to ease his passing. I could not stand to watch him suffer.
I did not notice anything "strange". I was too busy being distraught. He had been with me for more than 25 years.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:00 PM
Here is a smart horse in history...widely used in psychology teachings about perception and manipulation!

In the late 1800s, a German high school mathematics instructor named Wilhelm Von Osten was pushing a few scientific envelopes from his home in Berlin. Among other things, he was a student of phrenology, the now discredited theory that one’s intelligence, character, and personality traits can be derived based of the shape of one’s head. But it was his keen interest in animal intelligence that would ultimately win him fame.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:27 PM
yea.. they're smart.. however,

anything that has to do with war in the theaters is nothing more than propaganda in my opinion..but you can do your own search ..

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by Komodo

You are one of the few who say that horses are what way, why do you think they are?

And yes, I am aware that horses in theatre are not always the "real" thing...or is do mean war in motion pictures in general? If so, I understand that there is nothing compared to being there yourself when bullets fly around your ears.

edit on 20/1/2012 by zatara because: (no reason given)

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