How Smart Are Horses? The Answer Is Going To Surprise You!

We have always known how intelligent some dog and cat breeds are with the ability to figure out many things by themselves.

So, how about horses?

There are a lot of researches that have been carried out to find out how smart horses are. The truth is, horses excel in fast response time, fantastic memories, and incredible senses.

how smart are horses?
Horses are smart in their ways – Source: totalprosports.com

Being flighty doesn’t mean they aren’t bright

Equine intelligence researcher Evelyn Hanggi, Ph.D. announced that horses are more intelligent than many people believe.

Rumor has it that horses have a walnut-sized brain, or horses are color blind, or horses have no sense of the concept, etc.

Popular beliefs say that horses are merely conditioned-response animals, and cannot transfer information from one eye to another.

Ph.D. Evelyn said that: “In reality, horses have to manage both ordinary daily cognitive tasks and mental challenges.

In the wild, they must deal with food and water of inconsistent quality or random distribution, predators that change locations and habits, and a social system in which identities and roles of individuals must be discovered and remembered.”

horse Flightiness
Flightiness does not mean horses are not smart

It’s obvious that flightiness of horses is not the same as the lack of intelligence. Ph.D. Evelyn told that: “The horse rates extremely high on some scales. In several places, it rates higher than any other domestic animal.”

>>> Read this article to know: Are Horses smarter than Dogs?

Evidence to prove the intelligence of horses

Dr. Robert M. Miller, an equine veterinarian, who has explained how horses show their brilliance as excitable animals. Once again, we’ve summed up three pieces of evidence to help you understand the complex underpinnings behind horse intelligence.

No.1 in response times of domestic animals

If a horse wants to kick you and you are in the right position, you will get hurt. The reason is that we can’t react and avoid their kick that fast.

You should remember to notify a horse first before approaching its two “blind spots” (directly in front of or in back of them), so she will not be frightened, and you will be safe as well.

Excellent Memories

Miller stated that horses never forget both bad and good experiences. He conducted an experiment, in which horses were taught to use a touch-screen computer to distinguish different sizes and shapes.

The 42-inch touchscreens presented horses of various sizes or shapes. They received a carrot distributed under the screen when they picked correctly by touching the right choice with their noses.

After the experiment, Miller found that the horses were quick to learn how to use the screen even though they had difficulties with similar shapes like triangles, squares, and letters D and O.

Incredible Senses

Horses have evolved amazingly sensitive senses, from their vision to their nose and tactile sensation due to their living conditions.

Miller added that: “Horses own the champion of perception among domestics animals. They can sense even the slightest changes in position in a rider on its back and broaden their vision to 360-degree.

Horses’ eyes are set on the sides of its head that give them the ability to see on both sides but prevent them from perceiving the depth. That’s why horses always hesitate before crossing a stream.

So, “How smart are horses?”

Horses are flighty animals and develop their intelligence because of predators, owning the fastest response time, the great memories, and the incredible senses.

We’d be grateful if you gain more understanding from this article. Click share and comment below if you have any questions!

Reference:

  1. https://horseandrider.com/horse-health-care/latest-research-on-how-smart-horses-are
  2. https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/02/13/horse-intelligence.aspx
  3. https://equestrianco.com/blogs/latest/how-intelligent-are-horses
  4. https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/12/25/horses-smart-humans/

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