Thursday, August 07, 2008

Reading a Book

About Miraculous Horses

Horse Miracles by Brad Steiger. It's my "eat alone in a restaurant" book. I went out to dinner for two nights now, after my swim, so I didn't work the horses in the evening. The restaurant was offering a percentage of dinner income (with proper flier) to the Watershed Partnership I belong to, so it was for a good cause. Wednesday was preplanned with a group, but tonight, I went by myself. Still, after I'd finished eating, I connected up with two friends and we ended up chatting the night away.

But, back to the book. Two chapters were about "educated horses" that did math and "wrote" in English with various simple aids. In all cases, scientists were unable to find and evidence that the horses were not really doing the thinking. (Too long a story to go on about, but there is a possiblity the horses were actually able to communicate original ideas.)

So, I have decided to experiment with my intelligent herd to see if I can teach somebody to "write" English. Spelling will be interesting, but I figure my horses are at least as smart as the kids I teach at school, so we can at least get some text messaging going here. I figure if I don't ride, I can do some bookwork instead.

Don't laugh. I am really serious about experimenting with this. Don't know the process yet, but as a teacher I should be able to find some kind of method to use.

I did get a kick out of one section of the book with comments by Penelope Smith, one of the animal communicators I have used. She said each horse has his own voice and horse's voices are far more forceful than dogs or cats. She said horses tend to see people as their servants. If dinner is late, the horse says, "What's wrong with them? They forgot to feed me." The dog says, "What did I do wrong to make them not feed me?" The cat says, "Heck, dinner's late, I think I go out and kill something. (or open the cat food bag myself.)"

Somehow, knowing my horses--Tucker in particular--the scenario fits. Toby is a little less food motivated and does seem a little grateful when I feed him. Chance is more happy-go-lucky about it, and not too worried about his food. Of the three, I think Tuck would be easiest to motivate to learn using food rewards, but Chance is the more curious and social. Toby is more introverted, yet dominant. Kind of an interesting mix of personalities to work with.

Should be fun. At least it gives me a new approach to horse training. *G*


  1. I'll be fascinated to follow your research Jean. I'd love to know what they really can do, I know it's more than we generally believe.


  2. clicker training?