How Smart are Horses?

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Good Memories

Horses have extraordinary memories, which can lead to some seemingly odd behaviour. When presented with an unfamiliar instrument or area, a mature horse suddenly takes flight and flees.

The new owner has no idea what is going on. A normally peaceful animal becomes a frightened mess. Many mistakes are made while attempting to analyse such behaviour, whereas the hidden answer is generally that the horse had a negative experience as a youngster and never forgot it.

Human and horse communication 

Horses are quite intelligent. Researchers discovered that horses could remember complex sequences and patterns as well as grasp verbal and nonverbal cues using advanced testing procedures. Horses have an incredible amount of intrinsic wisdom that many people do not recognise.

The authors recognise that additional research is required. It’s an interesting finding, though, because it indicates not only advanced cognition but also flexible cognition, with the horses changing their communicating behaviour to the humans’ knowledge state.

“This is the first study to suggest that horses have some cognitive basis for comprehending others’ knowledge status in social interactions with humans,” Ringhofer and Yamamoto write.

Problem-solving skills

What do horses do if they need assistance with a problem? Of all, ask a human. Researchers in Japan have demonstrated that when horses face insoluble challenges, they use visual and touch-related signals to attract human attention and request assistance.

Yamamoto wrote an article titled Domestic horses transmit messages to humans when faced with an impossible task.

This is the first study to show conclusively that horses understand the signals humans provide, interpret human knowledge, and communicate with them.


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