One of the incredible things about horses is their ability to learn. Dressage is, of course, a great testament to a horse’s ability to understand, remember and perform with a trainer.
But what most people (especially non-horse people) often don’t realise is just how intelligent horses are. Not only can they learn by interacting with a trainer, but they can also learn by watching another horse interact with a trainer.
That means that horses can teach themselves how to do something just by watching another horse do it. Pretty incredible, right?
A lot of you reading this might already know about this, and it’s certainly common knowledge amongst some horse people that allowing a horse to observe training is a great way of easing them into the arena themselves.
But here is where it gets more interesting:
A horse will only learn through observation if they are observing a horse that they respect. If the horse that is in the arena (the demonstrator) is of a higher social status than the horse that is watching (the observer), then the behaviour will be learnt. But if the demonstrator is of lower social status, or it is from a different social group, the observer will not learn the behaviour it watches.
The social lives and minds of horses are much more complex than people often give them credit for.
- Horses can learn from watching other horses, but only under some situations.
WILL LEARN: The horse they are watching has a high social status than them.
WON’T LEARN: The horse they are watching has a lower social status.
The horse they are watching is from a different social group.
To see out horse arenas, download our brochure.
12 Clever Uses for Old Horse Bits
8 of the most secluded houses & structures in the world
1. Bishop Rock.
This light house is so far from shore that visitors often stayed the night and a caretaker would have lived there permanently.
The light house began construction in 1847 but was swept away by the ocean before it could be completed. It was reconstructed and completed in 1858.
2. Paro Taktsang.
A Buddhist temple built into a Himalayan mountain side, this incredible building, which would have been home to dozens of monks, was built in 1692.
The temple is 3 kilometres above sea level.
3. The Chess Pavilion.
A humble little structure built to honour the view above the clouds, this tiny little building is one of the most difficult to reach.
4. The Holy Trinity Monastery.
This Greek temple has 400 metres of steps carved out of the rock face. Reaching the building means climbing through boulders and mountains, but the location is worth it.
5. Hermitage of San Colombano.
This astounding building was built in 1319 and sits 120 metres high, built into the rock face of a valley. Imagine what the builders went through to get it up there.
6. Stockholm house.
Deep in the forests and mountains of Sweden, this is a beautiful, simple house. If you could stand the cold weather, this would be the ideal place to sit back and take it easy.
7. Drina River House.
Built by leisurely swimmer looking for a place to rest, this amazingly isolated building started from a shack and became increasingly large and detailed.
8. Cliff House.
A steel and glass structure built in the most unlikely place: the side of a cliff. The modern materials makes this sturdy and reliable.
The views from this location are like no other.