Monday, August 25, 2008

Horse Brains

In the photo above there is a human brain on the right and a horse brain on the left.

Horses start out with one brain, which is a reactive brain and through training we try to develop a thinking brain. To make matters worse horses have a vast divide between their left said and their right side. I can’t count the times I’ve ridden a horse by something like a mail box and they are OK about it when it is on their right side, but pass that same mail box in the same location on their left side and they freak out.

When training horses we have to teach them something on one side and when they get it we have to give them the exact same lesson on the other side until they get it on that side as well. While doing this we have to condition them to stop using their reactive brain and use only their thinking brain.

Most people are used to training dogs, which is easy in comparison to training horses. Once you train a dog to sit it should be able to follow that command for the rest of its life. A horse on the other hand needs constant tune-ups. If you haven’t done a certain thing with a horse for a couple months, you will probably need to retrain them. I’ve seen horses that were once pretty well trained seeming forget all they knew in a few months.

So if you ever see an event with a well trained horse such a dressage, consider they years of repetition and training that went into that horse and realize that they will get rusty really quickly if someone backs off the training.


Blogger dalia said...

ah nevah did lahk haw-ses...

my uncle had a stable full of them. hated every single one of them, skittish, unpredictable, nervous creatures. compared with their size, they're nothing but four-legged meth addicts to me.

3:52 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dalia, rather than reply to the comment on the other article, no offense taken. I am writing as a white guy. I can't be anything else. Syd and I thought "What White People Write" was really funny. Besides, you're Canadian. I love Canadians, even Moosehead. I could never get offended by a Canadian.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

I think kids and men are the same as horses. Always in need of constant tune ups ;)

4:38 PM  
Anonymous dalia said...

yay! so happy you're not offended... i categorized ALL my regular blog-reads in a similar manner, based on race/orientation/status/whatever... i was just being cheeky!

(and you've got a thicker skin and bigger heart than i, sir... i find some canadians downright offensive! lol)

10:51 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Now, Ginger...

Dalia, the only time I'm offended is when they are overly polite.

6:05 AM  

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