Catherine over at The Horseback Writer did this post and mentioned the difference between Intelligence and trainability.
When I read her post, the sentence jumped off the page at me. My fascination with horse behavior peaked. If you don't know me, I am a bit of a behaviorist by nature, at least I think it’s by nature. A fascination born to me I suppose and as life has turned it’s pages, continued to develop. Whether we are talking about horses, animals or humans, it doesn’t matter. Sit me on a bench in a mall or airport and I will be entertained for hours simply watching people and their behaviors; no ipod needed here; My favorite ofcourse being horses. If the horses suddenly start running around in the pasture or playing with one another; I stop what I am doing to quietly observe from a distance. I can easily lose hours , and have, this way. I can’t seem to help myself.
I would like to believe that being naturally observant has benefited me greatly in my life not only as a person, but as a horse owner and trainer. Maybe more importantly, it has proved to come in handy a time or two and kept me out of harms way with the humans more than once!
Catherine's post came around the same time that I was giving these two exact words some further thought myself, inspired by a fascinating book I have been re- reading; The Nature of Horses by Stephen Budiansky. The author is not a horseperson necessarily but takes the information out there by vets, trainers, anthropologists, biologist and various other sources . With this information he covers some questions that we have all asked, but with a critical evaluation of the many “myths” that surround the horse. The book is a must read for any horse crazed person wanting to gain insight into what makes these creatures "tick"
I 'll share with you a few of my favorite parts of the book that I have found to be most helpful in my own experiences with my horses, the focus of which will be behavior in respect to learning and training.
Stay tuned for the first: Defining Intelligence in Horses