To a horse owner, it may comes as no surprise that the majestic and impressive creatures you love are not only lithe and athletic, but are highly intelligent. Studies have shown that horses may in fact be as intelligent as a twelve-year-old human!
Horses can learn to understand commands, remember patterns and routines, and recognise people. Though horses possess a different grasp of the world around them, they do have active minds that respond to sensory input and instincts honed over years of wild living.
A wise horse owner knows that being in touch with what your horse needs is an important step towards building a relationship and a successful riding partner. What is your horse thinking? The answer may lie in typical horse behaviour.
“I love you when you brush me.”
Amongst a wild herd of horses, grooming behaviour is a significant part of the herd bonding process. You might see horses nuzzling or scratching one another on the back while standing in the fields. Spending time with your horse builds your relationship and connection, but grooming and brushing your horse integrates trust on an instinctual level, much like if you were a member of the herd yourself. As affection grows, you’ll probably find your horse trying to groom you on occasion.
“Treat. Treat. Treat.”
Admittedly, many animals seem to have one-track minds. Evidence and experience repeatedly show that providing your horses with treats helps them with bonding, learning commands, and much more. Because of how effective this is, however, your horse may come to expect and anticipate treats on a regular basis. Rewarding them often will help to meet their desires as well as encourage the comfort and familiarity of repetitive tasks.
“That is a delicious/alarming/exciting/worrisome/threatening/joyous smell.”
The horse’s sense of smell might be one of its strongest assets. While horses also have keen hearing and seem highly-attuned to their environment, smell guides much of their reactions. Their nose allows them to sense the presence of humans and recognise you, their owner. Scent signals to them if other horses or other animals are nearby, and they can pick out individual horses by their distinctive fragrances. And most importantly, their sense of smell lets them know if there is a predator to worry about.
“I must survive.”
In our modern society, domestic horses generally have little need to fear predators, but evolution has instilled in them a survival instinct. Equipped to run fast, horses have one obvious choice when it comes to “fight or flight”: they flee at high speeds. If your horse gets spooked, he or she may pick up speed with little apparent direction. At that moment, their only thought is to run. Fortunately, with bonding and developing a well-disciplined horse, you can more quickly allay their fears and bring them back to a safe canter.
“Where are you taking me in this magic transport box?”
The comfort and safety of the horse float you use to transport your horse will definitely have an impact on their wellbeing. Be sure you’re selecting a horse float that will hold your beloved animals securely and comfortably. Don’t your horses deserve the best?
In such a case, you may need to look for financing options. Whether you’re buying a new or used horse float, Australian Credit Acceptance (ACA) offers a wide range of loan options to suit your requirements. We work with a variety of lenders to find you the very best arrangement. With quick approvals and simple processes, we think there’s no better choice than ACA.
And we’re pretty sure your horse thinks so too.