I am amazed continually at their intelligence, and they overwhelm me with their benevolent spirits. Since I deal with older horses, I count it a special privilege to allow them to live out their final days in a beautiful place surrounded by love. Another thing that amazes me about equines is they’re incredibly smart. Have you seen those horses on television that can spell words, paint, and communicate with people on a deeper level than most? While it may seem like a once in a lifetime occurrence, these things happen all the time. It’s because these animals are so talented.
Working with the older generation, I get to see years’ worth of intelligence come out during their interactions. At times, I feel as if they are trying to communicate with me and tell me what they need. It’s much like my dogs. I think I have developed a deeper understanding of them and them of me.
I wanted to find out more about horses and their intelligence, so I did some research to find out their capabilities. I found that their brains are very similar to ours. The mind of an adult is around three pounds, and the brain of a horse is approximately 2.5 pounds, so there is not that much difference in mass. Scientists say that a horse is on the wavelength of a 12-year-old, which means they can understand quite a bit. Much like a child, they are both energetic and curious too.
Everyone says that dogs have a keen sense of sight and smell, but the horse’s abilities far exceed that of canines. Horses use their nose to nudge me to get my attention, just like my dogs. Every day I will feel the gentle nudges of an equine that wants to be embraced and is vying for my attention. They long to hear me tell them how good they are, how much I love them, and to spend time with them. However, those small gestures are just scratching the surface when it comes to their pure intellect and abilities.
One of my favorite horse stories is the famous Jim Key. He has often been dubbed ‘the smartest horse in the world.’ He was bought to be a racehorse, but they soon learned that they had something special on their hands. He could do arithmetic without issue, spell, tell time, and even sort the mail. Back in 1897, they discovered that using kindness could increase the learning potential of equines and enhance their brain activity.
Looking out across my field at all the horses, I wonder how many of them could read, do math problems, and sort the mail if someone worked with them? Nevertheless, I am so blessed to be able to spend my days surrounded by these massive creatures with so much love and life left in them. It’s a no brainer this is where I belong.