Difficult To Deceive: Horses Know Human Intention

Researchers have found that horses understand much more about human intention than once thought. Drs. Miléna Trösch, Emma Bertin, Ludovic Calandreau, Raymond Nowak and Léa Lansade created a study that used three scenarios to test how well horses understand human intention, reports The Horse.

The team used 21 privately owned horses and introduced them to an unfamiliar person who had carrot slices. The person was behind a plastic window. In one scenario, the human had no intention of giving the carrot slices to the horse, moving them out of reach every time the horse reached for them. In the second study, the person tried to give the horse the carrots, but had trouble getting past the plastic barrier. In the third scenario, the person wanted to give the horse the carrots, but kept dropping them.

The study team discovered that the horse reacted differently based on the humans’ intentions. This indicates that they understand human goals, even if humans failed to reach those goals. When the person tried to give the horse the carrots, the horses seemed to try to communicate with them and touched the plastic window separating them. When the human didn’t have any intention of giving the horse the carrots, the horses essentially gave up, and spent more time looking away from the human and not facing them.

Until this study, it had not been scientifically proven that horses are capable of understanding human intention.

Read more at The Horse.

The post Difficult To Deceive: Horses Know Human Intention appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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