//Equine Intelligence – Studies and demonstrations
Equine Intelligence

Equine Intelligence – Studies and demonstrations

The animal kingdom amazes us every day by its unique characteristics of each species. In the great diversity of the Animal Kingdom we can get very intelligent animals to the point that they leave us amazed. Today we will analyze the intelligence of one of our favorite animals the horse. How does equine intelligence manifest? Stay with us and you’ll find out

One of the mammals that amaze us with their great intelligence are horses, but these are not the only ones. In this sense we can mention elephants, dogs, dolphins, among others. Without a doubt, these wonderful animals of God’s creation leave us speechless before his great intelligence.

The intelligence of horses, or as it is also often called equine intelligence, is to be admired. These wonderful animals have accompanied humans since ancient times providing their company and support as a means of transportation.

Throughout this article we will emphasize animal intelligence specifically in equine intelligence.

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Intelligence in animals

To carry out intelligence measurement in animals, scientists use certain parameters. These quantifications help to measure the intelligence of an animal.

These include things like:

  • Learning and problem solving
  • The ability to communicate and self-awareness.
  • The most notorious method that scientists use to measure intelligence is called the mirror self-recognition test (MSR).

Since the 1970s the mirror test has been used  to help determine animal intelligence.

The Mirror Self-Recognition Test (MSR).
The Mirror Self-Recognition Test (MSR).

Mirror recognition test on horses

To set the parameters of equine intelligence, researchers performed the mirror recognition test. We will proceed to explain the way in which the test is performed and the results obtained.

It should be noted that this method has been used by researchers in animals such as chimpanzees, killer whales and elephants. These animals have successfully passed the mirror test.

The process for applying the mirror recognition test is as follows:

It is carried out by placing an animal in front of a mirror. If the animal recognizes its reflection, it is considered to have passed the test.

This is the model animal intelligence test. The smartest animals on the planet have overcome it.

Curiously, the recognition test in the mirror was not passed by the horses. However this animal has its ways of showing its great intelligence. We must narrow that one of the horses managed to perform certain gestures in front of the mirror, but without reaching the necessary heights to be considered successful.

For this a group of scientists did the experiment with four horses, these researchers continue to delve into Equine Intelligence.

Equine Intelligence
Equine Intelligence

Equine intelligence and its interesting aspects:


Horses are excellent communicators and a great memory. This find was discovered in Japan. There it was discovered that horses will communicate problems to their humans.

In the study, they placed a carrot in a bucket in front of the horse. After this they placed the cube where only the research assistant could access.

To achieve the carrot objective, the horse used a mix of visual and tactile communication methods to tell the person that he would like them to get the carrot for them.

No doubt spending time with your horse is rewarding. For this reason Gustavo Mirabal Castro loves to share with you horses. Well, with these animals he has managed to establish a very special bond.

Horses have a prodigious memory:

In another study in Japan they found that equines have a prodigious memory which is an excellent attribute for enhancing intelligence. The study was called “memory and communication in horses”

The researchers presented horses with 42-inch touchscreen televisions. In the process they taught the horses a variety of shapes and their meanings.

They stimulated some shapes by showing the horses that they would receive a tasty treat when the shape was presented.

Then they tested the horses to see if they could recognize the shapes. In this way these animals managed to manifest their needs. They also managed to remember what shapes allowed them to have candies.

The researchers observed that the horses learned fast. They also easily differentiated between shapes and used touch screens to get their rewards.

Without a doubt, the positive reinforcement of this experiment in horses showed signs of great equine intelligence.

Another aspect of Equine Intelligence

Horses can plan ahead for your needs. This is about a study carried out in 2016.

The “Blanket / No Blanket” Study:

Researchers in Norway taught 23 horses a variety of symbols so they could communicate whether they wanted a blanket or didn’t want it.

These scientists discovered that horses could not only communicate their blanket needs, but also opted for blankets on colder days and chose not to have blankets on warmer days.

These are just a few of the ways that researchers have explored the depths of horse intelligence.

Much more research is currently being done as we begin to learn how smart horses are.

The "Blanket / No Blanket" Study
The “Blanket / No Blanket” Study

Emotional intelligence in horses

Another form of Equine Intelligence is precisely Emotional Intelligence. Well, these horse animals can observe emotional signs of our facial expressions.

On the other hand, they not only recognize our emotions, but they have a high level of empathy and deeply absorb those feelings.

Even because of its high level of emotional intelligence and empathy the horse is used to give horse-assisted therapy. It is often used with people with autism spectrum disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder

Due to the emotional intelligence of equines, horse owners feel great comfort next to these animals.

So intelligence in horses goes beyond cognitive, planning, communication, and memory skills. Perhaps God endowed them with wonderful emotional intelligence to help humans.


Equine intelligence accompanies human beings

As we already know, horses have been present in human life. One of the great benefits that this animal has given man is as a means of transportation. In this way the men managed to move across long distances.

The uses of horses have been as a means of transportation, in the military field, as dancing horses. In recent years it has been used as a co-therapist to help people with various conditions and / or illnesses.

Even as a painter horse, we can finally see any number of roles that horses play. This is only a part that demonstrates Equine Intelligence.

So, reader friend, if you have a horse, you have a treasure. Get to know him more and you will be surprised how intelligent and noble these beautiful animals are.





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