Horses can express their opinion?
According to research conducted by Norwegian scientists, horses can be taught to communicate with humans and express their opinions. Hitherto considered not very intelligent animals have proven that they are no match for monkeys or dolphins.
Following a high-profile recent study on the incredible abilities of pigeons, whichóNow, horses have joined the ranks of intelligent animals. Dr. Cecilie Mejdell of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute conducted the study on 23 horses. Training consisted in indicating symbols by horses. Animals have been taught to indicate whether they are hot or cold and whether they need to put on a blanket.
Three symbols were hung on the fence: a horizontal bar indicated that the horse felt the coldód, vertical bar móA blank board indicated that the animal was hot, and a blank board indicated that the horse felt fine and no action was needed.
Horses were taught for two weeks to approach the arrays and point to the correct symbol. The speed of animal learning was róThe animals had to be trained in a way that was difficult, but after intensive training, all 23 animals understood the task.
– Our work advances knowledge about equine cognition and whether these animals are able to learn. Horses are often thought of as not very intelligent, but this study showed that with the right methods, they can communicate and express their opinions. They can also make decisions, whichóre seems reasonable – Dr. Mejdell said.
The results of the experiment were published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.