Counting

I woke up one morning with a plan fully formed to teach my horses numbers and counting. I love when that sort of thing happens. I’ve been without concret goals for horse training for awhile now. It’s good to have a goal to work towards.

Can a horse learn to count?

Yes and no. A horse wont have the same concept of numbers that we do. They don’t, to the best of our knowledge, grasp abstract ideas.

But, there’s no reason a horse can’t understand that a number (picture) goes with a word (cue). We are taking that a step farther by adding a number of cones and teaching a number (picture) that goes with it. Harvey doesn’t seem to be having any trouble at all with that idea. This was his third time working with this idea and he is doing amazing.

He is getting a couple of days off now. Partially on purpose. This is a lot of mental work and stress I’m putting on him. Everyone needs a break from that sometimes. But also, horses learn best with some dwell time. Time to process what they’ve been doing, let it sink in a little.

We’ll see if he remembers next time we get to play.

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