Yes, The Old Man is going to do it again.
There are things that transpire between us and our horses that we try to understand, and often we do figure it out ourselves, but it's always nice (and allows us to curl our lip derisively and ask "what took you so long?") when the scientists support our claims.
Two points first: One, I consider the horse a highly evolved sensory being with capacities far beyond our own (at least far beyond our CONCIOUS levels) to pick up information from the environment and the creatures in it; Two, I have a personal view that our psyche and our soma, our mind and it's mentation and our bodies are not two separate things but rather part of a whole that allows for a spectrum from the psyche to the soma.
Our mind and body are truly one.
That said, notice what the scientists are now saying about the human heart rate and the horse's heart rate (and the emotions that might raise or lower that rate).
I hold they can even read our emotions on our breath, so other's heart rate reading by the horse really comes as no suprise to me. I spent years teaching this to my students and team members. "Always bring calmness, until you want something else."http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=14464
Horses React to Human Heart Rates, Study Finds
by: Nancy Zacks
July 01 2009, Article # 14464
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An increase in a human's heart rate affects the heart rate of the horse they are leading or riding, researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences recently reported.
Linda Keeling, PhD, and colleagues tested horses and riders to see if humans inadvertently communicate fear and anxiety to horses. Using heart rate as a fear indicator, the researchers asked 20 people with varying levels of horse experience to walk and ride 10 horses from Point A to Point B four times. The researchers told participants an umbrella would open as they rode or led the horse on the fourth pass. The umbrella never opened, but heart rates in both horses and humans increased during the fourth trip between the points, when the human expected the umbrella to open.
"The increase in the horses' heart rates probably means that they are more alert and prepared to react to any potential danger," Keeling said. "In the wild, horses are adapted to respond to other animals in their group. A startle reaction is more likely when the horse is very alert."
If you are a nervous person leading or riding a horse, your nervousness might increase the likelihood of the "spook" that you are anxious to avoid.
The study, "Investigating horse-human interactions: the effect of a nervous human," was published in the July 2009 issue of The Veterinary Journal. The abstract is available on PubMed. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19375959?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
How long have humans already known this? I could not calculate the eons, but as predators of the horse we most surely accounted for just this kind of sensitivity in them, as well as other animals we hunted. And when we began to partner with them? Didn't we still also know this about them? That they are highly reactive to us?
If not, then why did we embarked on centuries long breeding of them to either suppress or enhance certain traits that relate to "sensitivity?"
Nice the scientists are catching up with us. Likely they'll still lag behind though.
So tell me, why do YOU think that Freckles knows he can get away with stealing Glen's coffee?
And how is it that Altea understood my spoken "Excuse me," when I wished to get by her and moved over, though I was standing still and had not raised a hand or done a thing to indicate I wished to pass, other than thought it and said my words that best expressed my inner state of wishing to pass by?
Today I told Altea she must hold still for her fly spray. Nothing special in that, of course. She knows. And the horse flies, the big black hairy brute types, are swarming.
But because Bonnie, being a silly little girl as yet, runs from being sprayed I told her she must tell Bonnie to hold still.
So what happened ... Bonnie still ran away -- BUT -- Altea followed her, and began rubbing her spray soaked neck and chin all over Bonnie. Was it to transfer some protection against the flies?
Well, Altea's never done this kind of contact with Bonnie before. Did she pick up on my desire to protect Bonnie, or did her mother instinct motivate her?
I'm still doing breath reading with both of them. I haven't cleared my own mind sufficiently yet, quieted the Monkey chatter, to read their breath but I'm reasonably sure they read mine quite easily.
Though I confess I've been unable to retest my "predator visualization," and breath it to Bonnie as I did before and produced a disgusted nose wrinkling and pulling away to clear her own nose of the scent of my breath.
I didn't like my feeling at the time, nor her reaction. Her facial expression was very like mine would be at smelling something especially rancid and stinking.
And she likes Kate more then she does me. I can tell by how much more she trusts Kate. Kate's already putting on and taking off the head collar Bonnie won't let me near her with in my hands.
She sticks her nose in it and follows Kate all about the paddock with her nose still in it.
Same head collar, same treats, same cuing (and my "technique" is better), just a different person. I'm the one that breathed "Death, and a barbecue" into her nose one day. YeeKs!
Oh what I suffer for my science.
Donald (who has been apologizing with his breath to Bonnie ever since).