I think I’ve tried to explain to the humans before that horses learn by doing and understanding. If we aren’t doing what you want us to do, it’s because you are not making sense. It is not because we don’t want to do what you are asking; it’s because we don’t understand what you are trying to say. If we don’t understand you, you might not be asking us to do something safe which makes us uncomfortable. It is then very important to us that we are clear and take over the situation. It is the only way to make sure we are ok!
We understand things that we’ve experienced before. I, for instance, know which humans give the most carrots and that a plastic bag sound generally means DELICIOUS! We remember these things and when they turn up again, it will instantly remind us of what we experienced before. This can go for bad experiences, too.
We also learn from each other. I like to let someone else try something new first. Once they’ve tried it and I see that it is safe (or maybe even fun), then I will try it, too. Thank goodness some of my friends like to explore new things, which I can do without. We do like experiencing things that are comfortable, so if we are put in a situation that is somewhat uncomfortable, we will figure out how to make it more comfortable. We are very good at this. We are also very sensitive, so there is no need to be loud. We notice everything. And by everything I mean EVERYTHING. It’s in our nature. We notice little changes in our environment and little changes in the horses (or humans) that are around us. If you are having a bad day but are trying to be positive, we will notice. If you are feeling confident, we will notice. If you are wearing a different hat, we notice.
So humans, if you want to teach us something, help us experience it!