The Mind of the Horse: An Introduction to Equine Cognition

The Mind of the Horse: An Introduction to Equine Cognition

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The horses were domesticated around 6000 years ago, on the vast Eurasian steppe, stretching from Mongolia to the Carpathians. However, it was only in the last two decades that scientists began to explore the specific mental abilities of these animals. In response to the growing interest in comparative ethology and psychology, Michel-Antoine Leblanc presents an encyclopedic synthesis of scientific knowledge about the behavior and cognitive processes of horses. The Mind of the Horse provides experts and enthusiasts with the knowledge of how horses perceive, think and adapt to the external (physical) and internal (social) worlds.

Much of what we know - more precisely what we think we know - about "horse intelligence" comes from fragmentary reports and anecdotes. By putting this compressed knowledge to the test, Leblanc introduces readers to rigorous experimental research on how horses understand the world under different conditions. Describes the anatomical and neurophysiological features of the horse's brain and presents them in an evolutionary perspective, comparing them with the traits of other species. As an active rider, Leblanc, he also takes into account the opinions of renowned horse-riding riders, as well as the controversy surrounding the reports of unusual horse's mental abilities that circulate in the equestrian and scientific environment.

Although scientists today know a lot more about how horses think, than at any earlier point in our species' familiarity with these animals, much remains undiscovered. The Mind of the Horse presents the current state of knowledge on horse mind research and is likely to be an inspiration for new, surprising discoveries.

Language: English
Number of pages: 464
Publication year: 2013