You too can whisper in the ears of horses


“Beasts of Science” is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell life in all its freshness. But also in all its complexity. A parenthesis to admire the treasures of the world. For this new episode we get on the saddle to meet an animal that has long shared human life: the horse.

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A whisperer. You know what it is ? A whisperer is not a scientist. Not for him protocol precisely established experimental, no rigorous study. Personal observations only. His practice of the animal and its nature. The animal? The horse, in fact. Because yes, that’s right, a whisperer is a man who whispers tohorse ear. Like in Robert Redford’s film.

And not only in the film, but also in real life, a whisperer usually works with injured horses – during a accident or for abuse. His goal: to re-educate his horses on a large scale. reinforcement of sweetness!

However, it’s not because the whisperer isn’t a scientist that he doesn’t rely on results produced by ethologists, those researchers who study animal behavior. And for example, on the work focused on the perception that horses have of the sounds they receive. Because it would seem that horses, whether domestic or wild, like them Przewalski’s horses -, are able to distinguish between positively charged sounds and negatively charged sounds. When other horses come to them, close or not, or even humans, including unknown humans.

How is it possible ? There is certainly a part due to domestication. Because prolonged and close contact with humans may have helped horses successfully interpret their emotions. And because they are perhaps the most receptive horses, in fact, to have been selected over the centuries. But what allows horses to understand each other is much more likely a matter of evolution and common biology.

The way we talk to animals is important

So, as whisperers have long speculated, researchers have shown that horses are sensitive to the emotions we have load our voice. When we talk to them. But also when we talk close to them. And it’s the sounds that matter. Absolutely not the meaning we humans associate with them. To be sure, ethologists have been working on some kind of misunderstanding with no significant value.

Sometimes horses even seem victims of a certain emotional contagion. They adopt the attitudes that correspond to theemotion expressed by the human being. From there to say that the experience of horsesempathy, there is only one passage, which the researchers do not want to go through yet. Further work will need to be done to confirm this. And perhaps discover that horses have a rich emotional life and a level of consciousness that we didn’t suspect of them.

In any case, this confirms, through scientific experiments, an empirical knowledge transmitted for centuries from whisperer to whisperer. Addressing horses in a calm and peaceful way contributes to theirs daily well-being. And this also confirms once again that the horse is not that stupid. He enjoys at least a good doseintelligence emotional!

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