Equine Ethology (E/E)
Horse's World View
The Horses "World View"
This part of the Equine Mandala is an crucial to our understanding of horses. Through a study of Equine Ethology, we get a better understanding of how a HORSE sees the world. The other half of the person/horse relationship sees the world, and the way it works, COMPLETELY differently than we do.
Ethology is the study of any animal behavior. This science was developed from the desire to understand how animals behave in their own environment. Ethologists study the spontaneous behaviors and responses to stimuli- again, in their own natural environment. EQUINE Ethologists have studied horse behavior through years of careful observation and are able to compare their behavior in the wild with their behavior in captivity.
A further specialization- Neuro-Ethology- study how the the Central Nervous System (including the brain) gives rise to these behaviors. There are a few Equine Neuroethologists, including Marthe Kyle Worthington, in the world and their work has been invaluable for us in the horse world.
Through the science of equine ethology, we have begun to understand the importance of general physical health, social, emotional and cognitive needs. These needs where developed over thousands of years for the continuation of their species.
"Horses have shown that they make an effort to stick together and be nice to each other - they are “stickers” not “splitters”. They work at cementing bonds and deflating potential “splitting” of the group. (Kiley-Worthington 1998).
The way they view and interact with the world is vastly different than the way we do. We are both mammals, and we both have a central nervous system which includes the brain. Horses have all the sensory receptors like we do taste, hearing, sight, smell, proprioception etc. Understanding what is important to them and why will expand our capability to work and live in harmony with them and all animals.
What is important to the horse is vastly different from what we find important to us based on our individual needs.
When we apply good equine husbandry including understanding their world view and knowing when to address their concerns, we find a once unresponsive concerned horse is now responsive to learning, seeking, and over-all better general health.
See The blog "Above the Grass" https://www.lucindab.com/post/above-the-grass-a-horse-s-world-view
"Looking through their eyes will open ours."