Friday, 1 March 2013

Could laughing improve your horse's life?

More late night musings.

Tigger pulls quite a few 'funny' faces. I taught him to 'laugh' some time ago (actually Flehmen response).

Having had a few new visitors to the yard recently, and a lot of positive feedback on my silly video of when the training of this wasn't working (Tigger Laughing), I've really been struck by how appealing people find this, and that most of us find Tigger more 'likeable' because of he does this.

Somehow, this made me think of victorian fathers training their daughters to paint, speak french, sing and play the piano nicely - it supposedly improved their marriage prospects and thus, supposedly, their prospects of a good life.

There is good evidence that horses who are 'lovable' are treated better. I am in no way saying this is a good thing, but its interesting to think that teaching your horse a few silly but appealing tricks might actually better his life. Just as the victorian girl who sung and painted was 'more appealing'...

Of course, teaching him impeccable manners on the ground and under saddle will do even more for his future prospects, but that's another subject...

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