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Has anyone else ever noticed that other horses, watching and learning from you working with another horse? Last night,I was working my two year old with my yearling in his stall. After I was done with my filly I got him and did the same basic thing with him and he picked up everything I wanted him to do pretty easily, the only way I can firgure it was he was watching and learnig.
I have not had one watching me work with the other and show that they learned from it, but I did have a new 3 year old mare who freaked out and ran every time the train went by our property. She was in the quarantine pasture where she could see the others, but was alone. She actually ran herself into the fence so I figured I had to do something quick. I put my then 26 year old mare in with her to "babysit" and when the next train came by my old mare was munching away on the grass and the baby lifts her head and starts running and looks back to see the old mare still munching on grass...she slows to a trot, circles around and munches grass next to the old mare. She has not run when a train comes by since...
Yup! I was at a barn where a young filly was kept in a stall inside an indoor arena. She'd watch other horses ride and being lunged. When they lunged her for the first time, she knew all the voice commands already, from watching and learning.
Makes sense. My friend had a horse that memorized dressage tests by watching the horses go before him. She had to keep him away from the ring until it was her turn so that he didn't watch the test and anticipate moves and be lazy with them.
But, I think they can learn from watching others. I helped train my little sister's dog by doing what she told it to do, and then she'd pretend to give me a treat. It worked really well, lol. I think it's the same with horses.