Another riding simulator

28 01 2007


The fourth-generation EU-6441 from Matsushita/National features adjustable stirrups, realistic motion, and a selection of preprogrammed training courses. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, though, baby. Link

Equine prodigies: Clever Hans, Lady Wonder, and Beautiful Jim Key

28 01 2007

We have seen, sometimes right here on this very blog, how horses can be trained to do marvellous things: leap through fire, lead the blind, and in many cases develop a bond with people so powerful that it seems the animal is actually reading and anticipating human thoughts. There have also been claims of horses which were said to actually be psychic, able to not only read human minds but also communicate those thoughts. Looking at those cases can tell us a lot about psychology (both equine and human) and the ways in which these two very different species attempt to understand one another better.

The earliest and probably best-known of these was Clever Hans, a Russian-bred Arab stallion purchased by Wilhelm von Osten, a math teacher and amateur horse trainer in Germany. According to Wikipedia (link above), “Hans was taught to add, subtract, multiply, divide, work with fractions, tell time, keep track of the calendar, differentiate musical tones, and read, spell, and understand German. Von Osten would ask Hans, ‘if the eighth day of the month comes on a Tuesday, what is the date of the following Friday?’ Hans would answer by tapping his foot. Questions could be asked both orally, and in written form. Von Osten exhibited Hans throughout Germany, and never charged admission.”

Clever Hans and Wilhelm von Osten

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