Well, I couldn't resist making a comment where comments are not allowed!!! Lets all have a discussion on the blog Predator- Prey. I do believe that WILD horses see humans as predators, as a threat . It is as simple as THE PLACEMENT OF OUR EYES . All predators have eyes in the front of our heads, so as to focus on the prey, all prey animals have eyes on the sides of their faces, so as to see the predators with. Greater all round vision is pretty important if you eat grass and you want to survive. Being able to spot threatening behaviour before it is too close to get away . The ones that have survived over the millennium are the ones that got hard wired to this . And it is hard wired, you can still see this if you surprise your horse in the paddock, sometimes some will jump away. Sure, others will do nothing, that just means the predators will get a feed!! To think that horses will behave in one set way at any given time is to ask for a kick in the head. It's a bit of an over simplification to suggest that horses do or don't buck because lions do or don't jump on their backs if their hungry. For a start, lions and wolves hunt very differently . Lions are ambush attackers that are strong enough to drag their prey down . Wolves can't do this , they must run the prey until exhaustion sets in ,then as a pack wear the animal down by attacking from different directions at once. So we get the two different defence strategies of flight or fight. Sure horses evolved on the plains of Africa, but they spread all around the world, to places where the main predators were not lions but wolves. These horses must have soon learnt that running away was not very effective, but if they stood their ground they had a better chance to fight of the attacker with there hoofs. Not that hard to bust a wolf with a good kick. So horses that lived in Europe learned to fight , and the ones that stayed in Africa were successful in out running the lions. Responses that you will still see today in wild horses . Evolution is an on going thing , it is still happening today . This is evident in the fact that horses are willing to let us share their space and trust that we are not going to harm them . I.E. A mare has just had a foal , a mare that has been around people all its life, will let us handle it's foal, the mare is teaching its offspring that we are not a threat and starting a new hard wiring. It's up to us from then on to not give that foal cause to be frightened of us, and so shape the behaviour to our benefit, this has been going on now for as long as man has seen more benefits to taming the horse than eating the horse. That is evolution, it takes a very long time.

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Good thinking! Very nice pic!!
Interesting. I have just read the blog post and I'm not really sure what point they are trying to make to be honest. Shame they are not open to comments/discussion. I guess as with everything, we see what we want to see and there's lots of debate about the benefits or otherwise of using the predator/prey relationship when working with horses, humans, leadership, training etc etc. However, I think it's all well and good blowing 'scientific' theories out of the water and it's really useful to question and challenge current theory, but it also helps if your argument against it is robust and I didn't really get that from the blog.


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