You never know what may exist inside your horse’s mind. Some of our horse pals have developed far beyond what we might think of as a horse’s capabilities. There are many stand-out equine examples of remarkable achievements over the years. Here are a few:
Have you ever owned a wild-and-crazy horse? In 300 B.C. a horse named Bucephalus was said to be completely untame-able, until he met Alexander the Great, Macedonia’s leader in days of old. Alexander was such a horseman that he was able to perceive the cause of Bucephalus's wild ways -- the horse was afraid of his own shadow, becoming frightened whenever he saw it. Alexander began speaking softly to Bucephalus, and simply turned the horse's head so the offending shadow was out of sight. Bucephalus remained calm, and Alexander subsequently rode him in many historical battles. The two shared an unbreakable bond until Bucephalus’s death in 326 B.C. Alexander went on to became known as the first “horse whisperer” in history, and named a city after his four-footed friend.
Maybe you have a brainiac horse like Clever Hans. In the 1900s, Clever Hans, a German horse, was known for his incredible intelligence and ability to perform tasks no horse could do, including reading, solving math problems, telling the time and picking out musical notes. The horse’s owner, Wilhelm von Osten, would demonstrate Clever Hans’s abilities by asking questions -- either verbally or in writing -- and Hans would respond correctly. Hans was even investigated by psychologist, Oskar Pfungst, who discovered that the horse was perceptively reading and interpreting body language and applying his information to many intellectual questions. Amazing!
Sometimes there’s a horse that's really in tune with his telepathic abilities, something horses have been shown to have in greater or lesser degrees, as an aid to survival. Lady Wonder was a striking example of this ability. She was able to answer questions by using her nose to flip lettered blocks to spell out her responses. She was considered clairvoyant in her ability to reveal information about the past, present and future. From the 1920s to her death in 1957, Lady Wonder received 150,000 visitors at her home in Richmond, Virginia -- people seeking her insight. She even made headline news whenever she helped police solve crimes or find missing persons.
Ever been glad you never gave up on a horse? That’s the story of Red Rum, whose trainer discovered the horse had a debilitating bone disease affecting his hooves, causing lameness. When the trainer found that Red Rum’s hooves healed whenever Red ran on the beach, the trainer concentrated on working the horse exclusively in that salty environment. The result? Red Rum became one of the fasted racehorses in history.
Your horse may be artistic and you might not notice! Cholla, a horse in the U.S., became known as “The Painting Horse” when, one day in 2004, he picked up a brush near some paint and began painting on paper his owner had situated on an easel. Cholla chooses the colors he wants to use and applies them holding the brush in his mouth. People have theorized that Cholla paints to express his emotions, to play and to communicate with people. Cholla even won an award in an Italian art competition in which he was the only non-human!
How much compassion have you witnessed in a horse? Magic is a U.S. miniature therapy horse that is said to perform healing miracles in the people she visits in hospitals, hospices and other places. In 2010, Magic became known worldwide when she inspired an elderly patient to speak for the first time in years. Magic is also credited with inspiring another patient to awaken from a coma. Just incredible!
Have you ever discovered one horse living inside another? Notinrwildestdremz is just such a miracle. The horse was close to starvation at a breeding farm where she suffered abuse and neglect when, in 2009, she was rescued by Sean and Angelika Kerr. These folks noticed that Notinrwildestdremz loved to run, so they hired well-known trainer, Billy Turner, to get the horse in racing shape. Just three years later, in 2012, Notinrwildestdremz happily began her life as a racer by finishing her first race at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack. What a transformation!