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Friday, October 28, 2016

Horses were taught how to communicate with people in sign language

The researchers, representing the Norwegian veterinary Institute, found that horses can tell the owners about their wishes using the special characters. In particular, the animals have learned to ask that they put on or, on the contrary, unveiled. In the future, “horse body language” we plan to expand, say scientists.

photo: pixabay.com

Specialists conducted a study involving 23 driving horses, each of which was already accustomed to the fact that during a cold snap it can cover with a blanket. In the experiment, the zoologists taught the horse to nod in the direction of the sheet of paper on which was drawn a black horizontal stripe when the animals felt that they cold. This gesture meant that the animal should be covered. In turn, the movement of the head in the direction of the sheet with the vertical strip meant that the veil should be removed and a clean slate — that at the moment the horse was happy with everything. In the early stages of training in addition to direct execution of the request horses received a treat whenever expressed their wishes one way or another nod.

Training was carried out for 10-15 minutes. On average 11 day, horses were generally familiar with the “rules” and two weeks after the beginning of the training, according to the scientists, began to point to one or another sign entirely consciously. In any case, if the temperature is apparently meant the need for blankets or the lack of need for it, the gestures of the horse was always appropriate to the situation.

It is curious that, according to scientists, the horses themselves soon after the beginning of training, began to treat them with considerable enthusiasm. Sometimes the horses themselves came to the people and attracted their attention different sounds to “out of turn” ask to shoot them with a blanket, and in these cases was that they really broke a sweat.

The results of their study, the researchers presented on the pages of scientific publication titled Applied Animal Behaviour Science.


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