The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy header image 2

Little Horse on the Prairie

April 12th, 2010 · Book I: Prey (20,000 BC) historical background, Horses in History, Horses in Prehistory, The Horse, Writing

The horse is prey and never forgets it: his motto is to ‘run away to live another day.’

Wild stallion Lazarus and part of his band in West Warm Springs HMA, OR | Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs / Wikimedia / Public DomainHorses are built for speed over distance, and with a good headstart he is safe from his natural predators.

The only hole in the equine’s survival program is the time it takes to reach top speed. To solve this problem horses come “fully-loaded” with highly advanced bio-technology to detect predators.

 

The Super-Human Horse

An equine’s sense of hearing and smell rivals that of a dog, with additions of swiveling ears and a canyon of a nose that sifts the wind with every breath. Their eyesight is much different than our own, featuring extreme motion-detection ability and a field of vision of almost 360 degrees, with only a few blank spots right behind and in front (which is why you never walk up behind a horse, and why jumping is such a challenge).

Equine abilities extend beyond the human experience. A horse’s legs serve as a sounding board to feel ground vibration, and can even recognize a person by their walk. Horses also have an amazing “photographic” memory and are able to see well at night.

Horses don’t see the world as humans see it

As you ride, the horse has mapped out the robin in the hedge 100 yards away, noted a freshly-painted mailbox and the spot where a dog barked seven years ago … even as feels the rumble of a distant train and responds to your cues.

We don’t share the outlook of horses, the same mind or same senses–we hardly share the same world. Yet somehow, implausibly, a close partnership was made … and is still kept.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management / Wikimedia / Public Domain

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Copyright © 2010  John Allen Royce, Jr.

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