LarryS
LarryS
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January 14th, 2014 at 11:56:45 AM permalink
Tree
Good Post

I think the issue is that some people who like to watch horse racing, or bet on it, want to think it is a yes/yes deal for the owner and animal. That the horse wants to win or finish first just as much as the owner/trainer/jockey/bettor. Some people cannot come to terms with the fact that the horse is being used just as a race care is used. The horse is responding to a whip r the threat of a whip.The horses get no satisfaction when they win, and conversely dont get depressed when they lose.
The horse race is simply men/women on top of horses whipping them and steering them through the path of least resistance to a finish line that the jockey is aware of...but not the horse.

So people humanize hiorses with human thought processes and human feelings because they cant view them as being couped up in stables 23 hours a day, and whipped during the race.

The reality is, these horses are built from the ground up like a race car. They are genertically engineered by breeding 2 other race horses together. They are fed vitamins and proper food to build up the muscle mass and trained to increase lung capacity and endurance. And if the horse has the genetics that transforms into strong long legs giving long powerful strides, and has muscle mass and endurance trained into it....the horse will win its share of races. Just as the person who builds the best car....will get his share of wins.
Tomspur
Tomspur
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January 14th, 2014 at 5:18:54 PM permalink
I absolutely get your reasoning and it makes perfect sense. Just as you have asked for proof that horses have the ability to reason (which I think is impossible to give), I will now ask for proof that horses don't have the ability for at least some form of brain function which could lead to something akin to following a pattern ike hearding or running because it knows it will be rewarded after.

As far as your theory goes that horses are trained and "manufactured" (for lack of a better word) to run faster and that the strong horses will most always win, there is a tale of a little slip of a mare from Zimbabwe, perhaps you have heard of the name......"Ipi Tombi"?
She was purchased in Zimbabwe for $30USD. She ran 14 times, won 12 and came 2nd twice. She was tiny, no more than 14.5hh. She had no breeding, and when she was bought it was assumed she would probably never even see a race course. After being beaten twice early on in her career, against top flight opposition in South Africa, Dubai and America, she never lost another race (against mares and colts).

What was it about this little girl that made her so good? Was it simply that she was a freak of nature? Was her heart able to propel her little body faster than most because it pumped more blood to her legs and other vital organs?

Perhaps it was something a little more whimsical????

I don't have the answer but I sure like the debate :)
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill
treetopbuddy
treetopbuddy
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January 14th, 2014 at 8:15:01 PM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

I absolutely get your reasoning and it makes perfect sense. Just as you have asked for proof that horses have the ability to reason (which I think is impossible to give), I will now ask for proof that horses don't have the ability for at least some form of brain function which could lead to something akin to following a pattern ike hearding or running because it knows it will be rewarded after.

As far as your theory goes that horses are trained and "manufactured" (for lack of a better word) to run faster and that the strong horses will most always win, there is a tale of a little slip of a mare from Zimbabwe, perhaps you have heard of the name......"Ipi Tombi"?
She was purchased in Zimbabwe for $30USD. She ran 14 times, won 12 and came 2nd twice. She was tiny, no more than 14.5hh. She had no breeding, and when she was bought it was assumed she would probably never even see a race course. After being beaten twice early on in her career, against top flight opposition in South Africa, Dubai and America, she never lost another race (against mares and colts).

What was it about this little girl that made her so good? Was it simply that she was a freak of nature? Was her heart able to propel her little body faster than most because it pumped more blood to her legs and other vital organs?

Perhaps it was something a little more whimsical????

I don't have the answer but I sure like the debate :)



Hey mate....yeah, I mentioned Ipi Tombi in a post to you in another thread. She was a great Champion with humble bloodlines. Watched her run a few times. Amazing.

The great Northern Dancer (which she has in her pedigree) was barely 15 hands.

Not real familiar with her pedigree but Manshood her sire was unraced and stood at Gary Playe'sr stallion operation . Manhood was a son of the great Mr. Prospector out of a tremendous race mare Indian Skimmer. So there is some top line breeding.

On the bottom, mitochondrial DNA carries through the tail line and will jump up from time to time to produce a freak. Nevertheless class horses carry what can be described a "nervous energy" which makes them a force on the track. Ipi Tombi had her share of nervous energy and had a body that allowed her to express this nervous energy on the track.

Horses, like virtually all animals on the planet are not smart but that is not to denigrate them. They are wonderful animals. "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of man"
Each day is better than the next
Tomspur
Tomspur
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January 14th, 2014 at 8:33:05 PM permalink
Quote: treetopbuddy

Hey mate....yeah, I mentioned Ipi Tombi in a post to you in another thread. She was a great Champion with humble bloodlines. Watched her run a few times. Amazing.

The great Northern Dancer (which she has in her pedigree) was barely 15 hands.

Not real familiar with her pedigree but Manshood her sire was unraced and stood at Gary Playe'sr stallion operation . Manhood was a son of the great Mr. Prospector out of a tremendous race mare Indian Skimmer. So there is some top line breeding.

On the bottom, mitochondrial DNA carries through the tail line and will jump up from time to time to produce a freak. Nevertheless class horses carry what can be described a "nervous energy" which makes them a force on the track. Ipi Tombi had her share of nervous energy and had a body that allowed her to express this nervous energy on the track.

Horses, like virtually all animals on the planet are not smart but that is not to denigrate them. They are wonderful animals. "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of man"



I absolutely agree that they are not smart but that doesn't mean there are no processes happening up there with synapsis firing that they don't have even just the slightest ability to understand rudimentary concepts such as running for reward or recognizing a person who has fed them in the past.

I know they can't sit down and fill in a crossword puzzle, I just am not convinced that they have no idea what is going on around them. I don't think we can argue one way or another to be honest. Until we are able to minaturize ourselves (ala Innerspace) I don't think we will be able to say if horses are smart or if they think or if they are completely brain dead :)

Glad I found another that I can share my passion for the ponies with :)
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill
LarryS
LarryS
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January 14th, 2014 at 9:55:16 PM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

I absolutely agree that they are not smart but that doesn't mean there are no processes happening up there with synapsis firing that they don't have even just the slightest ability to understand rudimentary concepts such as running for reward or recognizing a person who has fed them in the past.

I know they can't sit down and fill in a crossword puzzle, I just am not convinced that they have no idea what is going on around them. I don't think we can argue one way or another to be honest. Until we are able to minaturize ourselves (ala Innerspace) I don't think we will be able to say if horses are smart or if they think or if they are completely brain dead :)

Glad I found another that I can share my passion for the ponies with :)



what "reward" does the winner get that the last place horse doesnt get. What are these "winning " horeses shooting for. What special treatment are they looking foward to for winning?
After a race the jockey stays on top of the winning horse longer....is that a treat for the horse? Also pictures are taken of the winner...do you think the real egomaniac horses love those photographs?

They all go back to the barn, maybe get hosed down, get some water, and food.

I dont see any incentive given to horses for winning in the form of something they would appreciate and differentiate in their minds from the times they came in 6th or 2nd or 1st. Horses have no clue that the edged out another horse.

I can put a calculus problem on a chalboard and put it in front of a hroses face, and someone might declare that the horse is solving the problem in its mind...and there is nothing I can do to prove that that is not the case.

Someone can tell me that their horse "loves" them and all I can do is smile as the person bestows human emotions on an animal

And someone can tell me that a horse knows all aboutthe finish line, and the concept of "a race" and the concept of winning and losing...and therefore when they win a race its because of "determination" and "the heart of a champion" and the "competitive spirit"...all human traits that we bestoe on a horse....and all I can d is say that I see no evidence of it.

There was a scandal years/decades ago in new york city where horse drawn carriage rides are given around central park. Horses died because of the heat(they werent given proper water and food and breaks)....just dropped dead right there. The horse would pull the carriage when being prodded until it died. It didnt do it because it had the "heart of a champion" and felt the need to entertain the paying customers..it was just a dumb animal that pulled a carriage when urged by the driver....until it died.

Well in my opinion, horses on the track are driven and steered and rated by humans.....and the humans try to get the most out of the bone and muscle tissue beneath them.....just like a race driver tries to get the most out of the machine that they drive. Like the central park horses..the race horses respond to whipping and prodding by the jockey If horses can be trained to run a race and have the urge to come in first.....we dont need jockeys. It would be more humane to just let the gates open and let them run. May the best horse win. May the horse with the biggest desire to win...come in first
Tomspur
Tomspur
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January 14th, 2014 at 10:07:53 PM permalink
But we don't conclusively beyond a shadow of a doubt know either way right? :)

You make some excellent points!
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill
LarryS
LarryS
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January 14th, 2014 at 10:19:21 PM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

But we don't conclusively beyond a shadow of a doubt know either way right? :)

You make some excellent points!



I have no proof that horses cant solve algebra problems in their head. I have no proof that horses dont feel Hate like humans would toward their owners who keep them in a small prison 23 hours a day, and then rides them and whips them all the other times. I have no proof one way or the other if horses feel "happiness" and if they do....that they are or are not happy being ridden and whipped, and housed in small prison cells called barms.


Are the animals in the zoo "happy"? Can they feel "happiness"?.....are horses happiest running free in the fields all day, or sitting in a barn and being ridden and whipped periodically. Or is it impossible for a horse to feel "happiness" and therefore the use of horses in racing is just fine.

Who knows.
Tomspur
Tomspur
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January 14th, 2014 at 10:34:34 PM permalink
Quote: LarryS

I have no proof that horses cant solve algebra problems in their head. I have no proof that horses dont feel Hate like humans would toward their owners who keep them in a small prison 23 hours a day, and then rides them and whips them all the other times. I have no proof one way or the other if horses feel "happiness" and if they do....that they are or are not happy being ridden and whipped, and housed in small prison cells called barms.


Are the animals in the zoo "happy"? Can they feel "happiness"?.....are horses happiest running free in the fields all day, or sitting in a barn and being ridden and whipped periodically. Or is it impossible for a horse to feel "happiness" and therefore the use of horses in racing is just fine.

Who knows.



Agreed,

Let me ask this though. Is the reason for your OP that you disagree with the way racehorses are treated? Do you disagree with horseracing as a sport?

Your last sentence above made me wonder and prompted me to ask you your opinion on the matter rather than simply whether a horse is smart or not.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill
treetopbuddy
treetopbuddy
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January 15th, 2014 at 8:41:28 AM permalink
Horses exist. They have no futures, no pasts. They live in the moment. They only know pleasure and pain. Safety and danger. They are prey animals on guard full time. Extremely simple, predictable, beautiful creatures.

I feel like we're now whipping a dead horse. Pun intended.
Each day is better than the next
LarryS
LarryS
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January 15th, 2014 at 9:41:19 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

Agreed,

Let me ask this though. Is the reason for your OP that you disagree with the way racehorses are treated? Do you disagree with horseracing as a sport?

Your last sentence above made me wonder and prompted me to ask you your opinion on the matter rather than simply whether a horse is smart or not.



I have bet on races for 35 years knowing that horses are whipped and confined in barns.

the point I am trying to make is that if we bestow human qualities on horses of haveing the heart of a champion,......then why wouldnt we think the horse can experience hatred to the owners for confining them and whipping them. Why would a horse that can experience the human trait of "wanting to win"....why wouldnt they also feel like they are punished for doing such a good job.

in myopinion...you beat the horse...it runs faster......end of story

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