cover of book

The Mind of the Horse: An Introduction to Equine Cognition
by Michel-Antoine Leblanc
Harvard University Press, 2013
Cloth: 978-0-674-72496-9 | eISBN: 978-0-674-72637-6
Library of Congress Classification SF281.L4313 2013
Dewey Decimal Classification 636.1

Horses were first domesticated about 6,000 years ago on the vast Eurasian steppe, yet only in the last two decades have scientists begun to explore the mental capacities of these animals. In The Mind of the Horse, Michel-Antoine Leblanc presents an encyclopedic synthesis of scientific knowledge about equine behavior and cognition, providing experts and enthusiasts alike with an up-to-date understanding of how horses perceive, think about, and adapt to their physical and social worlds.

Much of what we think we know about "the intelligence of the horse" derives from fragmentary reports and anecdotal evidence. Putting this accumulated wisdom to the test, Leblanc introduces readers to rigorous experimental investigations into how horses make sense of their world under varying conditions. He describes the anatomical and neurophysiological characteristics of the horse's brain, and compares these features with those of other species, to gain an evolutionary perspective. A horseman himself, Leblanc also considers the opinions of renowned riding masters, as well as controversies surrounding the horse's extraordinary mental powers that have stirred in equestrian and scientific circles. The Mind of the Horse brings together in one volume the current state of equine research and will likely stimulate surprising new discoveries.

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