The Nature of Natural Point of View
The Eyes Have It
Seeing the world: It takes about 1/3 of a mammal’s brain to see the world consistently. It is a huge part of survival to see the world. When you have the mind the body will follow…but when do you have the mind? Watch your horse’s eyes and time your releases not only with the body but with the eyes. When you really have focus, you have the mind.
Horses see much differently than we do and so their view of the world is very different. In addition, they process that information through a very small prefrontal cortex…without reason…as we know it. Often an involuntary response triggers the horse’s behavior especially when it comes to sight. Think about how a windy day must “seem” through a horse’s movement sensitive eye!
The field of vision for a horse are large. They cover a lot of area and when an object is on the edge of those fields it riggers a response called the orienting or attention response. It is instantly viewed as novel and all senses are directed to determining what this thing is!
Predators tend to turn and look depending on the strength of the input but in horses and most prey animals it tends to trigger the flight response. This is an involuntary response that you can start to override or at least decrease with training.
Ginny is currently working on a long-term project that overlays applied behavioral science and Classical horsemanship. She is researching how applied behavioral science relates to classical methodology and how principles that have stood the test of time are as current now as in the golden days of the great masters.