Sagacity in Horses

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FROM the window opposite, as I write, I have just witnessed an interesting performance on the part of two horses. Bordering the park is a strip of land, doomed to be built upon, but meanwhile lying waste, and used for common pasturage, on which the horses under notice were leisurely grazing. A pony in a cart, having been unwisely left by the owner for a time unattended on the grass, suddenly started off, galloping over the uneven ground at the risk of overturning the cart. The two horses, upon seeing this, immediately joined in pursuit with evident zest. My first supposition, that they were merely joining in the escapade in a frolicsome spirit, was at once disproved by the methodical and business-like manner of their procedure. They soon reached the runaway, by this time on the road, one on one side of the cart, and one the other; then, by regulating their pace, they cleverly contrived to intercept his progress by gradually coming together in advance of him, thus stopping him immediately in the triangular corner they formed. Until the man came up to the pony's head they remained standing thus together quite still; when the two horses, evidently satisfied that all was now right, without any fuss trotted back again together to their grass.

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WHITE, W. Sagacity in Horses. Nature 48, 199 (1893) doi:10.1038/048199a0

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