Categorically speaking


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As humans, we are able to understand categories.  We look at a car and automatically relate it to every other car we have seen.

It matters not at all that this car may have a brand new body style that we haven’t seen before.  We will still recognize it as a car.

Horses cannot tap this ability as easily as we can.  I like to use a trailer as an example for many concepts in horse training.  Very many.  In fact, I probably beat the whole trailer thing to death.  Too bad, I’m using it again.

A horse may load just fine in one trailer and refuse to get within 20 feet of another.  That’s because she doesn’t know that they are both trailers.  In the first case, she sees an object that she knows and has had ok experiences with in the past.  In the second, a totally new object that might eat her.

Remember, horses are wired for fear.  They have evolved in ways that cause them to flee any individual thing that is new to them first and ask questions later… maybe… if they have to.


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