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Brave Horses: Are they Born or Made?

Brave horses are most definitely made, not born. Falling squarely on the “flight” end of the fight-flight spectrum, horses are born not to be brave! Here, I will explore the horse’s evolutionary design for chicken-heartedness and their enormous capacity for lion-heartedness, when given the opportunity. BRAVE HORSES ARE NOT BORN Often, I hear owners and trainers comment that their horse is “chicken,” “gutless,” “spineless,” “counterfeit” and other admonishments not fit for print in a family magazine. When cursing our horses for their lack of courage and focusing on what they are doing, not doing, or ought to be doing for us, we lose sight of the fact that almost everything we ask horses to do runs completely counter to their evolutionary design. In the days when horses roamed great ranges where food was sparse and predators plentiful, horses who hung around to find out if an unfamiliar object was truly…

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