It is clear that animals which humans domesticated were all chosen because they were amenable to domestication. This happened at several sites all over the world and the animals were mostly the same.
Dogs and horses seem to have always been the top of the list. The cow is an unlikely animal to have chosen as in the wild they are fearsome animals. Near my home in the Cevennes in France there is still a shepherd who still tends her flocks and chooses a different place every day to graze. She tells me they know when she sets out to the place she has chosen for them to graze and uses her dogs just to keep them in the right place – but they know where they should be.
My theory is that these animals had one thing in common they were able to develop telepathic relationships with humans. In other words humans could communicate with them.
As for horses, I have spent a great deal of time talking to those who work with horses and all know that for the best performance you must create a mental link with the horse. Horses are like us, we, too, are animals after all there are brave horses, happy horses, bad horses, naughty horses and all have good and bad days just like us.
The great jockeys have this ability to get the best out of horses. This is so well known that this is taken for granted. However, these ideas of telepathic communication between us and other animals are viewed by Science as completely impossible. So we have all those who work in the field who know this mental communication to be either so self evident that it is impossible to describe or who know that the best bit of riding is learning to engage the mental mind to mind state where the horse and rider act as one.
Lucy Nelson who keeps great eventers goes to see her horses every day and knows exactly how each are feeling at the beginning of each day: grumpy, cross or happy and eager, indeed she feels in her horses every emotion that humans have too. From this she can decide like any great coach to determine what work will be done that day.
Watching three day eventing, even on TV, you can see that rider and horses of the winners work as an inseparable team. One friend says that her horse keeps looking for assurance: “Are you sure that we can do this jump?”, the rider replies: “Yes, from up here I know we will be okay.” Others tell me of the horse telling the rider: “We need to put another pace in here to make the jump”. It really is a two way meeting of minds.
I love a message I got recently from Marion Hollands. She says: “I am not able to ride any more but do teach and judge. The mind to mind element for me is the most important part for both horse and rider. It is why I never get bored of teaching. Unfortunately I don’t ride now but still remember how balance and spinal alignment allowed a meeting of minds”.
Here is a quote from Dr Jo McKelvie BVMS PhD MRQA MRCVS www.evitas.eu
“70% of any communication is body language. To read a horse’s body language requires a centring of self, observation and an open mind. The slightest flicker of an ear, blink of an eye or tensing of a muscle tells so much. A hurried and anthropomorphic interpretation denies the opportunity to understand. With time a relationship develops and it becomes possible to anticipate the horse’s reaction, and almost read the horse’s mind. The horse also naturally seeks such harmony and can learn to read your mind and anticipate your reaction by recognising both your conscious and unconscious requests. A relationship like this takes years to develop, the ability to understand each other takes a lifetime”.
You may want to look at the piece on Dolphins and how they communicate (animal navigation) or search on Dolphins.
Do please post any thoughts you may have.