Is It Magic?
Have you ever heard the fairy tale about the horse called Clever Hans? Its owner had taught him to paw the ground when people asked him simple questions. He always had the right answer, even though his owner was hidden out of sight. After many tests, people decided that it must be that the people asking the horse the questions were accidentally giving him hidden clues. As he neared the correct answer, they would act excited, only to relax when he gave the right number.
All horses seem to be able to do this type of thing where they can “read their rider's mind,” or sense what is going on around them. Many horses can even tell if you are afraid of them or if you are just not used to riding a horse.
Words to Know
Have you ever said, “It's not my fault?” Something can be your fault if you make a mistake. In horse competitions, a fault means almost the same thing. It is a penalty you are given when you make a mistake in competition.