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In various mythopoetic traditions animals appear sometimes as assistants to mythological characters, their attributes or symbols. Among the Celts this animal was the horse. Among the cult objects that make…

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Amazing horses

Devotion and mind of horses is legendary, and for good reason. So there is something in these animals that does not fit into the usual ideas.

According to legend, the favorite horse of Alexander the great nine times saved his life. After one of the battles with the Indians, Bucephalus died from the strain, and in the place where he fell the horse, Alexander founded the city of Bucephalus.

Best warlord Genghis Khan Subudai owned a marvelous horse Sarasou. It was said that the horse could understand everything said to him, and supposedly before the fight Subudai always consulted with horse, how to lead the attack.
The horse died in Russia, drowned in a swamp; the warlord managed to escape, standing on the saddle and jumping on land.

We can recall Caligula, who led his horse to the Roman Senate. Perhaps he also consulted with the horse, preferring her mind to the mind of the senators.

The Chronicles preserved the name of the beloved horse of king Richard the Lionheart – his name was Shining. The black stallion was not given to anyone but the owner, performed any combat commands given by whistling, and most importantly – in battle fought with Richard, fiercely biting, kicking, knocking down the chest of enemy horses and infantry. The king took care of the horse himself and refused to sell it to the Eastern Shah even for gold. The horse died in battle, stabbed with three spears.

And here is bad riders horse feels immediately. For example, the horse on which Stalin was to take the victory Parade, during the rehearsal suffered, and the Generalissimo could only throw the reins around a pile of manure with sawdust. This story was told by Marshal Zhukov, and to him – the son of Stalin, Vasily.

But most of all struck contemporaries horse named Clever Hans. His master Wilhelm von Osten spent fourteen years with his pet to prove, as he himself said, “the ability of a horse to think.” And the horse did not disappoint his teacher. He was particularly capable of mathematics – dividing and multiplying, adding not only integers, but fractions, hoof beating first denominator, then – the numerator.
But in addition to mathematics, the horse showed unique linguistic abilities – understood the question asked him not only in German (Clever Hans lived in Germany), but also in French and English. He came to the Board, on which were written various words and unmistakably chose the word offered to him (pointed to him with his muzzle). He also answered very difficult questions: on what day of the week, for example, a certain number fell – he hoofed once if this number fell on Monday, two – if on Tuesday and so on.
Clever Hans could also play cards: if an ACE was required, he struck once, the king – two, the lady – three, the Jack – four, if he saw a ten, he beat his hoof ten times. Many people wanted to see the extraordinary horse, including the Kaiser himself, who wished to attend the amazing sessions.

And of course Hans became interested in scientists, especially since there was no reason to accuse von Osten of cheating: he did not take money from anyone for demonstrating his horse. In 1904, even a special Commission headed by the then famous psychologist Stumpf was established. She confirmed that no one tells Hans and does not help. And again the question about training anymore, so should carefully study the horse.
For this purpose the second, even more serious Commission has gathered. And young scientist O. Pfungst suggested that the person giving horse job, myself, of course, without knowing it, she tells a positive or negative response, thereby informing how many times pounding hooves (or rather, when to stop banging).

After all, in the XIX century it was proved that the person is very difficult to hide your thoughts: the involuntary movement of the eyes, hands, lips, body tension, even breathing can give a person. Hans has done the experiment; the host hid behind the screen. Now any gestures or facial expressions could not help the horse. But he still continued to add, subtract, multiply and divide fairly correctly (although this time he was sometimes wrong). Had to explain this phenomenon telepathy – transfer of thoughts at a distance.

But Pfungst was stubborn and proposed a new series of experiments: the horse was asked a question by a man who did not know the answer. Then it all turned out: when the experimenter knew the answer, and Hans gave the correct answer – in 98 cases out of 100. If the person did not know the answer – the horse was wrong – 90-95 times out of 100. And yet this horse was extraordinary. Hans may not have known languages or mathematics, but he had amazing talents – observation and sensitivity. And very thin. During the experiments in the laboratory Pfungst carefully measured the movements that man involuntarily made when the animal was approaching the correct answer – some millimeters. But Hans had not only sharp eyes, but also extraordinary hearing – he noticed the slightest intonation, tiny pauses, completely indistinguishable for a person change in the frequency or depth of breathing of the questioner.

But the conclusions of the Commission satisfied not all, many were still convinced that Hans is able to think. Especially persistent was Karl Krall, one time working with Austen, and after his death bought Hans. Doing with the horse, Kral further expanded its repertoire. Later he acquired two more stallions – Mohammed and the King – and soon they found remarkable mathematical abilities. Especially Mohammed – he extracted the roots of the third degree. And for the purity of the experience on the head of the test horse wore blinders, which allowed to hide the experimenter, standing on the side. Screens were also used. Sometimes the experiments were carried out in complete darkness. Finally was specifically purchased and trained expense absolutely blind horse. The disciples stole excelled in literacy. They easily put their name in letters, and then even mastered the conversation with the help of tapping.
Interestingly, Zarif was the best “Humanities” than Mohammed (turns out horses also have “physics” and “poetry”).

Well-known biologist and geneticist N. K. Koltsov, closely followed the experiments Krahl, claimed: “Only the sense of habits and “common sense” does not allow us to admit that the horse can understand the words, it is reasonable to answer them and perform complex mathematical calculations”.

And Kral himself in his book “Thinking animals” wrote: “in Order to ensure its priority, I give below some conclusions that are the basis for my future experiences.” Further text is encrypted. Why did Kral have to be so secretive? Not clear. Perhaps in these ciphers lies the secret of the extraordinary success of his experiments?

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