We learn a great deal about horses from just hanging out with a herd and observing their behaviors. Horses are also big on observing, and they observe us all the time, and what we do they do.
“Until 1998, brain scientists didn’t know the basis for observational learning. Then researchers discovered mirror neurons. Brain cells that code action, mirror neurons do not cause muscles to execute action – neurons in the motor cortex do that. Instead, mirror neurons prepare motor neuron to perform specific tasks, the way a symphony conductor lifts the baton before the music begins.” *
Horses watch other horses to mirror how to behave. Horses watch humans to mirror how to behave. This tells us we should behave how we want our horses to behave.
* Jones, Janet, PhD. August 2020. The 6 Ways Horses Learn. Equus Magazine.
Observers to Yielding: Horses observe, mirror, and learn how to yield from our yielding behavior.