In the Hoofprints of Genius

There’s an entertaining feature at the Kiwi site Horse Talk on an ex racehorse called Lukas who is now officially the world’s most intelligent equine.

To date, his repertoire includes smiling, posing, nodding yes and shaking his head no, a dry and wet kiss, fetching, being “blindfolded”, catching, yawning, saluting, pedestal work, a Spanish Walk (forward and backward), the stay and come, jambet (a three-legged pivot), curtsy, passage, bow, crossing his front legs, laying down while Karen sits on him, feet together (front and back), hide and seek (with his beloved green towel), acting lame, pushing a cart, and the rear.

Most of his acclaim, however, comes from his spelling, counting, identifying shapes and discriminating colours.

Thankfully we live in enlightened times, and Lukas will be better understood than  the first “Thinking Horse”, poor Marocco, who had  to kneel before a crucifix in Orléans in 1601 to prove that he wasn’t possessed by Satan, or Muhamed, whose dazzling career as a mathematical prodigy ended when he was shipped out to serve in the First World War and presumably blown to smithereens.

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