Believes in Hoses Reasoning Power, Daily Racing Form, 1913-11-13


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BELIEVES IN HORSES REASONING BOWER. C. E. Brossman. who l rallied Imp when that mare was a reigning sensation on the American turf years ago. is a tirm believer In the ability of the horse to reason. .Mr. Brossman, who is well known to Chicago patrons of racing, recently contributed the following article to the press on the subject: "That horses have the power to think and reason is a question that in my opinion admits of no argument. Some individuals seem to have the faculty of holding conversation witli their horses and tind - out just exactly what the horse needs and wants; others do not. It seems to be an attribute of the heart, born In a man. Therefore, we can say that truo horsemen, like facts, are born, not made. Of course, education and experience will teach a man many valuable and necessary things, but above all, and beyond all, to be a thorough and successful horseman he must have the love of the horse in his heart. When we see a man that a strange dog will come up to on the street and wag his tail, or a lost baby that will rush up to with outstretched arms and a smile oil its lips as if it had met the very person it was looking for, such a man is one with whom a horse will talk and such a man with experience would make a good race horse trainer. "When 1 iirst took the great mare Imp to train she was as nervous, flighty and bashful as a sixteen-year-old conn try girl on her first visit to the city. The lirst race track I raced her on was Newport. The stalls that had lecn assigned to me were right up against the seven-eighths pole. For the lirst few days she would only eat a bite, and then rush to the door and look out. I always had the door kept open so that she could sec what was going on. She would walk the stall, tremble and sweat, and it seemed that she lost one hundred pounds in two or three days. "We would go into her stall, pat her and talk to her and argue with her, tell her she would not be hurt nor abused and she Anally became convinced and reconciled and would eat up everything we gave her and watch the races in the afternoon with as much interest and apparently as much pleasure as :inv woman in the grandstand. She had reasoned It "out that we were all her best friends and would take good care of her. After that she was unafraid. "Another case that I recall is that of Little Minch. He was by Glenelg, dam Goldstonc. owned bv George Hankins, of Chicago. Ho was one of the best race horses in the country ami had won on all of the prominent tracks in the United States. Mr. Hankins had just iitted up the Garfield Park track at great expense and it was really one of the morft popular and admirably managed race tracks in this country. He selected men of unquestioned honor and integrity as his oilicials. Colonel Lewis Clark, then in his" prime, was presiding judge, and Joseph Swigert secretary. Everything was run on the jcvol as nearly so as it was possible on the part of human endeavor to make it. Nobody had any advantage, and everyliody, horsemen, patrons and officials, were all prosperous and satisfied. Indeed, even now we often hear some old horseman say "I wish wo were back again to the good old Garfield Park days." Now, Little Minch, in his journeying over tile country, had reasoned out that if he could steal two or three lengths from his competitors lu a race and get the advantage of that much at the start, no other horse could catch him and he would win easilv. If he could not get this advantage he would absolutely refuse to start, would stand stock still and let the others run. "Mr. Hankins was, of course, anxious to see his horse- run on his own track, so ho had Little Minch taken to Garfield Park and entered in the races. He won one or two races, always getting off in front and winning easiiv. The next time he started he commenced his same old tactics, maneuvering for position like a general on a field of battle. Manifestly it would be unfair to the other horses to allow Little Minch to continue to get off in front, a position he seemed to appropriate to himself by the right of dis-covcrv. So the starter called to one of his assistants:" Take that horse back and keep him back, which in consequence was done. Down went the Hag. awav tliev went all but Little Minch. There he stood like a statue bolted to the ground. The next dav this notice appeared on the bulletin board: Little Minchs entry will not be received for any race on this track. By order of Col. Lewis Clark. And he never raced again. Here was a horse absolutely sound, capable, an efficient race horse and n. money maker, sent into retirement simply because lie knew too much. "I once had a neighbor at Lithopolis, Ohio, that had a horse by Vanguard, son of Virgil and La Henderson, bv Lexington. This horse was a beauty, bright chestnut, four white feet, a white stripe in his face and he could do almost everything but talk commanding looking and intelligent as his breeding would indicate. His name was Van. There was a paddock of a couple of acres, with an open box stall in one corner, with manger and feed box nailed in. The crib, where the grain was kept, was some little distance from the stall. This man always kept a pan near a gate that divided the dooryard froui.tha. paddock and always carried the horses feed in this pan, so the horse came to recognize it as his own. I have often been out in the paddock with this neighbor, in different parts of it, at different times and he would say to the horse: Van, if you want some oats, go and get your pan. Away the horse would go, get the pan in his teeth, march up to the crib and wait until we came up. Then, after receiving a measure of oats in his pan, he would carefully walk to his stall so as not to spill any, turn the oats out into his feed box and commence to cat. No one could ever make me believe that that horse did not think. "The following news item recently appeared in the daily papers: In Dayton during the terrible clays of the Hood, another story of animal life was enacted. Tour horses in one group were washed from their stables by the high waters, and being caught in a net of debris, would all have been drowned had It not been for the intelligence and bravery of one of the animals. Jetting behind the Hiree horses, the equine hero pushed all of them through the waters and out to safety. "That there is some method of communication between the lower animals there can bo no doubt. Who has not seen the little chicks scamper to some place of concealment when the old mother hen gives her cry of alarm at the sight of a hawk, or failed to notice the immovable silent posture of a little calf, hid away in some secluded spot in the brush, when its mother notifies it by a peculiar moo that some one is hunting for it, while she grazes complacently and apparently contentedly yards and yards away? Why then should not the horse bo endowed with the same Inherent qualities, only in a higher degree, for he surely Is the noblest of all animal creation, mans most valuable, bravest and best servant, dauntless in danger, enduring in extremity and uncomplaining In distress."

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