Horses In Art Winter Issue 2012

Back issues available

Features cover artist Elise Genest
Back issues now available starting at only $7 includes shipping! Visit to order!

Horses In Art Winter Issue 2012



Durvet Holiday Coloring Contest

Durvet Holiday Coloring Contest

Lots of Fun for the Holidays

Blue Springs, MO — November 17th, 2011— Calling all Artists… 12 years and under! This holiday season Durvet will be holding their first annual Holiday Coloring Contest for Kids! We are asking kids ages 1 through 12 to color the Holiday Coloring Page provided on our website. The grand prize winner will receive a Durvet Gift Basket and the two finalists will receive an Aloe Advantage Grooming Pack.

The contest will run from November 17th, 2011 through January 9th, 2012

Durvet must receive all entries by January 9th, 2012 to be eligible for judging. All entries will be posted on Duvet’s Facebook page

The winner and finalists will be announced January 16th, 2012.

For more information and contest rules and to download the contest coloring page, please go online to:



Lukas Knows He’s Lukas!

Smartest Horse Passes Self-Awareness Test


Lukas, the World’s Smartest Horse (according to the World Records
) and Guinness World Record Holder (“Most numbers correctly
identified by a horse in one minute: 19”), has joined an elite group: those with
the capacity for self-awareness. He has proven that he is able to recognize his
own reflection in a mirror as an image of himself. To date, only humans (after
the age of eighteen months), great apes, bottlenose dolphins, orcas, elephants
and European magpies have successfully passed this test.

this experiment, Karen Murdock, Lukas’ owner/trainer, utilized the mirror test,
developed by Gordon Gallup in 1970 (based on observations by Charles Darwin). It
determines whether an animal can recognize its own reflection in a mirror as an
image of itself. Lukas’ four by six foot Plexiglas mirror, two inch round
stickers and the following steps were used:

marking Lukas with two odorless spots: the test spot was on a part of Lukas
which was visible in front of a mirror, and the control spot which was placed on
an accessible but hidden part of his body (to rule out tactile involvement).

recordings documented whether Lukas reacted in a manner consistent with his
being aware that the test spot was located on his own body, rather than on the
mirror, while ignoring the control spot.

of awareness included: turning and moving his body so he could better view the
marking in the mirror, or poking at the marking on his body with his muzzle
while viewing the mirror.

Lukas didn’t recognize his image, Murdock would have attempted to teach this to
him. No prior access to mirrors and not having the necessary previous
experiences to use them could possibly have been a factor in the event of Lukas’
non self-recognition.

to most animal intelligence ranking scales, equine statistics are dismal: horses
rank anywhere from fifth to ninth in intelligence comparisons between species.
In addition, the horse population in general is thought to be a typically
reactive group at the mercy of flight instincts and walnut-sized brains. Murdock
believes that the commonly used repetitive machine trials to assess horses’
learning capabilities are missing some important components: a social and
interactive element, intermediary voice prompts and reinforcement variations.
Furthermore, she proposes that the prevailing methods of force training are
inadequate and even counter-productive. In contrast, Lukas’ lessons resemble
those used for children: enjoyable, gentle and a mutual exploration into
possibilities. A rather unscientific, yet significant supportive substantiation
of Lukas’ self-awareness abilities includes the fact that he is completely
intolerant of any horse near “his girl,” yet, in the test, he gave no indication
that he believed his reflection to be an interloper.

most difficult aspect of the test according to Murdock involved Lukas remaining
immobile when the test spot was absent: “He always wants to do something to
please me,” says Murdock, “and he’s used to trying out different behaviors to
get my attention.” As always, Murdock, a psychiatric nurse for the last
twenty-six years, and an animal trainer for over forty years, used her own
particular blend of techniques. Sessions with her dear friend were brief, fun
and tender and included the following guidance: “That’s you in the mirror,
Lukas. You’re a horse. I love you.”


Foundation Christmas Gift

Foundation Christmas Gift

America’s Horse, October 27, 2011 – We invite you to
make an honorary gift to the American Quarter Horse Foundation in honor of a
special person or horse, or even an acknowledgement of an important

When you make an honorary or memorial gift to the Foundation this
holiday season, your honoree or the next of kin of the memorialized horse or
person will receive a limited edition Christmas Honorarium Card acknowledging that a gift has
been made to the Foundation in their honor by you. Not only is this an ideal
Christmas gift for any horse enthusiast, but your gift also makes a difference
in providing for the future of our horses.

To guarantee delivery of the card by Christmas, donations must be
received no later than Wednesday, December 14.

To donate today, visit

For more information on ways to give and to be part of the
American Quarter Horse Foundation, visit If you have questions about
making a gift to the Foundation, please call (806)378-5029 or email

AQHA news and
information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on
American Quarter Horse Journal or America’s Horse,


Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest
equine breed organization in the world.  With headquarters in Amarillo, Texas,
AQHA has a membership of more than 300,000 people in 86 countries and has
registered more than 5 million horses in 95 countries.

Fine Art America Launches Art/Photography Contests

Let’s spread the word… Fine Art America has just launched 100 new online contests which are designed to showcase the beautiful images being produced by thier members and to help increase public awareness of FAA. Each contest is open to the public, requires no registration fee, and awards $250 in prizes. A new contest launches every time FAA gets 1,000 new “likes” on their Facebook Fan Page. To like FAA on Facebook and to find out more about their contests please visit and