Saturday, April 23, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt and the Power of the Sugar Cube

Theodore Roosevelt understood that feeding a well timed treat could help the horse adapt to novel situations.  His young horse Renown was extremely frightened of automobiles encountered during rides in Washington DC.  On one ride the young horse behaved better than expected upon meeting a large red automobile.  “In fact,” as Roosevelt explained, “he behaved so well that I leaned over and gave him a lump of sugar when he had passed the object of terror—the old boy eagerly turning his head around to get it.” 

In the video below, Roosevelt is riding his thoroughbred Sidar.  At the end of the ride, he rewards Sidar with a sugar cube, probably for approaching the huge, scary, oldtime film camera.

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