A friend of mine, a cowboy in the rancher-philosopher mold, once passed along some equine-related knowledge to me.
“The thing you have to remember about horses,” he said, “is they aren’t as smart as they think they are, but they’re smarter than you think they are.”
I reminded him I was much more city slicker than good ol’ boy and didn’t really run into horses that often. He assured me it was just as applicable to jackasses. I thanked him, and as with all of his advice, I’ve remembered it and done my best to keep it in mind through all my dealings and relations.