26 April 2011

I've Always Been Able to Say...

...that I've never met a horse I didn't like...

Until the other day.

I went to teach a lesson at a barn where the horses are wonderfully cared for. As I pulled into the parking space, I noticed three horses in a large paddock. I'm used to getting out of my truck and having horses that I've never met offer up a connection. So when the big gray looked over at me, I acknowledged his connection and reciprocated.

He raged back at me - ears pinned, mouth open, stiff and aggressive in his body. And we were 100 yards apart!

I was shocked to experience the pure hateful energy of a horse who initiated the connection with me.

I turned my back and decided to speak to someone about him.

Here's the can of worms - People Perspective:

The horse is difficult on all accounts - catching, feeding, aggressive to people and horses, etc.
No one likes him, he doesn't like anyone.
His owner visits infrequently.
When she does visit, he is forced to perform exactly the same maneuvers every time.
When he behaves badly toward her, she reinforces the behavior with giggles and "oh you silly boy!", she backs away from him and repeats the maneuver again.
After twenty minutes, she puts him away for another four weeks...

Here's the can of worms - Equine Perspective:

Humans in general are worthless creatures - stupid two-leggers who's only value is to dump feed.
Humans won't do what he wants - he prefers to be far away from them, but when he's hungry he wants his food right away and he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
Humans have made it very clear they don't like him, well, he doesn't like them too much either.
One human in particular shows up out of the blue and waves a stick and string in his face. He hates the routine, he pulls away regularly, runs her over regularly, turns his butt to her regularly, pins his ears and bares his teeth, hits her with his head, bumps her with his shoulders, steps on her feet and still she wags that stick and string until he performs the same maneuvers he performed last time she was there.
He's learned that if he puts up with her for a little while, she goes away and shows up less and less...
Good, he wanted to be left alone anyway!

Now I can say that I've met a horse I don't like. But this is not the horse's fault. His opinion is real and his opinion is all he has. His entire existence is stuck in that paddock, where nothing changes, where he takes out his aggression on whomever or whatever he chooses. An endless oblivion of nothingness for an animal with a highly complex thought process, who has demonstrated his willingness to use it!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone came along and changed that opinion into something more positive and beneficial?


  1. I have always wondered why some people, like this owner, even have horses ( or a horse) when they either don't have the time or inclination to do anything with the horse, or they aren't will or able to take good care of them. Makes no sense to have them in the first place.

  2. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this. I wish i had time and money to take them all in and show them love and how to be respectful. Why do people ruin horses and teach them to be dangerous. In the long run it can cost the horse it's life when no one wants, likes or is safe around a horse :(