Time for a talk in "horse" language. You know, I read that stuff you are reading on the computer, too. Sometimes, I really wonder about those posts, but other times, I just feel sad for their horses. Here's what I'm thinking:
When we feel something bad in our bodies, we can't talk to you and tell you where it hurts and how much. We have to wave our foot or leg in the air at you, or act really, really irritated until you stop making us go, or jump, and figure it out.
Sometimes you do a pretty good job at finding my owie's, and other times, I get really frustrated because you simply do not speak Horse well enough to understand me. Come on! would you please pay more attention. It's really easy.
When I act pissed off, or annoyed, or want to pick a fight, or try and lay down while you are riding me, or walk on three legs, or are lame after a jump lesson, or run away when you come to get me to ride, or continually have colic symptoms, or refuse jumps, or buck, or run away on the lunge line, or run over you in the barn, or snap at you, or kick at you, or swish my tail and pin my ears a lot....most of the time it is because something HURTS. When I say most of the time, I mean, like 99 percent of the time. So that means that 1 percent of the time those symptoms could mean something else. But you know, that is a very small percentage. Teeny weeny, in fact.
See, I can't lie, I don't know how. I can't fake it, I don't know how to do that either. Hay, grain, poop -- I do all those things very well, but telling you and the vet or shoer where it hurts, I am always trying -- but sometimes I do not feel you "get" it. So in the future, would you mind, taking a good look at me and my body, and my attitude and demeanor? That way you can get a little bit better at speaking "horse" and I can get a happier life. That's what we both want, right?
Thank you and I will try very hard to keep learning Horse! It's a complicated language you know!
Carrots and apples,
Thanks for putting hoof to keyboard, hope you didn't break it, they're a bit delicate. I totally agree, horses talk all the time, and sometimes they have to SHOUT, and then people and horses can get hurt, and bad reputations get made, etc. I hope your nice explanation will encourage trainers and riders to listen to their horses a bit more...
P.S. something i sincerely wish i'd worked out years ago... if a saddle's fit is under discussion, there is only ever one expert on the matter: the horse, not the "master saddler", not the rider, not the "back person" etc.
P.P.S and as Gerd Heuschmann said "Remember, the horse has no bad intentions, he only reacts." Horses are rarely moody, vindictive, or any of those things, they are invariably reacting to something, and it's the rider's job to work out what that is...
Thanks for the reminder. I had another this weekend, when I took Gully to the Southern Pines horse trial. On Saturday morning our dressage was pretty good. It wasn't quite as good as the work we'd been doing at home, but it was better than we usually do at a show.
On Saturday afternoon, when I started to warm up for xc, Gully wasn't right. He wasn't limping--but he wasn't right. Gully loves xc; he usually bounds into his canter in the warm up, and jumps with enthusiasm and verve. Saturday he cantered because I told him to, and he jumped in warmup because I made him, but he seemed reluctant even over a cross rail--and seriously reluctant when I did anything else.
I went over to my coach and said, He doesn't feel right. She said, This is not the horse I saw you jumping two weeks ago. We looked at each other, and I dismounted and scratched.
It was sucky, to be honest. He wasn't limping--he was jumping. But he wasn't right. I know Gully well, and I knew he wasn't right.
The next morning he was limping. He wasn't right. I'm really really glad I listened.
If you ever figure out how to get your human to speak horse, please let me know. My human isn't the quickest on the uptake, and I have to shout as loud as I can to get her attention sometimes. I'm not moody, I'm not 'mareish', something's not right!
But I'll keep her because she gives me lots of treats and wither scratches and takes me out for long rides in the woods. I like those.
My mom didn't know that I wasn't doing my best the past couple months because my hocks hurt... I finally told her on monday that it hurt to trot, especially on my left hind leg, and she had Dr Thompson come out. He gave me shots, and my hocks are starting to feel much better! I wish we had done this before, but I understand that sometimes our humans don't exactly know why we do things.
My mom obviously loves me, between all the carrots and apples and pampering... she groomed me and made my fly-swatter very pretty yesterday while i got to eat hay and be lazy... and I didn't have to work! She also got to know me better, especially my love of wetting my nose in my water bucket after every 6 bites of yummy food. She's only been my mom for 6 months now, so we still have a lot to learn about each other.
Let me know if your mom ever learns Horse. Maybe we should call Mr. Ed and learn some Human?
Hot Brass (but you can call me Corelli)
on a Human note... I love my boy, and I try to listen as best I can! bath time and a little walk-trot to get back into the groove after injections today!
proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart