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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,399

    Default Calling animals mean names... good, bad, ugly or meh?

    Let me start with the big one.

    If I call an animal an a-hole, it's an "industry term." It means

    1) An animal who chooses to do the wrong thing (usually that which plainly benefits himself).

    2) An acknowledgement that the animal has free will and his own agenda plus power. So the term "a-hole" is used with a certain kind of knowing fondness for the animal. I don't mind that an animal has free will.

    Do you guys mean the same thing with that term? Others you use?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,923

    Default

    Doesn't offend me at all, but I grew up in a barn where it was the norm. (Used in the same manner you describe.)

    I'll never forget when one of my former trainer's clients was offended when trainer's kid referred to her horse as an "it," as in "Oh, yeah, Dobbin? It jumps well." Some people need more to worry about.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3

    Default

    I've called mine a jerk and a jackhole when we're having a failure to communicate.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2007
    Location
    North-Central IL
    Posts
    3,789

    Default

    There are some days mine will answer to sh*thead...
    Quarry Rat


    9 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
    Posts
    3,875

    Default

    i was always taught that with a horse who is not behaving correctly, it is the fault of the handler/rider for not communicating effectively with the horse. . If i heard someone cursing at their horse this way- i would not feel very much respect towards them.


    20 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,487

    Default

    jackwagon
    dingaling
    coocoobird
    bebop
    dork (this is very common)
    pig
    moe-ron (not moron)

    All said in jest.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2012
    Location
    Through the Looking Glass
    Posts
    172

    Default

    I do call mine "Butthead" periodically, because he has an annoying habit of attempting to butt me with his rather large head!

    If the shoe fits...
    "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
    ~Lewis Carroll


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008
    Posts
    534

    Default

    When I was a kid I called my horse a "wench" and other names all of the time when I was angry with her. I was just an ignorant kid and I loved that mare. I am sad now that I did that and didn't show her more respect. I would give anything to have her back.

    I don't generally call people bad names (except for people who hurt kids) and so I usually don't call my animals bad names.

    Some times I will describe their actions with colorful words though. "Dobbin is being a juvenile delinquent!" "Princess is acting like a hussy." "Bobtail is really p*ssing me off today."

    That sort of thing.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,399

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nezzy View Post
    i was always taught that with a horse who is not behaving correctly, it is the fault of the handler/rider for not communicating effectively with the horse. . If i heard someone cursing at their horse this way- i would not feel very much respect towards them.
    In my case, you'd be wrong. I have respect for an animal who thinks enough of himself to defy me. But the defying type needs a name.

    Also, I have been known to call my golden-lab-in-a-horse suit gelding, Vicious Wild.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2012
    Location
    High Desert, SoCal
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I saw a very interesting clinic years ago where the clinician demonstrated that the horse responds to your tone and not your words necessarily. He used the word "stupid" instead of walk, trot and canter to get the horse to respond on the lunge. Worked just as well as the real words because of course, the horse couldn't speak english . I tend to call all mine "Spot" whether the adjective fits or not. Just habit
    Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
    Anonymous Bedouin legend


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    657

    Default

    To me, it's kinda meh... I have "pet" names for all my guys. The 24 yr old mare is the old biddy, one mare is heifer, the other mare is just plain b*tch sometimes (she is the alpha mare and can act quite like one when she wants to) and my 3 yr old gelding frequently gets called sh*thead. But then, he's waaaay too smart for his own good and is constantly trying to get away with things and push boundaries. All are meant affectionately, except when the boss mare and the gelding really act like it, and then it's said in completely different tones.
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Sunny Florida
    Posts
    752

    Default

    I once had a gelding that was so exasperating that I called him Alpo....
    after one extremely trying session, I used up a can of Furicin spray to paint the word Alpo on both his sides before I turned him out for the day. Everyone at the barn knew what kind of session we had!!!!!!!!!!!
    "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."


    6 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,491

    Default

    I'm old-school. It seems somehow inappropriate to call an animal names, even though they are - sort of - said with affection. Seems disresectful.

    A descriptive name, i.e. reactive, hyper-alert, etc. is not the same as a derogeratory one...and a person can almost want to namecall.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    4 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, NC
    Posts
    2,313

    Default

    I call my blind horse Alpo when he's annoying me, but it's always in a loving tone.
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,982

    Default

    I once got blasted on here from referring to my mare as a b*tch in my blog.

    She is. Definitely. Misunderstood and pissy about some things.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    18,569

    Default

    My QH's name tends to be preceded by an expletive deleted when he's in a mood. We're setting his finer moments to music ("Don't Mess With Bill") on a video.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    657

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the Hill View Post
    I once had a gelding that was so exasperating that I called him Alpo....
    after one extremely trying session, I used up a can of Furicin spray to paint the word Alpo on both his sides before I turned him out for the day. Everyone at the barn knew what kind of session we had!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ok, a bit off topic, but this reminds me of what a neighbor did years ago. One autumn someone accidently shot one of his cows, mistaking it for a deer. (yeah, go figure) Anyway, the next year he bought flourescent paint and wrote C-O-W on the sides of each one.
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King


    15 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,023

    Default

    I just called one of mine Jackass for the farrier yesterday, but it applies. I don't think it is mean. He's a jackass in turnout, always has been, always will be, and that's how he grabs his shoes (reason farrier was there...).

    We had a horse in the barn for awhile named "Fugly" ... Which was kind of mean, but he was one ugly baby, so I understood. Then he grew up and out of that name, but it stuck, and was kind of cute and endearing, IMO. I noticed that he's moved on from that owner/breeder and is for sale again, but has a new name for marketing!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,423

    Default

    We call ours pigs-most of the time it's a term of endearment that came from a family inside story. We all ride together as a family and it's our family code. We have Granny Pig at 33 years old and Princess Pig (the white arabian mare) and assorted Pig names for them and it's all just said in fun and friendly tones to the pigs.

    But if a horse is showing behavior that ranges from pushy to dangerous to annoying it's called a pig for real. "Get off me, you pig!" "Tell your pig to stop pawing in the trailer!"

    Dingaling is for silliness. "You dingaling, you dumped the last bite of your oats right into the mud!" For worse crimes, I guess it's dipsh&t as in "You DS, you just dumped your entire pan of very expensive grain and supplements into the mud!"

    Orangutan is for spazzy horses, whether they're just feeling good or untrained. "Princess Pig is being an orangutan today!"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,550

    Default

    I call my horses all kinds of names, usually I mean them pleasantly and affectionately. I have been known to swear on occasion in an unpleasant manner when a horse does something that is clearly jerk-ish, such as my ordinarily pleasant and well-mannered gelding deciding yesterday that he preferred not to stay with me but instead used his shoulder to tear away from me to get back to his mare (yes, this is an issue we are working through currently due to two horses in the pasture and a love affair he will never forget). It was a d*ck move, and he pulled it.

    Was I communicating ineffectively with him? Uh...no, probably not. He took advantage of me switching the lead rope from one hand to another and chose to ignore all former training that he'd had to decide to leave. Did I go get him (since he was then standing on his lead rope) and work him through it? Yes, of course, while muttering at him and examining the cold finger he'd managed to pinch.

    Do I love him any less? No.

    Does he now need some training in this area that I hadn't anticipated? Yes.

    Does this make me ineffective? In that moment perhaps, but I'd be awfully surprised if everyone is always 100% ready for every surprising thing that a horse decides to pull (particularly if they've never pulled that move before).

    Now, if I'd have freaked out and acted abusively, that would be different than shaking my head at him, calling him an idiot, and warning him that the next time he would come in, perhaps the chain would be in order.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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