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

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  • #41
    Since Mr Ay-rab definitely has a mind of his own, he's called dips**t rather often. Always said affectionately. He also gets plenty of "good boys" and "easy" and other positive words as well. Since he is coming along nicely I would say the dips**t part isn't affecting him much.

    Contrast that with a barnmate who is a veritable fountain of curse words, crazy talk, and sheer meanness about her horse whenever she rides. She convinces me that it's not the words so much, but the emotion behind them. No wonder the horse doesn't behave - the tone of her talk makes *me* want to leave the premises, so why wouldn't the horse want to do the same?


    • #42
      Originally posted by Over the Hill View Post
      Just to let you all know.... I kept that horse until he died at 31 years old. His name really was Polo (OTTB/polo pony). I really did love him for all the good traits he had, and we managed to work past the Alpo stage......
      Trying to explain also, I didn't know hardly any English and had heard others call horses that Monkey's B name.
      I didn't know if it was good or bad, didn't even think about it, other than looking at the translation and deciding maybe it was not what you want to say outside the stable.

      I didn't know the kid was around when I called a colt MB, as it is catchy for a name, like calling one "Boy".

      I quit calling horses anything quickly after that kid repeated THAT, uggh.

      The only time I have heard anyone call a horse names intending to sound bad was our old farrier, that when a horse acted up, called them "You, Turkey!"


      • #43
        I've called my horse such loving names as:
        a$$hole, ,jacka$$, Jerk, dipwad, nincompoop, dip$hit, $hithead, among others.
        These terms are sometimes tossed out with feeling behind them but sometimes they are said in loving tones. When I really feel loving I allow him to snuggle close and call him Buddy. His name is Tavis but he rarely hears it

        I have a couple of geese who don't have actual names....they are just called The A$$holes.
        "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


        • #44
          I would like to clarify, that generally I never call him names when I'm actually angry with him. And I'm also all alone at home, so it's not in front of strangers or children It's more like when he insists on walking into where I don't want him every-single-day at feeding time and it's an offhand, "Oh, you sh*thead, get outta the way." When I'm actually angry I'm more prone to growl.
          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


          • #45
            I call my guy:

            Big Ginge
            Ginger Nut
            Master of Disaster
            Delicate Flower
            Ticicle (his name is Tice)
            "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"


            • #46
              I kind of suspect that my animals are somewhat like Bill Cosby and his brother--they probably think their names are "Jesus Christ!" and "Dammit!"
              Author Page
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              Steampunk Sweethearts


              • #47
                I had a student in OR who had a gorgeous Ap/TB mare who was the epitome of HOT. We showed in Ap shows, and this student (teen girl) showed the mare in WP, WEq, HSP, HSEq. Especially in the western classes, her (girl's) lips were always moving, but I never could figure out what she was doing. Singing? Talking? Saying what? Very quiet. Pleasant expression on her face. Smooth as silk. One day I asked her. Now - this mare was ALWAYS one nano-second from explosion. Girl laughed and said, "I'm describing in great detail what happens to horses at the Alpo factory down the road when they don't behave." Kept HER relaxed so she wouldn't tense up and make matters worse. Talk about ROTFLMAO!!!
                Equine Photography in the Northeast


                • #48
                  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!!!!!!!!!!!

                  My old trainer, when the mare and I were struggling, would say, "OK, you have earned one more day's reprieve from the Alpo cannery" whenever we'd had a good session. I actually thought it was funny... I'm not a slaughter advocate at all, but humor helped to ease my frustration. (And think about it; most humor has some underlying hostility. Freud had a lot to say about that.)

                  Her name is Feronia, and this same trainer used to call her Ferocious when she was having a spicy day.

                  I don't call my mare "bad" names but will refer to her as "Goofball" or "Goofy Mare" when she loses her head over something silly, and "Princess" or "Missy" when she's acting like, well, a spoiled princess. But for punishment, I don't call her names, I tell her to "cut it out!" or "don't act rude!" or just growl at her.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                  • #49
                    I don't think it's necessarily healthy to get in the habit of using bad language when riding/training/etc. For a multitude of reasons, the simplest being that it really does change where your brain is. I have a short list that I use in frustrating moments...piggy, doofus, punk, hussie. But I don't use words that would offend anyone or give someone the wrong impression. I find that its easier for me to say "quit being a punk!" and keep my cool than to be silent and hope the horse starts paying attention to my aids. I also mutter it, usually through gritted teeth, not scream it.

                    I used to ride with a woman that would curse her way around a course every time. Including calling her gelding horrible names. She'd be yelling at the top of her lungs. There's just no class there... I let her image come to mind if I think about opening my mouth.
                    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                    • #50
                      My horse has been Fucker lately. But he's entitled to these days.
                      Other's horses are 'Common Dogs'. Mine never is.

                      I agree. The honest 'Asshole' is almost a compliment. I like willful but honest horses. If they're good enough to tell me they have a problem with my approach, least I can do is listen and find another way.


                      • #51
                        There is one that I privately refer to as sh*thead, but only because he bit me in the face a couple of weeks ago.

                        As long as they are cooperating and being generally good critters, I use a lot of cutie/goofball/darlin' at the barn, because I know it affects my tone as well as my own mindset when I'm working with them. When they need correcting, they get their own name or no name at all.
                        "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

                        Trolls be trollin'! -DH


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          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.
                          Oh dear, is this about the Morgan? Little beast has gotten to you already??

                          My boys are usually my mehos, or my sugarbears... but when they're not they're:
                          and asses

                          my Morgan has earned the especially special Little Lord Fauntleroy

                          I don't cuss much, but ahole is a term of endearment.
                          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                          • #53
                            My late ASB mare was very quirky, and earned many a nickname for her behavior. Her name was Frøya (pronounced Freya). Her name traced to Norse mythology and was the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. We always told everyone she was the goddess of war.

                            Bad days (not coming out of her stall, not going back in, not leaving/entering one side of the barn, rearing, running backwards, kicking, biting) she got called f*cknugget, tard, dumb-dumb, and dingbat, among other things I can't remember now. Good days we called her Pretty, Redmare, Sorrelmare, Pretty Freya, Sweetness, Dollbaby, and my favorite (for some reason) Freya-Mare.

                            Pete we lovingly call Peter, Peter-pop, Pops, Petey-Poof, and on one occasion where he gave me kisses he was "my big smoooosh". I have called him Butthead on a couple of occasions where he bonked me in the face with his big ol' head!

                            I call most stallions "Big Sexy". Kind of describes them, in their mindset anyway


                            • #54
                              Occasionally I will call my mare a cow or my one cat a b*tch, but always half-jokingly and when they've really acted that way!

                              More often it's nicknames like sweetpea, fluffypants, mr meows, chubs, etc.


                              • #55
                                I personally hate using hateful terms for horses that are just doing what horses may do (challenge, ignore, etc) -- just a part of the life with them and training of them.

                                I feel it sets "ill will" that can translate to the horse through one's own attitude and even body language. They are so perceptive to body language and what we say transmits our feelings as well through our body language.

                                When I get frustrated with the toughies, I've had many names:

                                Tough mares: 'Her Majesty" (to be dethroned..)
                                Tough stallons: "Your Lordship" (also to be dethroned..

                                All the others (that make me laugh and relax):


                                Bottom line, the words I use in frustration sometimes are more humorous. I never take what a horse is doing personally...unless it is a dangerous challenge like trying to bite, kick or purposely trying to injure.

                                If I even detect a remote chance that is the intention. Well, then it's a "come to Jesus" moment.

                                Horses reflect our own attitudes and body language. If you take something "personal" it can be a set up for failure in training.
                                www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                • #56
                                  I'll admit that one of my gelding's nicknames is dips**t. But that's said in affection, same as I'd call one of my brothers a**hole. I really try not to curse at him when I'm frustrated. I normally call him "dude" when I'm really mad.

                                  I have a saddle pad for him that says Elmer (as in, he's on his way to the glue factory if he's bad) on one side.......which I put on him if I know it's going to be a frustrating day. It's really hard to get mad at your horse when they're wearing a silly saddle pad.
                                  I love my Econo-Nag!


                                  • #57
                                    I've a few I've picked up over the years, several from racetrack-land:
                                    Abbreviated for PC reasons..
                                    Insult: "That common SOB" (one of the worst kind)
                                    Conversely, this is a compliment: "That tough SOB"
                                    A witchy mare of any kind: "That cow"
                                    ALSO a big compliment: "that one's half-tough!" (I fail to understand how "half-tough" functions as a possibly larger compliment than "tough SOB," but I don't make the rules!)


                                    • #58
                                      In general riding/handling situations, nope, no names. Plenty of thoughts, but no actual names. BUT, when one of my boys kicked me (aiming for another that I hadn't seen, got two broken ribs) I had PLENTY to call him! And there were no terms of endearment. I swear plenty


                                      • #59
                                        I'm really surprised at some of these responses. I call my horses names all the time, in fact it's regular conversation I have with them. Stupid dummy head belongs to one of THE smartest animals I've ever known. I KNOW he doesn't care. Animals perceive intent not words. I'm aghasted that anyone would think, THEY think, "omg she called me a bad word". Even if my stupid dummy head actually could, he would be lol-ing himself to another plane just for kicks.

                                        You cannot lie to a horse no matter what you call them.


                                        • #60
                                          I call mine a few, but noting terrible, and always in a loving tone. If he's REALLY doing something dangerous that must be stopped NOW, a name he doesn't understand isn't going to be effective. If he needs a CTJ, it comes along with his real (barn)name.

                                          When he's being silly, which he has been lately because he's rehabbing and not getting the work he's used to, he can be Dingbat, Goofball, Nutjob, Butt, Genius, and, when he does something especially exasperating or silly, Elmer. As in the glue...