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

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  • #81
    I grew up on a farm and around ranchers and farmers that still used horses frequently, so I have no compunction about telling a horse things like 'Get off my foot, you stupid bastard!!' The move to the track did little for creating a more genteel vocabulary as most horsemen are pretty creative in horse cussing. The last time I was in a big stable, we had nearly 30 head and could tell who was doing what - a splash of water, pail banging, teeth against bars, kicking would always get the long distance response of '__________, you peckerhead!!' and the offensive behaviour would cease at least for a while. One of my guys was such a trouble maker that he actually earned the barn name of Peckerhead, and mostly said in a normal tone - this horse would fling pails, snap at people, go for the barn dog, chew blankets and any number of bad things, including a joint effort on a plywood partition that made a shetland sized hole between the stalls.

    I would much rather someone cussed out a horse than beat or otherwise abuse it The cussing lets off steam and that's far better than wailing on the poor horse. Anyone with delicate sensibilities had best stay away from th back side of a track or even a professional training facility.
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    • #82
      Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
      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..
      Well, most of all it does keep you from getting into the habit of saying them at the wrong moment. For me, screaming/obscenities are good tension release (better than hitting things, anyway) and I've had Dance Pro tell me "You better hope the judges don't lip-read."

      Heck, I flipped off my pro from Boston in the middle of a round (he said something ESPECIALLY obnoxious, which was his way of getting me to crack a smile, but that one went a bit far.) But I incorporated it into my arm styling, plus when he asked if any judges saw it and if so which ones and I said who'd been looking, he said "Oh, HE just said 'good girl!' and bumped you up a placing."

      I don't think I've ever really CALLED a horse a name rather than just yelled something to the general audience ("JESUS CHRIST, will you LISTEN?") except the red-headed mare Lucky was briefly turned out with who was such an aggressive gate-guarder she'd spin-kick at him without caring how close I was. The only thing that saved me from getting crushed against the gate once is that Lucky turned at the last minute and curved AROUND me. I may have called her some choice names.
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      • #83
        I call them names all the time. Collectively, my horses are referred to as "stupid useless nags." The mare is a b*tch, the gelding is stupid.

        I've also renamed several horses at my barn.. There's Dumbf*ck, Daisy Dumbass, Assh*le Arab, and Dumb Sh*t. The owners are all well aware that I call the horses those names... I never refer to the horses by their actual names unless there are children or parents present.

        As long as the horses are being treated well, who cares what they're called?
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        • #84
          I *try* not to call derogatory names. It sets the mood, as it were.



          Although, I'm a huge fan of word play. Luna gets all kinds of names. Sometimes "atic" gets added on if she's feeling, (ahem) sensitive. Otherwise, its LaLa, Noona, Lady, LubLub, etc.

          Cajun, on the other hand, is called Grandma. <3

          ETA I am getting a kick out of some of these names though!!!
          Originally posted by dizzywriter
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          • #85
            Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
            I grew up on a farm and around ranchers and farmers that still used horses frequently, so I have no compunction about telling a horse things like 'Get off my foot, you stupid bastard!!' The move to the track did little for creating a more genteel vocabulary as most horsemen are pretty creative in horse cussing. The last time I was in a big stable, we had nearly 30 head and could tell who was doing what - a splash of water, pail banging, teeth against bars, kicking would always get the long distance response of '__________, you peckerhead!!' and the offensive behaviour would cease at least for a while. One of my guys was such a trouble maker that he actually earned the barn name of Peckerhead, and mostly said in a normal tone - this horse would fling pails, snap at people, go for the barn dog, chew blankets and any number of bad things, including a joint effort on a plywood partition that made a shetland sized hole between the stalls.

            I would much rather someone cussed out a horse than beat or otherwise abuse it The cussing lets off steam and that's far better than wailing on the poor horse. Anyone with delicate sensibilities had best stay away from th back side of a track or even a professional training facility.
            THIS! Precisely!

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            • #86
              Originally posted by Emryss View Post
              Booger-Butt

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              You win the Kathy Bates Misery award.
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              • #87
                A big chunk of my horse experience (as a commercial carriage driver) involves working with the public and creating a real fairy tale experience for them. Being annoyed or short with my horse would really shatter the experience they are paying for. So, in that situation (having a family and admiring youngsters in tow during the majority of daily my horse interactions) looking for the positives, playing up or spinning the individual personality and downplaying the negatives is a part of making the whole thing a beautiful pretty package.

                And you know what? It's a good habit. I think it also works the same in marriages and child rearing- the things we say shape our experience. Of course, there is some stuff that no rosey words can make true... but I think it's generally a much better policy to think of your horse as a saint... or a cherished mascot or a famous wonderhorse, like Trigger or Bright Zip... and to speak of him and to him in those terms.

                I worked at a farm where there was a wonderful barn full of Pony hunters, and to hear the trainer speak of them, those ponies had halos... maybe a little bit of it was horse trader finesse... after wheeling and dealing some rich folks to pay five figures for a pony- he better have a halo and poop golden nuggets- maybe the lavish praise and reverence for them was a way of constantly reinforcing what a great decision the purchase was- but what I noticed is that in that enviornment at the stable- the kids in training and the camp kids too- were very respectful and gentle with the ponies (unlike some of the bratty human attitude I had seen elsewhere) That trainer really set the tone with her honoring of the ponies- and I really feel that the ponies in turn- stepped up and filled those golden shoes. They really were good, don't get me wrong (and there OF COURSE were times when they could be downright naughty) it wasn't smoke and mirrors... it's just that the kids were never allowed to forget just how blessed and lucky they were.

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                • #88
                  Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                  I grew up on a farm and around ranchers and farmers that still used horses frequently, so I have no compunction about telling a horse things like 'Get off my foot, you stupid bastard!!' The move to the track did little for creating a more genteel vocabulary as most horsemen are pretty creative in horse cussing. The last time I was in a big stable, we had nearly 30 head and could tell who was doing what - a splash of water, pail banging, teeth against bars, kicking would always get the long distance response of '__________, you peckerhead!!' and the offensive behaviour would cease at least for a while. One of my guys was such a trouble maker that he actually earned the barn name of Peckerhead, and mostly said in a normal tone - this horse would fling pails, snap at people, go for the barn dog, chew blankets and any number of bad things, including a joint effort on a plywood partition that made a shetland sized hole between the stalls.

                  I would much rather someone cussed out a horse than beat or otherwise abuse it The cussing lets off steam and that's far better than wailing on the poor horse. Anyone with delicate sensibilities had best stay away from th back side of a track or even a professional training facility.
                  I have spent many years around cowboys and at the track and, since I don't cuss, when I was around, those that do also tried not to, rarely not able to control themselves.
                  I think it is considered the polite thing to do, not to cuss around women, unless they also cuss.

                  I am not sure cussing keeps abuser from abusing, but it is an interesting concept.

                  I don't think there is any reason or place where cussing is necessary.

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                  • #89
                    Originally posted by Plainandtall View Post
                    A big chunk of my horse experience (as a commercial carriage driver) involves working with the public and creating a real fairy tale experience for them. Being annoyed or short with my horse would really shatter the experience they are paying for. So, in that situation (having a family and admiring youngsters in tow during the majority of daily my horse interactions) looking for the positives, playing up or spinning the individual personality and downplaying the negatives is a part of making the whole thing a beautiful pretty package.

                    And you know what? It's a good habit. I think it also works the same in marriages and child rearing- the things we say shape our experience. Of course, there is some stuff that no rosey words can make true... but I think it's generally a much better policy to think of your horse as a saint... or a cherished mascot or a famous wonderhorse, like Trigger or Bright Zip... and to speak of him and to him in those terms.

                    I wholeheartedly agree with this.

                    And while of course horses (or other animals) can't understand the words, they can understand tone. And unless you very consciously use a loving tone while calling them bad names, a negative tone tends to creep in because YOU know what the word means. So I wouldn't be keen on calling horses bad names as a general rule.

                    I absolutely call horses terrible names if they do something that could potentially hurt me. The oldster that kicked out at me as I turned him out (something no other horse here has done, and he had never done before) heard quite an earful as I shouted/growled at him! In those instances I want the horse to know I think he is horrible. All other times, I want them to know I think they are truly wonderful. Because they are.
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                    • #90
                      It is never a bad thing to treat others, including our animals, with respect.
                      Perhaps the name-callers here are the youngies who grew up with different codes?
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                      • #91
                        I used to get grief for calling my mare 'Fatty.' Not even in a mean way, lol. That's her nickname. Anyway, people would chide me for being mean to her. I'd say, she doesn't understand! As long as you say it in a nice way, they don't know.

                        Also, you can mumble nonsense at a horse, if you say it with a normal tone, they'll understand you. I found this out when I had a mouthful of novocaine. she had no problem unerstanding what I wanted.

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                        • #92
                          I was at a show with a British friend last year and her horse was being pretty silly. She pretty much growled "stop it, you big girl's blouse". Never heard that one before and almost fell down laughing.
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                          • #93
                            My favourite is a friend who always calls horses acting like idiots "Numb-nuts". Another's horse (sometimes spooky under saddle) was jokingly called Chester the Molester at home. His stable-mate who liked to eat blankets and was given an anti-chewing bib attached to his halter got the nick-name Hannibal Lecter!

                            However I thought this thread was about horses' real names. I don't agree with calling them (these are real names) Monster, Killer, Monkey, Spook. I think it's self-fulfilling.
                            Blugal

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