There’s a great scene in The Wizard of Oz when the Cowardly Lion–after being scared by an apparently supernatural event–chants to himself “I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks…” We don’t know how many of the world’s horses have watched that movie, but the Cowardly Lion’s creed is certainly one that could apply to many equines. So just for fun, and in the spirit of Halloween, here is a glossary of some common objects that many horses are afraid of–along with “definitions” from a horse’s point of view!
Bag, see Plastic Bag
Chainsaw – With plenty of buzzing and crashing of branches, chainsaws are a nemesis of horses everywhere. Wait in your stall until it returns to its natural habitat (usually the same place the truck sleeps).
Garbage Truck – This loud, lumbering monster comes once a week to feed on garbage. It doesn’t bother horses. But you never know. Run and hide at the other end of the pasture until it disappears, just in case.
Other Side of the Farm – You know the drill: You go from the barn to the pasture, and back. That’s it. That means the other side of the farm is haunted. Old maps of the world used to show scary places on the edges that said, “Here be dragons.” The same thing applies to that area of the farm that you never go to. If a human tries to take you there, stand up straight to make yourself look bigger and stronger, and prance as much as you can.
Picnic Table – Fresh, windy days can sometimes make things like picnic tables look fearsome, so spook away quickly if you’re unsure. If you’re being led, it’s always best to spook towards your human, if possible.
Plastic Bag – A white, flittering, fluttering, bat-like creature that hisses as it bounds across an open lawn. Dangerous to touch. Blow and stomp until a handy human removes it from the vicinity.
Rock – Large rocks lay in waiting–sometimes for years–for an unsuspecting horse to walk by, so never let your guard down. Give it the old “spook look” every time.
Tarp – These (often blue) creatures bask in the sun on top of old machinery during warm days. On blustery days, they flap like a stingray and make a lot of noise. Stay clear if it’s windy!