Despite having spent pretty much most of my life around horses, I have a lot of questions that I fear will never be answered to my satisfaction. I’d be really interested in what an equine psychologist (if there were such a professional) might have to say about these 8 horse behaviors I’ve observed:
2. Speaking of manure, how come my three-year-old still can’t figure out how to back through a trail obstacle, yet he can manage to back up to his feeder and poop into it with precise aim?
3. What is it about my most expensive leather tack that is so appealing to a horse’s taste buds?
4. My horses have displayed incredibly acute hearing. They can hear me crinkle the wrapper on a horse cookie or snap a carrot in half from yards away. Yet if they happen to step on my foot they’re immediately struck completely deaf, unable to hear me wailing and cursing.
5. Why is it that my horse will plod across a fast moving, chest-deep river without hesitation, but if I ask him to step off a curb and there’s a trickle of water in the gutter, he acts as if I’m asking him to leap into an abyss?
6. Have you ever noticed that a horse who derives pleasure from rubbing his mane into oblivion is the very same horse that throws a total hissy fit if you try to clip, comb, braid, band or pull his mane?
7. My sister’s gelding came from the racetrack with an annoying habit. He dunks his hay in his water bucket. Every. Single. Meal. It’s like he’s making Hay Stew. He eats all of it, but then his water is yucky and he won’t drink it, forcing us to empty his water bucket. Every. Single. Meal. Why? Does he find this ritual amusing?
8. How do my horses know when I have planned a horse camping trip, a show, a trail trial or a clinic? Is it my body language? Are they eavesdropping on my conversations? I want to know, because my special occasions seem to coincide with their decisions to lose a shoe, break out in spontaneous hives or stick their leg through a fence.
I’m sure you have some questions about questionable horse behavior, too. Are the horses we love simply trying to drive us nuts? Or are their antics just misguided attempts to add humor and excitement to our lives? Perhaps none of us will ever truly know the answers.
Back to Life with Horses.