If Only My Horse Would……

 Well, Convention soon, and lots of serious stuff goin’ on.  Hope some kind soul will live-blog the annual meeting…..So, I thought I would introduce a bit of light-heartedness into the Blog.  

  We breed horses for action, long necks, sturdiness, common sense, cow sense, good sense and low cents.    Ask any stall-mucker and I think they would prefer that someone, somewhere, breed a horse that ( A.) Does their business outside, providing they have a run,  or( B.)  Does their business ONLY in one corner  if they are confined to stall.    Our late stallion Rapidan Fleetwing had the lovely habit of putting everything in a corner and keeping the rest of the stall pristine.  Now, I know that stallions and geldings are better that way, and can even be trained to some extent to do this.  What was great about “Fleety” is that his descendents, male AND female , tend to do this as well, without training.    RSurene Carasu prefers to keep her stall clean if she has a run and I love her for it (although she has some other not so lovable habits  :-) ).   Contra this, take HVK Stillness.   Now, you would think a mare who grew up out on Anne Mears ranch would prefer to stay outside in the open air.  Oh no, not her.   “What, me go outside?  It’s raining!  I might get wet!  I will dump all over my stall instead, with particular attention to where I eat my hay and drink my water!”    Doesn’t it violate a natural law for a horse to excrete a volume greater than what they intake?   Happens all the time here.    To call your average Mare a pig is a deadly insult to pigs.  A well-mannered pig will build his straw nest in one corner and keep his bathroom in another, thank you very much.    I sometimes suspect malice, as when I have just completely cleaned a stall, and a mare saunters in from outside, sneers at me and lifts her tail.   If I am quick, I can get the shovel under her.  

So, we know what my wish is for….how about some other comments from you all?    What would you most like your horse to do?   No, not hit the correct lead every time-we all wish that!   What habit, manner, trick or quirk that you have observed in horses would you like to see?   To get the ball rolling,  I recall reading in A History of Horsemanship by James Chenevix-Trench that his mother rode an Andalusian who had the lovely habit of crouching down so his rider could just step aboard.  Boy, would that be nice for us old horsemen!

10 Responses to If Only My Horse Would……

  1. Sharon says:

    I enjoy it when my driving pair of Morgans help me harness! They will put their heads into the collar and help me fit it on. Their willingness makes is SO much easier to put to! It is the same sensation as when our gentle giants lower their heads to allow a child (or short adult) to easily place a bridle or halter on. When your horse so willing receives his gear, life is good!!

  2. Trisha says:

    We currently have a horse that only poops in one corner of his stall and has a tiny wetspot in the center of his stall. Otherwise clean. Always a back corner but depending on the stall would depend on whether his pile would be in the corner where the door is or the opposite corner. One person I work with tried very hard to move him to a spot where he’d make a pile right in front of the door… Didn’t work. hahah

    I’d personally like it if when I had a horse turned out that I didn’t have to walk to the other end of the arena/pasture where the horse is just standing watching me only to get there and the horse takes off to the gate and waits for me to walk back so I can bring them in…

  3. jns767 says:

    I wish that instead of shoving, nipping, squealing and running each other over to get in, the horses would line up, single file based on pecking order, and come in quietly. Then again, they wouldn’t really be horses if they did that ;)

  4. colwilrin says:

    I wish my excessively drooly gelding wait until I bring the towel to wipe his mouth rather than applying it as hair gel to my head.

  5. leslie says:

    I wish my horse would stomp the mud out of his feet before I bring him in. I work up a sweat just picking his feet out at this time of year. In also wish he would choose the driest spot in the paddock for his roll instead of the muddiest. He managed to get himself covered in mud during the drought last fall. I still haven’t figured that one out.

    I’ve heard people refer to the messiness of broodmares, but the neatest horses I’ve known where mares, and the messiest were geldings. The mares in question weren’t broodmares, though.

  6. mikado12 says:

    I used to have a mare who pretty much slept through all my morning groomings, cooperating while happily snoring. Then she would rest her head on my shoulder while I wiped her eyes. She was adorable.

    Otherwise my favorite poop stories were a stallion who somehow managed to stuff his poop between the bars of his stall and apparently thought that was hilarious. He did it every day but no one ever saw him do it.

    I also cared for a mare who thought the water bucket was her toilet. I had to clean it early and often. She thought that was funny too. Oh well, have to keep the humans confused I guess. :-)

  7. We had a lesson horse in our stable named Chublake Casey. He was beautifully trained but had an odd quirk: when he was bridled he would stretch his mouth open as wide as he possibly could to accept the bit. Scared the heck out of the new students because it looked like he was going to eat their arm. Sure was easy to bridle. I don’t know if he was trained that way or just did it on his own.

  8. Trisha says:

    We have a horse in the barn I work at who blows bubbles in his water bucket. I always thought he was only a food dunker until I went into the barn without him realizing it while he was blowing bubbles… it was even the middle of winter! Half of his face was soaked.

  9. leslie says:

    “I also cared for a mare who thought the water bucket was her toilet. I had to clean it early and often. She thought that was funny too. Oh well, have to keep the humans confused I guess.”

    I’ve had the privilege of caring for horses with that quirk. It’s pretty unpleasant.

    The owner of my old boarding barn once told me that my horse was really good at catching mice. Apparently she’d find dead mice floating in his bucket some mornings. I can just imagine him seeing a little mouse trying to get a drink out of the bucket and going over to sniff it, and…oops.

  10. leslie says:

    Chris, your prayers have been answered. Maybe.

    http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2011/03/080.shtml

    An Austrian inventor has come up with a device to housebreak your horse through an automated, treat-based reward system. Brilliant(?)

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