If you own a horse or love being around them, then you know just how clever these elegant creatures can be. Horses are magnificent animals and they've served man in many ways for centuries. However, everyone who rides or spends lots of their free time in a yard, knows how important it is to be careful around horses because they are so big. Most horses would never dream of hurting their riders or handlers but occasionally accidents do happen – but sometimes you have to wonder just how much of an accident certain incidents actually were!
Horses are also sensitive creatures, they like their routine and get irritated when it's altered or changed. In fact, as any horse owner knows too well, horses very often have their own way of getting “even” with people. You may think this means a mount may buck their riders off or they may “take off” with them when riders least expect it. However, horses are more subtle in their approach to “getting even” because they don't really want to seriously hurt anyone, they just want to teach their owners a lesson or two. Below are just a few “lessons” that horses are particularly good at when it comes to showing their displeasure at something!
Owners arriving late at the yard and serve up breakfast a good half hour later than usual, might experience their foot being stepped on when they are tacking up their mounts ready to go out for a ride. Horses don't just step on your foot and lift up immediately, no they want to let you know about their displeasure at having to wait for their food so they assert just enough pressure for long enough so it really hurts! Once they release your foot, they have a tendency to watch as their owners hop around the stable on one foot making all sorts of amusing noises – and the worst of it is you can almost feel them laughing at you!
Horses have a few lessons they like to teach their riders when they aren't happy about something a rider does which means hanging on to their mouths a little too much or tugging on their bits can result in a trip into a low hanging branch! If the rider is quick enough they may be able to duck in time – if not a bump on the head is on the cards. However, the branch is never big enough to cause too much damage – after all this is just another little lesson that horses like to teach riders so they don't pull on their mouths as much!
One lesson a horse is particularly good at when they want to show they are unhappy about something is to rap their rider's knee on a gate post! You may have gone through the gate a thousand times and never had a problem with your horse cutting corners. The one time you did something that irritated your mount which could be pinching their girth, pulling on their mouths or anything else that met with their displeasure, you might find they sneak a quick side step in just as you're going through the gate so you knock your knee on the post which is has a definite “ouch” factor!
Another little lesson horses like to teach their riders is to suddenly go down to roll when their riders are on their backs. Normally a horse will give a few signals they might be about to roll – but not when they want to get their own back on their riders – this is when without warning they drop to their knees ready to roll over! Some horses are clever and wait till they are crossing a brook or shallow stream before they take their owners by surprise. With luck some riders have enough time to pull them back up with their reins or manage to jump off without having to suffer the indignity of a soaking!
Then there's the I'll get you when you're picking out one of my back feet lesson which is when you have their hoof in your hand and they decide to drop a “pile” on your arm. Now this could be a pure accident but then you need to ask yourself if this is just another little “lesson” as your horse looks back at you with what could be a grin on their faces!
If you've ever gone out to get your horse in from the field in the summer when the weather is lovely and warm, you may have found them near the water trough biding their time so they can teach you another little lesson by splashing you with water just as you are about to put their head collars on! They might dribble water on you or they might use they noses to splash you but either way, you end up soaked!
Horse are magnificent creatures and they boast a great sense of humour. However, they're pretty good at showing you when they are not happy about something whether it's a side step into a gate post or a quick step on your foot, you need to ask yourself just what you did that met with their displeasure!