We often say I wish they could talk, I wish he could tell me what was wrong, why he doesn’t want to do X.
But if your horse could open his mouth and speak English loud and clear would you really listen, would you really want to hear what they had to say?
Now I bet half of you reading this and are saying “yes, absolutely, I would love for my horse to be able to speak, tell me how they are feeling, what they want” and there will be a portion of you reading this thinking absolutely not – I love animals because they can’t speak….? You might not admit this out loud through fear of the statement being taken out of context but the very fact horses can’t answer back verbally is why some people have them and enjoy them so much.
I had a very profound conversation with one of my liveries this week about the horses “voice”
We were talking about her beautiful Warmblood Mare and how much she has changed so much in the past few years.
The mare moved in with me 18 months ago at West View, it was there the mare had her first experiences of large fields full of grass, natural herbs and hedgerows, the fields big enough to gallop and have fun in. She also was allowed to go out with others and make friends and become a herd full of wonderful friendships. She made a special connection with another horse that really has blossomed into an incredible bond. Not perhaps your obvious pairing – size and age difference being vast and temperaments not very similar. However, it seems a match made in a heaven field.
When the summer came they all lived out in what looked like pure bliss. It felt fantastic to be able to provide them with a more natural way of life.
The mare became, well feral I guess would be the word I would use, she became a runaway train to ride, always distracted and preoccupied – she threw tantrums in her stable and when her friend was taken away she would catapult herself around screaming until she hurt herself or we returned her to her little friend.
We tried various methods to “tame” her and at times felt like we were getting somewhere.
The mare had been professionally produced and lightly competed before my livery purchased her, she had done well affiliated BD and had a few points under her belt.
On purchase she had hacked, loaded, travelled blar blar all that jazz all without a peep of “no or I don’t want to today”
In June 2015 when we moved to Poyle she changed a little as we changed the routine. She began to be ridden a little and would be separated for short periods of time from her herd and special friend.
It seems she was more settle??? Or happier with our human needs and demands on her behaviour?
It has this week become apparent again the mare doesn’t really want to be ridden and would rather be in a large herd galloping around with her friends and no changes to routine or life.
Her owner of course frustrated with the journey and the never knowing if the mare will allow to be ridden, caught, stabled etc said to me – why?????
My answer seemed to me a simple one to me – “because you have allowed her to be a horse, to make her own mind up if she wants to be ridden – left in the field etc, she is deciding and telling you and unfortunately it would seem she doesn’t want to be a ridden/worked horse.” She also has a lot of weaknesses through her back and SI which I think contribute to her “NO”
And this is when the penny dropped as it were, if you allow your horse the space and opportunity to talk they will tell you everything you want or maybe don’t want to know.
Not of course in English but think of it as learning another language like French or German.
Learn the language, and let them talk……… you might be surprised what you hear.
I have seen it time and time again, shut down horses because they have been over worked and over demanded of. Mr Orange is a prime example too, produced by a lovely dressage trainer but not allowed his own voice.
The boy is so load now it as if I can hear him in plain English!