4/6/09

Horse Trivia

On my way down the driveway one Friday morning, as I noticed the somewhat angry horses glaring at me through the fence, I wondered "do they even know it is Friday? Do they even care?"

Of course, the answer to that is "NO - they only care that you locked them back up and that they can't destroy your roses!" But it did make me think how simple their lives really are in the dynamics of the world.

In the mornings, all they have to do is line up along the fence, and someone throws grain to them. After they eat, they go get a drink and head out to the back pasture to graze, graze, graze. In the evenings, all they have to do is line up again and there comes the feed! Not a bad life if you ask me.

Sure..on weekends, that morning grain comes a little late, but it ALWAYS comes...guaranteed...even when they aren't really that hungry. Occasionally, someone might come along, throw a saddle on their backs and ride them around in a few circles, but that doesn't last long when all they want to do is run back to the barn, rear up on their hindquarters or scratch the pants off the rider on the barbed wire (not that any of MY horses would pull these stunts). Then, that means EXTRA grain when it is all over. Just not such a bad life.

Here are a few trivia facts I have learned from some supposed experts that I found rather fascinating.

1. A horse SEES things as seven times bigger than they really are. Yes, someone actually did a study and somehow determined by the shape of their eyes or brain or something that they believe everything else is bigger than them. This explains their failure to stomp us into the ground since they REALLY are much bigger and stronger than us. However, those eyes can spot bare feet a mile away and they can oh so innocently manage to stand on bare toes.

2. If a horse sees something out of its left eye, it will only register on one side of the brain. You have to actually turn its head so that it sees it out of the right eye as well or it will be just as startled when it passes to the other side - again someone did a study - I am just repeating what I was taught.

3. Horses have a blind spot on the back of their right eye - thus you always mount on the left side. This is supposed to keep the horse from spooking when you get in the saddle - in my experience, I have never had a horse "spook" while getting into the saddle. I have had one take off running, had one roll over on me, even had one turn around and bite my leg, but never spook - I don't think they have done a study yet that analyzes what must be done to avoid these other situations short of giving up the sport.

4. Just like people, horses are either "right" or "left" dominant. Yes, they are right legged or left legged. With Walking Horses, this is an important fact. One must study the horses lead patterns to determine which leg needs the most weight training to maintain an even walking gait.

Now for a few things I learned the hard way.

1. If a horse is running towards a fence and doesn't appear to be stopping while you are on its back - it is likely going to either jump or make a sudden stop - your options are to a) jump from the horse before getting to the fence b) try to strangle the horse with the bit, c) hang on and ride the jump or d) hang on and fly over the head of the horse straight into the barbed wire.

2. Never...never throw your empty beverage container over the horses head into the weeds on a trail ride - it DOES tend the spook the horses and you will most likely end up next to the container.

3. If you get a new bridle, it is best to take the tag off before it blows into the horses ear while running the barrels!

4. If you have a stallion and you have mares, don't put them in a field next to a busy four lane highway - ever!

5. Ostriches and horses don't mix - if someone tries to talk you into "boarding" their ostriches just until they find a new home for them, don't do it...horses are VERY afraid of ostriches.

6. No fence in the world will contain a horse when an Ostrich is chasing it.

7. It is best not to put a horse into crossties and spray it with a hose if it has never been exposed to spray washing before. This will more than likely result in complete destruction of your crossties, a good cussin' from your husband, and a REALLY mad horse!

8. If you raise a horse on a bottle, the best plan is NOT to let it into the house just because it's small and cute. When it grows up and weighs 2000 pounds, it will still think it should be allowed in the house.

9. It's really not a good plan to raise a horse like a child...you nor the horse ever realize it isn't a child and it pretty much gets its way the rest of its life. The same applies to dogs, cats, raccoons, opposums and other creatures!

10. If you have a tendency to love all creatures great and small - stay away from them...they will never leave once they show up...but I digress.

All in all horses are wonderful creatures and companions. But those lessons can be quite profound once experienced.



9. A 2000 pound horse can tear down a storm door, crush a couch and wreck a kitchen in less than 10 seconds.

. Never Yell or throw something at a 2000 pound horse that has just broken down your storm door. It will more than likely NOT be able to turn back around in a hurry without heavily damaging your property.

1 comment:

Nancy M. said...

Very funny! I can't imagine a horse running from an ostrich. That would be hilarious!