Saturday, January 28, 2012

28th January, 2012 Spring Planting

It't that time of year again when people start to think about loading horses to go to events. I would urge people to iron out any loading problems sooner rather than later so that you have plenty of time to practice, practice, practice before you need to go anywhere.

Today I have been out to see a smashing pony club pony, a Forester, that has gone on strike about loading. His rider wants to be able to take him to rallies in half term but still has plenty of time to get practise in. This pony wasn't terribly worried about the trailer, even when in it, but even a mild apprehension, especially if reinforced with lots of people coming to 'help' on previous occasions, is enough to make him reluctant. Although he would move his front feet for pressure and release, it was actually his back feet that were planted and wouldn't move at all. With the help of the panels and a very calm approach, we got him to load after a while. After that he loaded time after time without hesitation and without us needing to close the panels at all. Moreover he didn't attempt to run backwards once loaded which is what he has done before. Bit by bit, loading and unloading in between, we put up all the bars and the ramp, checking that there were no obvious trigger or worry points as we went along. Mother, daughter and I all worked as a team, keeping our adrenalin low and trying to make it a really pleasant experience with food available in the 'hotel' once he was inside.

Email received 30.1.12: "We put the box just by the gate on Sunday.   Y was the first to try to load him and he planted his back legs again but she moved the front end.  After a couple of minutes she said would I try and so I took over and moved him sideways a couple of times and then he walked on to our relief – so the delay was only about 5 minutes.   We then loaded him 4 more times, myself twice and Y twice and he walked straight on each time.  I am going to practice again this week and the on Friday  we will take him for a short journey.    On Saturday we are planning to  take him for a short journey and then unload him and wait a  while and then load him again to come home.  I will keep you informed on his progress."BP

Thursday, January 26, 2012

26th January, 2012 Hands On Horsemanship

Spent an 'office day' at HorseWorld meeting with IHRA Bronwen Packham (Bridgewater) and Jenny Major (MRPCH), along with Sarah Hollister and Mike Daw of HorseWorld. We are planning to run two day Hands on Horsemanship Courses at HorseWorld where there are an enormous variety of horses and horse related issues to work with. This is Maestro a newly arrived rescue who seemed very glad of some good company. The first course should take place in July.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25th January, 2012 I will follow



It is counter-intuitive to horses to go anywhere on their own. Lone horses get killed by predators. Even older horses may not have been taught that it is okay to ride out alone. Rather than battle with a horse it is easier to work on this as if it is a missing part of their education. Incremental steps as always, building up from groundwork to ridden work in little stages looking out for those important trigger points where more work needs to be done.

This little horse was absolutely fine with someone on foot so his owner can now move on to ridden work. Note, it's no good expecting your horse to wade through water if you are going to teeter along the edges. Once again, wet feet and wet trousers but a horse that is happy to follow me through deep water.


"Thank you so much for your prompt "E" sending your hints and tips.  As yesterday was bin day at the yard, I thought it would be a good time to try W...... out and we employed PMA (positive mental attitude), did our brisk walk forward, straight past the bags, down the lane, sharp turn and back again, this time with them on his side - no reaction - so far so good.  Then led him up to them, paused, rustled them about a bit - then I was amazed that he actually stuck his nose down into them to see what was going on - RESULT! 
 
We may try a short venture out riding by ourselves later in the week - I have told him I will choose the route and he can provide the transport!
 
Thank you so much for your assistance and input.  It was great working with you and has given me much to think about.  Will keep you posted."SP 28.1.12

Monday, January 23, 2012

23rd January, 2012 Non-contact sport

It was off to see my favourite dressage horse this morning. Change of venue as her owner had arranged for us to work at Maggie Gill's here on the Forest. Riva has been pretty worried about working in in the warm up arena since she was crashed into by another horse and rider at one event. Fortunately it hasn't stopped her winning but her owner is keen to help her to get over it. At home, Riva rarely works with other horses around and shares her field with little ponies. She is quite slight and is understandably intimidated by bigger horses charging towards her. Facilities are not always ideal at dressage events but I do think people should be more considerate.

Warming up in her own section of the arena

Actively following Maggie on Jake. Riva, bless her, always has her working and concentrating face on but there was no doubt that she was enjoying sending him away!

Non-contact tig

Our ladies can't remember who is 'it'!

'Fly pasts' at trot with Riva on the inside..we also worked with her on the outside

Making a Riva sandwich

Joined by third horse Flossie and her rider, Natasha.
As usual, building up with lots of incremental steps. This exercise showed that Riva is helped by having a relaxed rider, there was lots of laughing and chatting going on and that she can cope with all walk and meaningful trot and being between another horse and the fence. Riva has never met any of these horses before. Once she is well established at this level, it should be possible to do more at canter.

Wonderful to work with three happy riders and three happy horses. Thank you Maggie and Natasha and of course Riva's owner, Tina, for entering into the spirit of things.

23rd January, 2012 I ought to blush

It gives me so much pleasure every time I sell a book to know that it might be helping some waif, stray or even shy baby horse to get a good start. I was thrilled to bits to go onto the Horse and Hound Forum (which, if I am honest, normally frightens me) to find the following:


Wow just realised my favorite Horsey Author is a member!!

I have read No fear No force by Sarah Weston cover to cover countless times and have recommended it to so so many people especially those who take on untrained or wild horses, I’ve even bought and posted a copy to a friend in Australia who bought a outback (wild) horse at the sales.

Now i realise Sarah Weston is a member of this very forum.

Thanks Sarah for a fantastic easy to follow book! You really are an inspiration and I am sure for those particularly involved in rescuing and re-homing your advice and information is invaluable. 

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Wow, we have fame in our 'family'. Must get that book as you speak of it so highly 
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I've got that book too and thoroughly recommend it. 
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I also have her book and it's been a great help and so has Sarah
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I just hinted heavily to OH about it as my birthday is approaching...hope I get it, glad to hear good feedback about it! I could definitely do with it with Mr Wyllt.
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Another thumbs up. Really good book. 
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Me: Creeps in....says, thank you very much. This is very kind....and runs away again! No self promotion allowed on here....but, if that book helps one pony I am really pleased
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Woo hoo, a big round of applause xxxxx 
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*points finger and stares - is it? isn't it? It's her!!* 
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I had no idea Sarah was on here, hi Sarah! *waves*   Sarah has helped enormously with all our horses and our 8 month old QH foal has been trained entirely with her methods and is a joy to handle! 
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Trots off to look at the book....... 
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I was recommended Sarah's book by a Fell breeder when I got my two foals last November. It was a godsend, so nicely written and easy to follow, each time I went to work with the foals I just read the next part of their education and followed it!! I have read around a lot, so there wasn't a lot that was particularly new to me, but it was just so clear and concise it calmed the chaos of my own mind and gave me the confidence I needed to go against all the "advice" I was being given and do it the way I always wanted.

I spotted Sarah the other day and meant to PM, but thank you from me and two little fell babies for helping us get off to a better start!! I just wish I had the book a little sooner so they never had to be roped, but when I breed my own I will know exactly what to do with them now 

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Wow Sarah! I remember chatting in the pub in Ashburton after the first workshop and us all saying write it, write it and just look how many equines it’s helped so glad you did it! It's still spreading around the world! 
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 kiss-ass! No really, I am a reader too, well done sarah, and welcome to the humble HHO



Sunday, January 22, 2012

22nd January, 2012 Hand feeding

On Friday I went to see a lovely 18 month old ID x TB filly, just ready to start her education, albeit very slowly. She backs up beautifully, turns when asked whether using body language or a gentle pressure at her hindquarters. Very amenable and very trainable. However, she has been hand fed with treats all her life and once you are at her front end, she won't leave you alone or give you any space and, when I asked her to, with some very gentle body language (not touching her at all) she got cross.This set me thinking about the significance of food in training.

When a horse is hand fed liberally where there is no barrier, they can literally back you into a corner with their demands - a bit like the gaping mouth of a baby bird but in this case it keeps coming forward. Refusal often offends and yet if you give in only after they have pestered for a while, you teach them stamina instead. Horses know that food grows and they have no reason to believe that it doesn't grow on you (especially where pockets smell of heaven) - they always know there will be more eventually and what better than a human vending machine that they can nudge, shake and kick to make it release it's riches. When they are young, they do the same to their mother's udder in order to get her to release the milk and they are non too subtle about it. It's a mistake to believe that such attention is affection - it's a horse demanding to be fed, and if you give in, it works - job done as far as the horse is concerned. There is no moral angle to a horse.

Bringing a horse into you like this, may also make later training very difficult. Too much carrot may lead to too much stick - especially if you go to a trainer that knows of no other way to motivate a horse than a whip. Food tells a horse to stay close to you and to keep his head to you.  Eventually you will need to ask him to go away at all paces on the end of a long rein. You'll need him to accept direction from the saddle too. Horses that have been hand fed find this hard to accept - it teaches them to be sticky.

 Monty Roberts is  absolutely adamant about hand feeding, he says that the horse should not associate food with the human body. He argues that horses do not reward each other with food. I actually agree completely with that save for the ultra-disciplined use of food as part of a reward system for training. When you look at horses in the field, the one at the top of the hierarchy will move all of the others off their pile of hay in turn, not because the hay is any better or there aren't enough piles, but because she can (and it's usually a she!). The others down the line then move the next one off their hay. It's a pretty strict hierarchy with some weird exceptions for foals and occasionally for a best friend. It's a funny old message then that we are giving a horse when we give up 'our' food to him. With food aggressive horses, Monty advocates feeding the place, not the horse so that this situation doesn't arise even with a bucket.

If I was a yard owner, I would make a rule that no-one is to hand feed a horse that doesn't belong to them. Feeding horses over stable doors definitely teaches them to lunge for food and to bite; not just because of the food itself but because of the inconsistency they meet with different people's attitudes to their begging behaviour. One person will feed straight away, another might tease, another might walk just out of a reach and there's always the one that will hit. Then you have a vending machine with the unpredictability of Arkwright's till.


It's well known now that I will use a bit of clicker training, food training with horses in some cases and sometimes only in certain circumstances with a given horse. The disciplines with that include working with a barrier in place at first while you set up the association and assess your horse's attitude to food; keeping the food in a bum bag that you only ever where while clicker training is being utilised and food is available as a reward and similarly only having the target around when clicker training is available; establishing small steps which the horse understands - shaping the behaviour -  rather than going the whole hog in one go; not creating too great a conflict between what the horse wants, the food and what it doesn't, for example, a headcollar.

A horse may forfeit his right to clicker training if he is too avid or food aggressive but it's often (always?) the handler's fault if that happens. Your timing has to be immaculate, you have to be ultra consistent and thinking, thinking, thinking, all the time that you are working with it - utterly logical. There are some horses where you can get away with being wishy-washy - take Jack for instance, but that is because he was so frightened of people in the first place that he is careful around them. A horse that has lost his own language and is completely 'in your face' can become overly demanding and intimidating and it is all too easy to reinforce that by giving food if he offers a given behaviour. Clicker training has to be on your terms - always.

Email received 26.1.12: "You'll be pleased to know that I have stopped hand feeding S altogether and she doesn't bug me for food at all any more. Result!"



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18th January, 2012 Patience


Nicki, Peechay's owner to be, came over to see him this morning and we did a little work with him and Indiana. He hasn't had his headcollar on more than ten times so we did some leading work, picked up his feet and gave him a little brush. Nicki is desperate to take him home but also wants him to stay with me for as long as possible while he has got Indiana for company. I think we will put a bow on him in the middle of March and take him over to hers where he will have Maverick and Silver to play with. In the meantime the poor lad has got an important rendezvous with the vet.

Chancer's sarcoid is much much smaller now and we have to decide whether he needs a final, 7th, injection or not. The insurance company agreed to pay for the treatment but only for a year since it was very first noticed. After that we are on our own.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

17th January, 2012 Brace yourselves



The fitness thing is going pretty well. 12lbs down so far (and a haircut to make me even lighter this afternoon) and I'm cycling or running five times a week and going down to meet Sally at Carey's Manor once a week. Out with the Diet Coke and in with water, no chocolate, chips or cheese but plenty of fruit and veg and I'm already feeling stacks better. I've just had the shortest cold I have ever had and my best trousers are hanging off me. There's hope!!



Monday, January 16, 2012

16th January, 2012 One of those things.....


On an average day, I get twenty emails about horses some of which need a visit and some only need brief advice. The advice I give is always hedged by the fact that I have not seen the horse concerned and therefore I rarely give black and white answers and I will urge caution. When I have seen a horse already I feel much happier giving advice knowing a lot more about the horse's character and the skills of the owner. Most of the advice I give is free - where I have worked with someone before it is part of the unofficial service level agreement. Where I haven't worked with someone before I'd like at least a thank you (happens surprisingly little considering how much effort and help I give) or a small donation to HorseWorld, the DPTC or another horse charity you fancy.

I'm going to use some of the questions I get asked as good BLOG material so here goes:


Q:"I wondered if i could ask for your input on something. As you know M was stolen at 10 months old and went through God knows what... but he's always been funny with his feet... one front leg in particular.. we've work on it and he will pick all 4 feet up, stand to have his feet picked out, trimmed etc, I've even had him wearing brushing boots etc We think they hobbled him or tied his legs together at some point as he was so funny with his legs and not sure he's ever really entirely got over it.

When we are handling his feet he is a bit funny with his front right, he will act like he is trying to bite but completely misses you and ends up biting his own leg. thinking back this is something he did with me on several occasions.. again completely missing my hand/arm and biting his own leg... its not all the time.. but quite often. Medically I don't think there is anything wrong, no lumps, bumps, cuts, heat or anything... and the fact he seems to purposely bite his own leg is very confusing to me. I used to ignore the behaviour as he wasn't actually biting me.. so he got no reaction; he isn't getting his foot put down. because he does it.

This is a pony I have met and worked with, a miniature Shetland with bags of character. To me, this isn't learned behaviour at all. It goes back to that well of instinctive, automatic behaviour that comes with being a horse...

A: I think most horses have one dominant leg which especially in males, would be the one they would use to play and fight with. The fact that he bites his own leg means that he is consciously trying to override this and not biting people. Good pony! It’s instinctive, automatic behaviour which they have to switch off rather than a behaviour they have to learn. You could try using strong body language when he does it or just ignore it as you have been doing so far.

Friday, January 13, 2012

13th January, 2012 An Inspector Calls

Today it was big tall Phin's turn to visit Longdown Farm. Phin was three this week and his owners felt it would be a great present for him as well as an educational experience. He is remarkably calm about new things anyway and would make a great police horse. Nevertheless, he coped with a huge range of new animals, sights and sounds today and inspected them all very carefully.




















From the IHDG:

"Yes he is a very special boy! Sarah first came to us just after I bought him. I could touch his front end and put his head collar on easily but could not touch his back end! Sarah and her feather duster had us touching him all over and lifting his feet after just a couple of hours and we haven't looked back since. We've had long lining lessons with Sarah & Phin and my daughter Kathryn has attended Sarah's 2 day foal handling course .

Having Sarah out was the best thing I've ever experienced and worth every penny; highly recommend anyone to call on an RA for help with your horses!"


Thursday, January 12, 2012

12th January, 2012 Irish Cream?

I am absolutely certain that not all breeders/trainers can be tickled with the same dandy brush, and as a general rule I don't like generalisations. I am trying to be very careful how I say this. If you bought a horse from the gypsies, you wouldn't be surprised to find that the horse has been driven when it was two or that it had been tethered. In the same way you would know that if you bought an ex-racehorse, he might have been broken at two years or even eighteen months old and ridden fast. So the following is certainly not saying that all Irish people treat their horses this way or that other people don't. If you buy a horse from Ireland, you just need to be aware that this is still quite common practice. From one of my readers:

"Just read your BLOG about seeing a few Irish horses and as my Irish side of my family used to breed and sell horses I know, and I am sure you do, how hard they are on them. From what I gather from my visits anyway, the youngsters, no matter how finely bred, are left in a field untouched until 3 years old. They may have had a halter on and been tied to a post to "teach" them how to tie up at some time along the way but basically very little time is invested in them. My uncle used to pay local lads to drive them  into the bogs up to their bellies so they could not move and then the lads would sit on them. When they thought they were "backed" they hauled them out and then the lads often drove them around the field, still on them, fast, turning them quickly so they would not buck. Then, while they are still exhausted,  on goes the tack, a few blasts round the field and off to the sales hopefully to go on the boat to England for lots of lolly. Sounds awful I know and things may have changed - I hope so. They breed such good horses over there its a shame their early "education" can be so contrary."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11th January, 2012 He's not new! He's secondhand

There's no such thing as a brand new horse unless you breed one. Just like second cars, second hand horses can come with all sorts of hidden problems and idiosyncracies some of which will cost time and others costs money. Some horses are mis-sold and some are mis-bought. If you have bought a horse and his behaviour changes dramatically then it's always a good idea to put the last owner on notice just in case you want to be able to send them back. Of course, that isn't easy if you have fallen in love, taken the horse on warts and all, if you can't bear the thought of them going back there or the previous owner is adamant that the horse has never done that with them. Unfortunately if you are not prepared for the long haul, it is the horse that pays if you have to sell them on again to rid yourself of the problem. With more and more people turning to IH when they encounter a problem, human/horse relationships are surviving those initial weeks and going from strength to strength. Of course, all horses will need some settling in time but a horse is much happier if reliable leadership is set up in the earliest days and at the first sign of wobbliness.

I went to see one such horse today and my goodness he is beautiful. 17.1 and still growing he is an innocent of this world and so so sensitive. He was delightful to work with and so willing to give everything a try. I hope I persuaded his owner that actually he is just a baby with a few holes in his education. She was brilliant too (photo hopefully tomorrow). He has been worried about having his bib over his head and so we worked on that was well as the basic groundwork. I did some single line work with him and he got it in three goes.

Originally from Ireland and very very tall, I wonder whether he has set the theme for the week. I've answered a few questions about Irish horses lately and am just setting up appointments with their owners but on Friday it is big tall Irish Phin's turn to go to Longdown Farm to meet all the animals. It's his birthday present from his owners and we are hopeful that he will take everything in his big long stride. Watch this space.


11th January, 2012 And so the killing begins


And so the killing in 2012 begins. At dawn this morning this pony was killed by a driver. I don't know whether it was a hit and run. Once again the B3078 where commuters play Russian Roulette with our ponies every dusk and dawn. 40 mph is the maximum and NOT the minimum speed limit and yet MOST cars exceed the limit. It is difficult to see in the failing light but that means you have to slow down and if the lights of the cars coming in the other direction mean that you can't see what is to the left, you have to slow down. This filly is about 9 months old.
I am also sick of seeing people park on the grass in the New Forest. There are over 100 designated car parks on the Forest where parking and driving does not cause damage. Parking on the grass damages it and encourages other people to do the same. The ponies, that are so important for the natural conservation of the flora and fauna,  need that grass to eat and people are the first to complain when the ponies get thin.  How would they like it if I parked on their dinner; put my feet in their Sunday lunch??
  The Forest is gradually being eaten away from within. Not by the ponies but by people who damage the grass like this or steadily pinch bits of land. People who have just moved into our village  have put in a gravel track to their house that was never there before and still allowed workmen to park their transits on the grass either side. In no time at all it will become accepted as a lay-by and that will be the end of that.

Monday, January 9, 2012

9th January, 2012 Great Expectations and Value for Money





What can you expect from a visit?

Depending on the reason for my visit, we would normally start off by discussing your horse’s history and the nature of any problems that you have been having or the work that you would like done with him/her.

Some of this can be done by e-mail or by telephone so that I have a good idea of the background before I start. We would go over any significant points before we start working and I may need further details. It helps to know exactly what your horse is doing in any given situation.

The first part of the work would be to assess your current position, perhaps to see you and your horse in action on the ground or ridden, so that I can see what has been happening. Where it is relevant, we might also discuss any physical checks your horse has had, the fit of any equipment you are using, the environment in which he is kept and the way in which he is fed and managed.

Where there has been a problem the next step would be to analyse what is happening and how it might be resolved. In many cases it is appropriate to start with groundwork so that we can start to rebuild any gaps in your relationship. If your horse is frightened of a particular thing or things in general, it may be appropriate to look at some desensitisation work. Similarly if you are looking to start your horse’s education in preparation for riding or fill in any gaps in his education, we might well start with basic groundwork before moving on. These foundations are very important and can make a real difference to the confidence you feel in each other and can have an enormous impact on ridden work too. If you are already familiar with IH type training, then we may just need to hone your skills to make sure that they are working in the best way possible for you and your horse. In some cases long reining is appropriate too.

For very specific problems we may be able to go straight to the heart of it and work on that. This is particularly relevant to horses that are phobic about one thing or untouched horses for example.

In any event, I will always start to work on a problem at the very first appointment and to include you in that work too. The idea is to leave you with ‘homework’ that you can get on with so that you can make good progress yourself and only need to call me out again if you need help to move forwards or if you get stuck.

An initial session is generally one and a half to two hours although it can be shorter or longer depending on what you want to cover and whether that is appropriate. Whilst repeat appointments are not always necessary, they tend to be shorter and can be anything from one hour to two. Longer sessions can be arranged providing the horse is given time to rest or if you have more than one horse for me to look at. Obviously the more complex the problem, the more appointments may be needed but sometimes there is just one key to the whole lot and everything rapidly improves at the same time.

You will be aware that I am committed to working with your horse without resorting to violence. The techniques I use are based on key concepts of the prey/predator relationship; pressure and release; positive reinforcement; the into-pressure response and memories as pictures. My aim is to work with your horse in a non-dramatic way to achieve dramatic results.

Photography

It is so useful to be able to take photographs on a visit and you will always be given copies of those pictures. It is helpful to me and to other horse owners if I am able to use the photographs on my blog. However, please say if you would prefer no photographs were taken of the work that we do or if you would rather your horse’s identity were not disclosed.

After the appointment

Unless he is an untouched horse (in which I case I would urge you to buy a copy of my book No Fear, No Force) I will send you notes after the appointment. These comprise anything which is specific to your horse and more general notes about the type of work we have covered. There is no additional charge for this report which normally takes me twenty to thirty minutes to write.

‘Service Level Agreement’

After an appointment I am happy to give further advice by email where I can. Sometimes it is critical to see the horse again so that I can advise on how best to proceed now that things have altered. In any event, I always like to be kept in touch with what is happening!

Referrals

Where I think your horse would benefit from the intervention of another type of practitioner I will say so. In particular horses should have their backs, saddles and teeth checked AT LEAST once a year. I have good contacts in many of these fields but ultimately the choice is yours.




To see more about the way I work please go to www.sarahweston.co.uk

Saturday, January 7, 2012

7th January, 2012 Nelly says.....



Why no pictures of me? (This comment is tongue in cheek). She's been back today along with Brandy and Blue and not a word to her son or one back. 

7th January, 2012 I Wanna Be Like You


I often have a word of the day: prevarication, extrapolation, badinage, that sort of thing. Anthropomorphism is a regular and I think it is a feature of many people's beliefs about horses. Just look at how many films shown over Christmas and the New Year starred talking animals - The Gruffalo's Child, Ratatouille, Shrek, Madagascar and the wonderful classic, The Jungle Book. However, to understand the REAL motivation of animals the new BBC documentary Earthflight is unbeatable. Animals fighting to survive, fighting for food, fighting for sex - and the last two go back to survival. Driven by these three motives alone - the need to stay alive. When working with horses we have to understand that there is a great well of instinctive, automatic, unconscious, behaviour and that we have to draw them up, from this before we can work with counter-intuitive, conscious, trained behaviour (in fact non-natural behaviour). We are lucky that one of the horse's natural instincts is to co-operate but otherwise it is amazing that they will work with us at all given that so much of what we do is against their natural instincts.

When a horse suddenly explodes, takes flight, bites, kicks, bucks...this is all totally natural behaviour. It doesn't mean that he has forgotten everything he has learned just that he has dropped back into that well where he is just a horse. It will take effort to draw him back up. So many "Why does my horse...?" questions involve surprise at totally natural behaviour. The answer can be very succinct: "Because he is a horse". The more complex question is: "How can I ask my horse not to be a horse."

The other danger of anthropomorphism is that it can introduce the idea of moral dimension into a horse's behaviour. Horses have no morals. They don't intrinsically know that a behaviour is 'right' or 'wrong'. They just do what works for them. In a herd environment they learn what works through the actions of other horses. Peechay knows that it is okay to share his mother's food but not Jack's. He is currently working on getting exclusive rights to the contents of the blue barrell. Horses can only learn what is acceptable around humans through actions and the actions of those humans. They don't automatically know. Until then, all they have is their instinct - the drive to survive.

One final thought. What does pain mean to horses? I think there is a huge link between pain and fear in horses. A horse that is in pain is often more spooky, more reactive, nore inclined to bite and kick. The pain itself may be invisible. Pain is a precursor to death in the wild. Animals that are visibly injured, slowing down or acting out of character are picked out by predators and soon become a meal. It is in the interests of the horse to hide pain and to increase their level of vigilance.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

5th January, 2011 Shaken and stirred

Nelly has gone back out on to the Forest now and both she and Peechay seem utterly unperturbed. He is having a fine time playing with Indiana, particularly 101 things to do with half a blue barrell.