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Thursday, May 7, 2015
7th May, 2015 WAGs
When I'm working I get a lot of whispered sideways comments from other people on the yard, a note from the Wise and the Good. I don't know whether they are aimed at undermining me, undermining the owner, or just asserting their own expertise. Last week for example, someone came up and said, "Of course, it's only a matter of understanding how a horse thinks." - I thought, really? Have I missed that? My own self esteem isn't that solid that I can ignore stuff like this and anyway I wouldn't want to miss something really precious. But this particular woman then went out to her horse which was tied up really short with a small holed hay-net, and wearing tack I'm not that keen on, and gave it a hefty pat before ferkling with his nose. He told her he hated it but she didn't notice. Some people know even less about how their horse's work than they do about their car.
I don't know everything, in fact, I don't know anything, but I can usually find a way into a horse's soul and I can usually find a good place to start. My colleague Rosie Jones is doing her PhD thesis on empathetic narrative around horses, that is, the story that we tell ourselves when we see something happening. In the end, until we really can talk to horses, it is all based on interpretation but you have to have your senses open in order to be able to see, hear and feel.