Silly Wabbit

Silly things horses are afraid of or have strange reactions to :

1. Most things unnatural: metal, plastic, square things

Here we have a horse that's very well started over jumps trying to figure out how to navigate around a milk crate. *sigh* I was riding this young horse today through some pretty amazing (mostly natural) stuff. They've buried a pipeline along our back fence and it's a nice track for a little back-n-forth kind of work. They initially had to bulldoze their way through some massive cedarbreaks and this week the company has come back to shred the mess. So we have these house sized piles of cedar shavings about every couple hundred feet. He never batted an eye. *good boy!*

2. Windows, mirrors, shiny things that reflect bright lights or very strange horses that shimmer and stretch in odd ways. .... would a shield wall be a problem for a fantasy horse?

3. anything that has changed: you can ride by a trash can a thousand time with but if, one day, the lid is off (or on, if the lid has typically been off) it's a whole new monster.

4. Anything flappy:

5. Anything, even non-flappy things, on a windy day: And I have to say a word in their defense on this one. Their hearing is a major element of their prey-instinct flight response. You can't hear or smell very well on a windy day, so it makes good sense to be more alert.

6. Things that move in the shadows: Like if you've had a dog running along side you for 12 miles or so and it darts into the woods after a rabbit and at some point later, emerges from the woods. The horse is likely to have a meltdown when the dog leaps out from under the trees.
Or worse.
When the dog is following, dodging along the side of the trail, in and out of the shadows, bushes and trees. It makes the horse move funny .. trot trot trot FREAK trot FREAK trot trot FREAK. It's a little hard to ride if you've eaten recently.

7. Nothing. This is the one that truly amazes me on occasion. I keep telling myself that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that nothing is out to get you and that I should be more appreciative of being saved from nothing on the occasions that it is out to get me. ... but I'm a hard sell on that one.

hmm. and I'm sure I'll think of more, but I'll go ahead and post this. What are your horses favorite spooks?


Anonymous said...

The most "bombproof" horse I ever had (you could shoot off him, ride him UNDER a flapping tarp, etc...) was terrified of power windows in cars. If you were riding through the parking lot and someone rolled down their power window, he freaked out.

Anything that dangles and twists in the wind; hanging flower pots, bird feeders, etc...

puddles when the light is "just right" to make it reflect the sky. It's like they think you're asking them to step into a hole into empty space....

Electric fence insulators that are shorting out and "snapping".

Anything that "jumps" up in front of them. I have personal experience with deer jumping up from behind logs and pheasants and quail jumping up out of tall grass. Amazing how fast a horse can spin out from under you...

Herds of anything running toward them. Always a joy when you're riding along the road and come to a pasture full of something. Lhamas are particularly terrifying...

Anne P said...

Cows. And more cows, followed by the cow-corollary. Large rocks = things cows can hide behind, then leap out to eat you. Large swooping bird-like creatures COULD be cows with wings. My gelding is pretty sure about that one. If he smells a cow and something is coming at him, it IS a cow - shadow, bird, rock, vegetable, mineral.

Otherwise, I find myself fortunate. He isn't a very spooky horse and 99% of the time, if he is given time to look and ponder for a minute, he's okay with it. Particularly if he can sense it's related to stupid human activity. Then he sort of shrugs it off and goes on his way.

Anonymous said...

recently went from my bombproof horse to ride a friend's 'gotta be on your toes' horse. He reminded of all the scary things on this earth, such as: a boulder with a ribbon tied to it; bikes; hikers with backpacks; two headed monsters (aka a horse ponying a pony behind it); anything hanging on a gate.

Leah Braemel said...

After seeing how Phoebe darts around I'm surprised the horses aren't constantly shying. But I'm laughing at all the other commenters comments about what makes their horses shy, it's amazing that such large animals are such fraidy-cats. I understand that they're a prey animal and it's instinctual but it's still funny. (Of course, it's funny because I'm not RIDING one at the time, then I'd probably be frustrated.)

Becky Burkheart said...

I'm LMAO!! I have sooooo 'been there' ... in fact, was there last week with a 'goat incident'.

>>deer jumping up from behind logs...

I've been presented with the theory that deer take turns leaping out at horses simply for the amusement of other deer hiding in the woods and with all the years of woods-riding I've done, I can't say I discount that.

>>pheasants and quail jumping up out of tall grass.

I was riding BERI through tall grass one time and *something* (maybe a turkey or a guinea or something large ... we thought we saw an owl flying off, but I don't know why it would have been on the ground) flew up and smacked her in the belly. She had apparently stepped right over the nest. I think the only reason we're not both dead is because she popped straight up in the air and didn't know which way to run when she landed.

These are great! Keep them coming!