When I wrote figuratively: "You can almost sense their [a horse's] sneer" it is probably more accurate to write "They [horses] can smell your fear". I don't know what scientific research has been put into the facts behind common expressions like that but I feel sure horses can pick up on cues given off by our nervousness. It's as if it's beneath their dignity to allow themselves to be mastered by anyone but a natural-born master or mistress.
It sounds like you should have been born into the world of the Houyhnhnms described in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Houyhnhnms are a race of intelligent horses whose calm, rational, utopian society is compared favourably to our dismal lot. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <awoelflebater@...> wrote : ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <s3raphita@...> wrote : I'm sure horses can tell a novice at first glance. You can almost sense their sneer. My only goes at horse-riding were as an adolescent and the horses always completely ignored my requests and goads. If a horse I was on wanted to stop and munch away at a hedge then that was what it would do. My instructor would have to come to my aid to get the damned beast (sorry - charming animal) keep up with the rest of the riders. BTW, thanks for your amusing story of your short-lived riding career. I can't tell you how many times I have watched people in your situation and completely understand. You either come out of the womb loving it and if you didn't then forget about it. Riding is not really an acquired taste. Horses are also damned scary - they're a lot bigger than you imagine when you watch a cowboy movie and don't suffer fools gladly. Still, astonishingly beautiful and graceful creatures for all that. On a side issue: as race-horse jockeys are specifically chosen because they weigh so little why aren't women (or even girl) riders preferred over men for events where serious amounts of money are changing hands? From your recent posts I get the strong impression you prefer animals to humans! Is that (understandably) a correct impression?