Good points about horses being prey animals and getting skittish around those who don't know what they are doing. I was an excellent and natural horseman when I was really little (7 to 9 years old). Then I grew up, realized what I was doing, and lost my confidence with the horses. Frowny face.
---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <awoelflebater@...> wrote : ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <s3raphita@...> wrote : 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. Horses can simply see when a person moves in an unnatural way around them. They are honed to recognize strangeness or trepidation. They, like any prey animal, are hard wired to detect fear in another and that makes them fearful, it does not make them aggressive. Dogs would be more likely to start stalking a person that shows fear but horses simply become unsure and when they are in a situation where there are no clear boundaries they want to create them so they start to take over. But it isn't an aggressive or mean-spirited. Horses live in a herd, there is a hierarchy and if you are proving yourself a greenhorn then you're at the bottom of the pack - simple as that! 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. Heh. Well, if I believed in reincarnation, and I am pretty sure that I do, then I would hazard to say I was a horse or horses at some point. They are ingrained in me. It doesn't mean I am a great horsewoman, I am not particularly, but I feel them and love them and have tremendous empathy for them in all sorts of ways. I can also reprimand them when I need to - no mood making there - but they are special and iconic for a reason. They represent so much. ---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?