---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <fleetwood_macncheese@...> wrote :

 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.

I guess innocence produces a naturalness that, once you realized horses were 
dangerous and that you could be hurt around them (or was that it?), the 
innocence leaves and you realize too much of what could happen and that somehow 
stilted your behaviour around them. Then, of course, it becomes a vicious 
circle. Man feels unsure, horses feel unsure around man, horses become 
suspicious and skittish, man becomes suspicious and skittish and before you 
know it you buy a dog and forget the horses. LOL

---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 

---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?



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