April 8, 2011


 They watched my every move. They knew what time it was and stood there. . .  waiting. But I had other plans for the moment.
I walked to the farthest paddock, stood by the fence, clucked my tongue and called "come here!"
They just stood looking and wondering why I wasn't feeding them now. After all, it was grain time and they knew it.

Did you know horses have incredible memories? 
Every time you interact with a horse it is a teaching moment, because they don't forget a thing. It's important to always make that last memory a positive one, or one in which the human is in charge. They are also creatures of habit expecting the same thing done at the same time. 

We both stood our ground. They weren't moving and neither was I.  We kept eye contact, but noone moved. Not until I turned my back and looked the other way.
Curiosity took over and and Lilly came running to me. It was no longer a battle of wills.
Oftentimes, when horses are unsure or confused, they will not move. But as soon as you turn your back and release eye contact, they become curious and move towards you, as long as they don't feel threatened.
Big as they are, horses are prey animals, and the least little thing can scare them and their means of protection are flight.  They would never deliberately hurt you, but being in the way of a 1200 lb equine who may run and buck out of fear, can seriously injure and even kill a person.

No matter how well a horse is trained, and how experienced a horse person is, a horse is still a horse with horse instincts. Awareness and caution keeps people and horses safe.

As soon as Lilly came running, Leah followed. Horses are herd animals and when one moves to a different area, the others will follow.
Even though it was grain time, curiosity got the better of them, and they trust me. 

They stood and posed for some pictures. Thank you my sweet beauties! Now I need to go feed grain.
                                   happy day!

Linking to:
 Photo Challenge - Outdoors at RAZMATAZ. 
 Farm Friday at Wabi-Sabi Wanderings
 Farm Friend and Farmgirl Friday  


Patrice said...

I'm visiting from Verde Farm's farm friend. I have a Hafflinger X. That's a great photo of Lilly. I just followed you. I'd love it if you would visit my farm blog. Don't forget to say hello if you stop by.
Have a great weekend!

Leontien said...

Great post and i love your pics!

Thank you

Mary Ann said...

Just found you at Farm Friend Friday, so glad you posted! The Halfingers are BEAUTIFUL and everything you wrote is so very true. We miss having equines here...

W-S Wanderings said...

I attended a seminar last night on attachment theory(of the human variety), and the doctor often referenced the significance of the RELATIONSHIP between humans and horses to demonstrate his points. Which all just made me smile. Just like your post. And the gorgeous Haflingers.


Kit said...

Wow, all that just for us? Thank you for those wonderful pictures of your horses and thank them for being curious so that we could see them up close. Kit

Beth said...

I find these horses so funny, staring at you through their gorgeous and over-the-top manes. We spent a summer house-sitting in the country once. The horses were so fun to watch. They were standing in meadow one day when one of the horses high-tailed it out of the barn and ran up to put his nose close to the others'. There seemed to be some whispering going on. Then the whole little herd whirled off and charged into the barn. What were they doing? It was fascinating and very mysterious. Did they all run and see a dead rat or something? I can't imagine what they were talking about. love, Beth

Razmataz said...

Thay are absolutely beautiful horses. I used to work with racehorses, so I understand their intelligence and also the trust. They are an incredible animal.!

I thought you were going to say they were getting wormed or trimmed or something other than a picture.

Thank you for the lovley peek at your animals.

Fadas de Luz said...

Lindo. Fiquei encantada.

retha said...

Absolutely beautiful they are! You made me feel like hugging them.

My son rides with a young lady we know. This horse is an old horse school pony and a bit old as well. It happens from time to time that their lesson is a longer than the usual, always when the usual time is up he would look at her when they pass her- as if saying the time is up. She always tell him "no not yet" then he continues and won't look at her again like that.
It amazes me every time.

Teri said...

What a wonderful shaggy photo! I'm still smiling...

Teresa said...

What a great informative post on horse behavior. Ignorance of these facts probably causes much unhappiness and injury. The pictures are great!