A look at the horses
I’m always telling people that if they treat their horses as though they are truly intelligent (they are!) and give them some freedom to demonstrate that, they’ll be surprised. I’m also always telling people they need to see how my horses behave to really understand what I’m talking about.
I don’t carry my cell phone outside with the horses. I’m afraid it will get broken. But today I was just watching the horses eat their grain, resting from weed whacking, and it actually occurred to me to go get my phone.
A little background on the photos. At 5:45 or so, I let 8 horses loose in the big field. The other 3 are put in another field of about 2 acres – the ones I don’t yet trust loose. The horses all graze while I pick up manure, eat breakfast, and weed whack or whatever. Around 9 they come over to the yard for their grain – the ones who get grain, Beauty, Tina, Chance, and Zola. When I see them I go out and make up their food. They each get 2 quarts of sweet feed with a teaspoon of copper. I mix the food in the back of my trailer which has become my feed room, and the horses wait more or less patiently. I then put out the buckets and they eat.
Below are the photos I took this morning. Grain time. There is no fighting at grain time. Everyone eats right next to someone. And there is sharing of grain. This is 4 Thoroughbreds, of which 3 are mares, and Chance of course is a gelding. Bettina is the horse sharing with Zola. She is 24. Chance looks like a blimp in the photo below, but if you click to enlarge the next one, his ribs are actually visible.
Evidence that if you have expectations of good behavior you get good behavior. Treat your horses with true respect and know they are intelligent and they will demonstrate their intelligence and cooperation. Remember – these horses are totally free – there is no fence preventing them from leaving the farm.
CAUTION: Do not try this at home! This is not where to start a new relationship with your horse. Start small.