Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Ever watch House?

It's an award winning TV medical drama loosely based on Sherlock Holmes. One of the main philosophies of the lead character 'House' is that people always lie.

One of my philosophies is that horses don't lie. They may act in ways which as humans we struggle to understand or misinterpret, but on a personal level I have found that their behaviour is a genuine reflection of a) being a horse and b) their life experiences.

This morning a farrier was shoeing another horse, just as I was bringing Grace in. She was practically comatose the whole time until she heard the bang of the farrier's hammer at which point she became really alarmed and she started producing adrenalin fuelled wet droppings. She also started to box walk.

You have to ask yourself why? I have always found her very brave, very trainable. If sufficiently pushed she will take defensive action against a perceived and immediate threat, but you do have to 'push'.

I know the last farrier she met thumped her (and all she did was try to get away from him after that), but this took place before the farrier had started work. So I am speculating that something must have happened with a farrier prior to that, significant enough that she relates the noise of the tools with something scary.

Its a mystery, and also a useful warning. When we deshoe her I will endeavour to ensure that we minimise the tool banging activities. I wish I had thought this through earlier and I might have spent some time banging farrier tools round her. It just never occured to me - she is brave and generally quite scary things are observed, thought about and then, if they don't bite, are ignored. Please insert expletives of your choice at this point!

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