Monday, February 23, 2009

It finally happened...

...The barn owner got kicked.

He told me about it the other day when I was visiting Panama. Apparently he was graining the horses, and the mare (Panama's girlfriend) got impatient and kicked. He says he thinks she was aiming at Panama, but I have my doubts. She planted her foot on him only about two and a half feet off the ground, which is too low if she was trying to kick at another horse.

I've mentioned before that he tends to let the horses push him around. In fact, just the other day I blogged about making the alpha gelding mind his manners with me, which the barn owner doesn't do. I've also seen the mare — who is the owner's daughter's horse, or was before she lost interest — push him aside instead of walking around him.

I asked if he yelled at her or anything, and he said no, it was his fault. I can't quite determine what exactly he thinks he did "wrong," though, and in any case the horse still needs to know that kicking out of impatience for food is absolutely NOT okay. I suggested he yell and get his arms going and run her off next time, like I did with the alpha horse the other day.

Amusingly, when we were talking the mare brushed right past me, so close that I would have to move to avoid being shoved to the side. I put my elbow into her side repeatedly as she passed, not hard at first, but increasingly harder as she failed to get the picture. She didn't move over much, but by the time she got by me she sure was hurrying to get away from my elbow! With any luck she'll think twice about doing that next time.



At February 23, 2009 at 12:47 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Believe me, horses know exactly what they are kicking at and they have perfect aim. The only exception, which isn't really an exception, is when they are aiming at a fly on their underside and you just happen to be standing within range.

I used to take care of friend's horses, and one of her mares would get all lined up so that she could kick me when I walked through the stall door. So, I either moved her hip over with a whip or rope and made her face me before entering, or I tossed the hay over the door without entering. Of course, my friend said that I was misinterpretting her horse's intentions, and her horses would never kick. Right.

At February 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Believe me, horses know exactly what they are kicking at and they have perfect aim.

I completely agree.

Amusingly, when you told that story of the mare I immediately thought of something similar that happened with Panama -- except that I was on the other side of the story. One of the girls at my old barn started telling me that Panama was "turning his butt to her" to kick her. I don't believe Panama would kick without good reason, but I later started wondering if he DID have good reason: I came to the barn one day when she was there, and found her holding him in a headlock. She saw me before I could figure out what on earth she was doing, but if he WAS trying to kick her, I'm pretty sure I can guess why!!


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