Horses can be scared of the silliest and craziest things – seen with our eyes. Their flight instinct can really put their owners to the test, and when that happens you find out how different we are from our dear – and not so wise – horse. While we may think that a lawn mower is just a harmless robotic machine, your horse might see it as a horse-eating monster. To them, a fluttering piece of plastic is not just fluttering plastic, and a pony is not just a small horse. All of the above are potentially flesh-eating, and have horses as their favourite meal. At least to the contrary is proven.
How to Understand Dangerous Things from the Horse’s Perspective
Horses are – with the greatest respect – creatures of habits. They like everything to be ‘as usual’, and is not very keen on surprises. If you change routines, they tend to go nuts! If things suddenly appear in places where they are not normally placed they get scared. And that is the deal with flight instincts. Horses are just afraid of something, because they simply cannot decode what it is. And when you are a flight animal, everything unknown must be taken as a threat, and you run away if you want to survive.
To clarify why horses are so afraid of completely harmless things, we will try to explain what happens, when your horse meets scary objects – through the eyes of the horse.
The 10 Most Dangerous (and Craziest) Things
1. The Rider’s Farts
The horse: “Wow a weird sound! I will rather have to buck her off for the sake of safety”
Mysteriously, the sound of a fart is completely enhanced as it goes through a pair of riding breeches and hits the leather from the saddle. It always startles your horse when he hears the strange sound and perhaps senses a light tickle down the back.
2. The Ice Cream Truck
The horse: “What kind of a creepy and scary, blue elephant is this!?”
Very few horses are happy about the ice cream truck – at least not the van that drives around during the summer months and delivers delicious ice cream! Is it the combination of the neon colours, and the loud sound that makes it so terrifying. At least according to your horse.
The horse: “What kind of retard is this? It has a carrot in its face, a branch on the side and just stares straight into the air… I think I need to walk a big circle around it. “
If there is anything that can make a horse want to go back to the stable again it is a snowman! The same goes for the sad leftovers when it melts.
4. Robotic Lawn Mowers
The horse: “A green pig!? It definitely eats horses! Goodbye, have a nice life!”
Unlike the snowman, the robotic lawn mower is the summer season’s treat! Sometimes it is there other times it is not. And it is not entirely possible to find out whether it is an animal or a machine. Just as it may look like a green pig in the eyes of some horses, it can cause them to drop little green pigs all the way home.
5. Other Farm Animals
The horse: “A square horse with a wide nose and large spots…? What did they do to it? Well I will rather not find out! ”
Ironically, many horses are afraid of other animals. It is especially farm animals such as cows, sheep and pigs that the horses grew up with in the past, but for some reason scares the living hell out of the horse. In turn, many horses are completely indifferent to large farm machinery because they have grown accustomed to them since they were foals. There is just something completely scary about large groups of lazy cows on a field!
6. Small Ponies
The horse: “It is the strangest creature I have ever seen! Is it a kind of troll with the legs cut off? We should rather keep it well away, human!”
No creature can beat the small, mysterious and wizard-like ponies and their tiny steps. They look like horses, and yet they do not – and they are so dangerous! The big horses, at least, often do not think that the little wool tufts are as adorable as we humans think.
The horse: “One day they are there, and the next day they are not. What the hell are they up to?!”
They come and go as they please. The big, dark bins which are placed on the roads to scare the living hell out of the horses! Fortunately, as a rider you can teach your horse that they are not actually dangerous by letting him go and have a look at them.
8. Letters, Decorations and Blankets
The horse: “I am not afraid of that”. (The rider changes diagonal) “No, now it was moving! Or did it? I am just gonna keep an eye on it ”.
The dangerous thing about the letters in the riding arena is that they do not always look the same; when changing diagonal, some of them suddenly appears to eat horses! The same also applies to the decorations at competitions and the rugs placed on the sides of the arena during winter. Everything is just more dangerous from the opposite side!
9. Spectators and Trainers
The horse: “Do not worry, human, I will make sure he does not suddenly get up here. And he just has to think about taking the whip out – then I am the one who is gone! “
The spectators are not entirely to be recon with either. One time you ride past them, they sit in one way, and when you pass again, they sit in a completely different way. The same goes for the trainer and his clever tricks, of course.
10. Horses with Insect Blankets
The horse: “Oh God! Has that horse been eaten by a zebra? I should start running now. “
A fellow species wearing a zebra striped insect blanket and a similarly black and white striped fly mask are many horses’ worst nightmare.
No horse is fearless, but some horses are trustful
We dare to say that it is impossible to teach your horse never to be afraid of anything. It is not about making it fearless, but about making it trust you. And one must never punish a horse for responding to its instincts. In time, you can teach your horse to trust- and believe you when you say something is not dangerous. Often it will still require a big circle around the dangerous object – but it is definitely better than not to pass it at all!