Friday, August 22, 2008

Unnatural Horsemanship

I have been remiss in my writing, but with good reason. The cat beast hid my journal! The foul creature has delighted in sneaking peeks into it and spreading my heartfelt thoughts and dreams all over the barn. I caught the little nasty beast pawing through my manager and nipped his tail quite hard. He retaliated and stole my journal, hiding it up in the loft. I got it back only because the cat beast had made our resident loft raccoon mad, and the masked brute returned my journal to me to spite the cat. Such is the sordid underworld of the barn.

Now that I have my journal back I can once again record my thoughts. I have reflected on my personal preferences lately and there is no doubt I am an “English” style horse. I much prefer the equipment, events, and even attire for my human. We have taken a few forays into other styles of riding, but I find them both heavy and restrictive or simply beneath my dignity. ( the bareback swimming I was recently subjected to is a prime example)
However, I’m not a snob. Some of my very good friends are western horses. Shorty is a personable fellow, despite his short bulky body. He’s a cheerful horse and has tolerated indignities that Trooper or I would never endure. For instance, his human frequently comes out to the barn wearing this long black coat. It almost drags the ground. This thing flaps in the wind like a crow’s wings and frequently startles horses with less fortitude than myself. He also wears a head covering that is like a mushroom and spurs that give me nightpeoples, although Shorty swears they are just for looks.

Shorty and his human frequently go to events involving cows and big gutted men that spit brown juice and talk with something my human refers to as a “twang”. They scare me and I live in fear that one will ask to ride me. Recently Shorty returned from one of their “events” and told Trooper, Lucky and I the oddest story. It seems that Shorty’s human enrolled in a “natural” horsemanship clinic. Is there “unnatural” horsemanship? We were all mystified.

Shorty explained. It seems that there is a human that believes that chasing a horse until it sweats and almost falls over in exhaustion is a good idea, and makes a bond between them. Lucky’s mouth hung open in a most unbecoming fashion upon hearing this. Lucky has seen a lot in his varied and disorganized life, but this was a new one to him.

Shorty elaborated further. Once the horse is exhausted and can run no further the human waved this stick around, trying to get the horse to respond to the stick. I’m afraid we were nothing but a herd of blank looks at this point, so confused were we by what he told us. Shorty snorted and continued. Once the human waved his stick enough to convince himself the horse was too tired to move he commenced to saddle and bridle the horse. This was done with a lot of talking and mystical allusions, most of which Shorty did not understand. Once the horse was tacked up the human mounted and prodded the horse into staggering around the ring. Several of the humans watching applauded and talked about how wonderful it was that a horse was trained in such a short time. Shorty said his human acted quite disgusted and refused to offer Shorty up as a “demo” horse, whatever that is.

We were mystified by such odd behavior and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why a human would act in such a manner. Usually humans want us to stand still so they can catch us. Shorty said he heard a few people express distaste for the method and say that is caused more problems than it solved. Shorty also expressed the opinion that most of the people that seemed raptly interested in it appeared to be new to being owned by horses. I can only hope my human does not take up this foolishness. I refused to be chased unto exhaustion just for some crazy training gimmick. If she wants to join up with me she needs to provide food. More Later.


Leah Fry said...

I was wondering where you were, Tuffy. Yeah, those natural horsemanship guys can be pretty confusing. Sometimes they have ideas that seem to make sense, and then sometimes they come up with this stuff that leaves you scratching your head.

lytha said...

great blog tuffy! i have linked my blog to yours, because i don't want to miss out on your adventures.

~beth in germany

Tuffy Horse said...

Oh thank you! I always love hearing from my human fans! Be sure to read my blog to your horses!

Tuffy Horse!