Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ask Tuffy

Dear Tuffy,

I have a big problem. My human is making me crazy. She used to be normal but now I can’t understand her. We’ve always had a good relationship, I thought, but for some reason she’s decided that in order to interact with me she has to wave this stick, with a flappy plastic thing on the end, at me. She does it in the round pen and my stall. Then she plays these creepy games with me and talks to me about getting in touch with “our spiritual” sides. The stick waving is getting on my nerves, and I and finding it very difficult to trust her when she’s waving the thing. It also throws off her body language and makes her look like she’s got ants in her pants.
How can I get her to drop the stick and go back to being the considerate human she was before?

Unnatural Humanship

Dear Unnatural,

I have seen several instances of this odd behavior and it always confuses me. I can read my human’s body language and don’t need a stick to tell me not to step on her. In fact the only stick I want to see my human carrying is a carrot stick.

You really do have few options beyond making her miserable or finding a new human. Luckily both of these can be achieved with the same actions. I suggest you ignore the stick and learn to jump out of the round pen. Yawning also produces a break in the stick waving, since it shows that you really don’t care what she does with it. If she ever sets the stick on the ground then quickly run over to it and step on it. Breaking the stick is demoralizing to humans in this phase.

If your human reverts back to her old behavior, even just for a moment you MUST reward her with good behavior and your absolute attention. The second she picks up the stick ignore her and if you have room turn your back. Trust me, this unnatural humanship behavior is very hard to break and can flare up at a later date. Be prepared for long term retraining and many setbacks. It might be better in the long run if you just find a new human and start from scratch.

Tuffy Horse


Leah Fry said...

Tuffy, I asked you to not be telling my horses this stuff! I thought I'd try some of that stuff and both my Boyz looked at me as though I had suddenly gone stupid. Apparently, I had. I am learning that you horses can spot any kind of agenda a mile away. I have much better experiences with my horses if I toss out the agenda and we just get out there and go.

Tuffy Horse said...


It's so wonderful to hear from a human that understands her horses! We can spot agendas. This is how we know you have a halter hidden behind your back when you walk out to catch us! It's also how we know the difference between loading in the trailer to go to a show and loading in the trailer to go home!

I hope your boys give you lots of horse hugs and affection for being a smart human!

Tuffy Horse

Nd_Appy said...


Just had to tell you I really like your blog, my human was really smiling while she was reading to me. She said she was putting a link to in her blogs (whatever that means).

I have a question Tuffy, How do I get the feeder human to quite feeding the little horse with me? I snort and make my displeasure known and he just tells me to be good and let Blossom eat. I eventually let her up there to eat (was trying to hog all the food, and feeder man got VERY upset), but I really don't like it. Any advice?


My human's blog

Tuffy Horse said...


Sad to say, your human is correct and you must let Blossom eat. If Blossom starves then that is one less horse to prevent world domination by humans, and we don't want that, now do we?

Tuffy Horse

deola said...


Christa Lynn said...

I enjoyed reading your posts. great insight. I am new to blogging and am excited about sharing some thoughts on horse behavior. I would love to have any imput if you want to check me out. Its really neat sharing ideas. Thanks, christa Lynn

Leah Fry said...

Dear Tuffy, I miss you! Please post soon about what is going on with you. Luv, Leah

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