Recently we had an intriguing visitor to our yard. This guest appeared to understand exactly what our horses were thinking and communicate with them in a way that I never thought possible. Most of us have heard of a horse whisperer (or ), someone who can understand equine body language and facial expressions and use this to help train horses without the need for coercion, pain or fear; but this experience was a little different. Our guest had been invited to see some of the horses around the yard and his visits involved him spending some time with each horse in turn. He didn't venture into the stable, but simply stood, watched and listened. Then he would explain to the owner what the horse had said to him and some of the comments that he relayed were rather surprising!
I Don't Like Cows
One particular mare our horse whisperer 'had a chat' with apparently told him that she really didn't like cows. Although correct, this seemed like quite a generic statement (I know quite a few horses that don't like cows) but it was the next comment that peaked my interest. Our guest then explained to the owner that her horse was worried she was going to be turned out into a field with cows. Surprisingly, the owner confessed that when she had been out on hack previously, she had joked about turning her horse out with cows to cure her of her fear!
The Dog With Sore Hocks
Another mare, our gentle giant, spent some time with our guest and mentioned how much she liked the black dog with the sore hocks that visited her. Now, how he knew that the owner had a black Labrador and that the dog did indeed have sore hocks, I'm not sure.
Sparkly Nail Polish
Then came the turn of our chunky lad and his concerns were of a more cosmetic nature. He let it be known that he wasn't sure about the 'sparkly nail polish' that his owner was planning on using. She had in fact discussed buying some sparkling hoof oil the day before with her friend while outside the stable.
While our horse whisperer had been busy communicating with the equine members of the yard, one little feline chap had been patiently waiting for his turn. One of the yard cats strolled up for his chance to send his humans a message. He said that he didn't like whatever it was that had been added to his food recently because it made his paws hurt. Lo and behold, his usual meal of minced chicken had recently been topped up with a branded cat food.
Horse or Human Whisperer?
I have no idea how our horse whisperer (or should that be listening) managed to understand or work out these facts. Could it be that he can genuinely hear what the horses are saying? Is he picking up clues from the surroundings and piecing them together? Or it is that he is read humans just as well as animals? However, it is done, it was astonishingly accurate and certainly got us all chatting down the yard!