Friday 21 March 2014

Humans at play : a pony's perspective?

Today I was grooming Paddy's tail (it looks as pictured below about once every 5 years I should add - this was just a 'brush out the worst of the mud' deal). Elvis (the exmoor pony) came over to investigate. He often does this - he watches both the groom and the groomee(?) with great attention and will sometimes join in, grabbing bits of tail. 

I could be wrong, but seems to me that he views this as play behaviour on the part of the human. If he were to pick up a bit of Paddy's tail and do stuff with it he'd definitely be initiating play. Interesting to think how often horses may interpret our actions in a totally differently way to us. 

Monday 3 March 2014

Stuck in the mud (Tigger the wonder horse??)

Today, I decided to venture out through the mud bath that we laughingly call a path, to put hay out in the field for the horses. Having successfully deposited 8KG of hay, the horses followed me out and tucked in. 

Then it went a bit wrong. Our field has some serious boggy bits in it. The horses are on the whole smart enough to avoid these, the humans (or this human anyway) aren't that smart. So, I went the wrong way, and ended up knee deep in mud, with one lost welly. And I'm on my own - nearest human maybe 3 miles away. Not relishing the prospect of landing face first in some seriously deep mud!

But... not on my own, I have horses! After spending about 2 seconds pondering the sense of calling over a horse when my foot is bare and well and truly stuck in the mud (please, please don't let Elvis decide to come and play with me!), I called Tigger. Despite having just started his hay, he came over. He stopped exactly where I asked him to, and stood while I leaned on him and retrieved welly, unstuck foot, removed sock etc. Then I took a knee-deep tentative step, and he moved with me. So we slowly made our way, me leaning a hand on his back, 'til we reached the only ankle-deep mud. I took one good big step, and he turned and went back to his hay. 

Make of it what you will - one thing is for sure, a horse who is in the habit of moving at your pace is very handy at times :-)