“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Another grandchild! A granddaughter! Miss Emma is here! We are grateful and rejoicing.
This October writing, in celebration of Emma, is about our young/little people in our lives. If Emma expresses an interest in horses, I will be there for her. These are some of things I would instruct her in as she hangs out with horses.
The Latin name for horse is Equus. This name comes from the word “equine,” which mean something to do with a horse. The Greek names for horse is Hippos: “hippocampus,” the sea horse; “hippopotamus,” the river horse, and also “hippophile,” the lover of horses. Signs of a “hippophile” would be someone who dreams about horses, wishes for a horse, has fun simply watching horses, wants to make friends with horses, enjoys petting horses, and is seen hugging horses from time to time, and identifies with an ache to ride a horse!
The horse’s body can be divided into three parts: the forehand, the barrel, and the hindquarters. The left side is called the near side and the right side the off side. A horse’s height is measured from the ground to the highest point of its backbone, “withers.” All horses are measured in hands; one hand equals four inches. Any horse measuring fourteen hands, two inches, or less is known as a pony.
The eyes of a horse are large, bright and set far apart. The horse has to turn its head in order to see behind him. The ears of the horse can move separately, forward and backward. The ears of a horse can reveal the horse’s state of mind. When both ears are forward-the horse is cheerful, interested and alert. When the ears move backward and forward-the horse is alert and listening for your voice. When both ears go back, watch out! The horse is displeased. This is like your frown. When the ears go back, try to find the reason for the horse’s anger or irritation. Be careful around the horse’s teeth and heels when the ears are pinned back!
The horse’s foot is called a hoof. All domestic horses need the attention of a good farrier between every five to eight weeks. The farrier trims the new growth off of each hoof. It is not painful, since the outside of the hoof has no more feeling than your fingernail.
A horse uses its tail in the summertime to keep its body brushed free of flies. When a horse is feeling lively and frisky they carry their tail high (flagged).
Horses like to be patted and talked to. The best place is on the horse’s neck or shoulder. Pat is different than “slap.” Put your heart in your hand and touch the horse. If you are touching your horse on its head, keep your hand below the eyes.
When you approach your horse, come to the front where the horse can easily see you. Speak to your horse in a gentle, reassuring voice. Running towards a horse, shouting loudly, is not a good idea. If you need to approach your horse from the rear, use your voice to let your horse know that you are coming. Otherwise, the horse, in its own defense, might kick first and then turn its head to look.
Little people (bigger people also) like to give treats like peppermints, carrots, or apples, but don’t give treats to a horse that has a bit in its mouth. It’s difficult for the horse to chew. Wait until the work is done to reward your horse. When you give a horse a treat, place the “goodie” on the flat of your palm with fingers extended. If your fingers are curled, the horse might accidently nip your fingertips.
Horses have sensitive or ticklish spots just like people. Horses cannot say “stop it,” so they nip or kick to show their annoyance. Be careful around those “ticklish” spots when grooming or saddling.
That’s where I would start with someone who hasn’t been around horses but wants to.
“Leadership is automatically transferred to those who remain optimistic.”-Mark Virkler.
I would model that, not just quote it.
“Future generation,” we are here for you!
By: Deb Kitchenmaster