Bring me a real monster


Horses are afraid of the darndest things. Freedom remembers exactly where every rock and log is that we pass. If anything moves, if the sun shines differently, or if something is wet that used to be dry, he is on the alert. When a new sign was posted on the trail system, it took me almost ten minutes to get him by it — and that involved a lot of backing up. He’s also the master of the spook. I’ve never ridden a horse before who can vanish so quickly from underneath me and show up again five feet to the left. Mostly, I’ve managed to go with him, but twice I ended up like a cartoon character, suspended in the air and looking for the animal that used to be below me.

Zelda is more circumspect. She puts up with a lot more variety in her life. Yes, she’s afraid of dogs that run at her, but that’s because she’s smart and she remembers the time she was attacked. Rocks, signs, wet rocks and baby carriages leave her relatively calm. I will say that when riding her in Vermont, pigs made her very concerned. Especially when one moved. I guess I can’t blame her for that one.

Maybe the calmness is a Clydesdale thing, judging from the video posted above? And it’s the half thoroughbred in her that brings in the spook?

What are your horses afraid of? And what things didn’t bother them that you thought would?

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