In the meantime, let me tell you a story. I have been reading William Shatner's book "Spirit of the Horse: A Celebration in Fact and Fable". It's a fun read- one you can pick up and put down without losing anything. I was reading one story in it and he was talking about how horses are not naturally 'heroes'. That when scared a horse will run away and not try to defend the human.
I don't disagree with that but neither do I believe it to be completely true. Let me tell you a story about my first horse.
Woody was a small little bay QH. I bought him as a 2 year old. I had no business buying an unbroken horse (long story) and I made a lot of mistakes with him. But he also worked out really well for me. Sometimes fortune favours the innocent. Woody was (still is) one of those horses that you could take anywhere and he was perfectly relaxed.
|photographic evidence that I used to jump|
He loved the trail and it was with him that I learned to love exploring.
You could put anyone on him and he would just take care of them.
|Woody taking a friend for a ride|
When Woody was about 4 I was pasture boarding him for the summer. He was turned out with another horse- an Egyptian Arab. I didn't know much about the Arab other then his owner had trouble with him under saddle and he was considered 'high strung'. I have a few theories about that now but back then I didn't know much and so just accepted that he was 'difficult'.
One day I was riding late in the afternoon during feeding time so the barn owners asked me to feed both horses when I was done. After my ride I cooled Woody out and led him back to his field carrying the buckets of feed. I put feed in Woody's bucket and then turned to go to the other horse's bucket.
I heard a noise and looked up to see the Arab charging me. His ears were pinned, his head was snaking and his teeth were bared. I was too far from the fence to escape and I remember thinking 'oh shit'. I tightened my hold on the bucket thinking I could throw it at him and hopefully make my escape.
Suddenly Woody galloped up and came to a stop between me and the horse (honestly I can't remember his name!). The Arab tried to circle around to get me and Woody just kept circling me and staying between us. I hurried to the feed bucket and dumped the food and backed away. The Arab dove into the food and forgot me.
Woody walked with me to the gate and waited for me to latch the gate before returning to his feed. From that day on every time I brought Woody back to the pasture he escorted me to the gate.
I know that this sounds made up but this story is 100% true. I have no explanation for this other than Woody was trying to protect me. I honestly believe that I was in serious danger from that Arab and would have badly hurt.
To be honest I am sorry that I sold him. At the time it seemed to be the right decision because he just didn't care for dressage. He's living a great life not far from me so I'm sure he's not pining for me. The people who bought him know that he will always have a stall if he needs it.
What about you- have you ever had a horse that seemed to be protective of you or did something not considered 'normal' for horses?