On horses wits’

It is amazing to see how much our horses seem to enjoy their new home and how easy they feel among us. This evening when Marianne and I went out to feed them they were up at the stable waiting for us on the front porch, hungry and eager of course, but not at all pushy and spoiled. As we walked up to them and we cuddled them, gave them a good rub and scratched the front of their neck and belly they surrounded us and waited politely for their turn.

Marianne went in to the food storage and I guarded the door against three hungry Nokota mares trying to get in. When she came out with a load of hay I just pushed them very gently on the front of their neck and they politely backed up step by step without any dispute, as soon as the hay was “served” they just began eating calmly. When it comes to oaths and carrots they get a little more eager but they still can wait a few seconds for their turn without fighting or pushing each other.

It is hard to describe, but their manners seems somewhat un-horse-like to what I’m used to. When you look into their eyes they really look back and you get that feeling of being connected to another brain. Either I’m “stupid as a horse” or they are really intelligent thinking beings.

The weather is very mild and rainy for this time of year. I checked it out and the average temperature from the end of last November thru the beginning of January has been 10 degrees Celsius warmer than last year. One day it can be below freezing and clear skies and the next day can be plus 7 degrees Celsius and raining.

It is obvious that their mood can change from one day to another depending on the weather. When it’s raining and windy they often seem to spend the night out in the pasture rather than inside the stable (or horse barn), probably because the noise from the rain makes it harder to hear what’s going on around them so it feels safer to be out in the open, quite logical from a prey animals point of view. Then in the morning they are all wet as they walk up to the stable for breakfast with their heads low and looking tiny and sorry acting a bit grumpy.

On the other hand when it’s a calm and starlit clear night they often sleep lying on the litter inside the stable, they come out in the morning for breakfast,  jaspering with a sleepy look in their eyes, stretching a bit and then they are ready to rock and roll, feeling GREAT.

Something tells them it’s safer to be outside when it’s raining, so they stay outside, even if they really don’t like it. It means they consciously choose what is wise according to their instincts, before what is comfortable.

That is the intelligence of a true survivor. I guess we humans have something to learn from those Nokota horses.


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