Let me tell you how it works around here… ~ photo by Stefanie Bates

At first you might say “no, horses can’t teach each other.”  But, on another thought, of course they can.  They have to be able to learn from each other, especially horses that live in a herd.

Now in terms of ‘barn’ life, think of how all the horses in the barn know what time it is.  ie. they know breakfast “time”, lunch “time” and dinner “time”.  And the new horse in barn absolutely learns what time it is from the other characters in the barn.  “Hey, everyone is starting to get restless and perky….. must be something happening…. wonder if it is dinner.”

Think of the horses that can calm the nervous ones in the trailer, or in the barn or walking around the property or on the trails.  Some just have a ‘way’ with teaching the others.

I know for sure that my young horse Finn taught all the horses in my barn that…

  • If you nicker at Alison, she WILL give you a treat.
  • If you continue to nicker at her, she WILL give you more treats.
  • Bang on the door and she WILL throw the broom at you – but bat your eyelashes and whisper a nicker and she is ALL OVER it!

How do I know he taught them all this?  Well, obviously, they did it when we were all at my old stable.  BUT, when we moved to a new barn (where Vinny doesn’t live, so I not there very often.)  Finn was the first to call to me enthusiastically.  So of course, out came the carrots.

As I am feeding him, I hear a little whisper of a nicker and behind me is ROMEO!!!  I didn’t even see him when I walked in, I only had eyes for the chatty Finn.  But then, of course, a few carrot bits to Romeo.  Then another little nicker and MADDY is a few doors down.  I am getting low on carrots at this point – and Finn continues to call at me but the pockets are empty.  And all my old herd are looking at me all perky and cute, and have nickered at least once!

Finn is the only horse who taught them all that.  Not one of my old herd banged the door!


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