I found myself in a bit of a quandary today…
You see, I had someone come over who could not tell my horses apart. The best she could do was distinguish that the tiny pie-bald Shetland (Slick) was not the huge bay Draft (Bodhi).
When it came to my various equines – and I have to give her credit here because I do seem to have an over-abundance of chestnuts with white stars – she had no idea who was who.
To be honest, a small part of me was offended. And as usual, when I’m wrong, the Universe holds up a few signs almost immediately…
First though, I must comment that horsey people can at a glance, determine much about the equine standing before them. They probably instantly know if it is a he or a she (perhaps a little bending is required here) and more generally they can determine age, health, height, type, disposition… – and if they are really good – their job.
For example, if you walk up to an unfamiliar horse, your brain might flash at you: Older, Paint, Grade QH Mare. Or something like that… You might not know overo from tobiano, but you know she has spots, is older, probably not a showing and is shaped like a Quaterhorse.
For me, I tend to remember a horse before I remember the owner…
EXPANDING ON THAT
To even go further with this idea, horsey people can drive up the driveway of a foreign farm and figure out almost immediately what kind of horses live there, what type of riding they do and which type of horse is in which pasture. For example, “Oh, these are all Arabs. They keep the mares there… and the yearlings there… the older guys are together in front (so they can watch them easily), the arena has jumps in it so I guess they are jumping a horse – and in the corner must be the ‘riding horse’ paddock because all of them in there are very fit and that paddock is closest to the tack room (where there are trail saddles out drying in the sun).”
It is kinda like Hubby who can identify any airplane at any time from any distance and also know the year it was built and who consigned it. Sometimes he knows the model of plane just by the sound. Sheesh.
I’m sure that’s how I sound to him when I’m spouting off horse information…
OK, MAYBE SOME DO LOOK ALIKE
OK, I can kinda understand when people confuse horses of the same general size and color.
People always mistake BG for Finn. Sadly, no one ever thinks Finn is BG, they always think BG is Finn. In fact, to strangers, it is like there is only one horse in that pasture – Finn. Poor BG. It isn’t as if she looks like Finn exactly or even that she looks like a gelding, which she most certainly does not… It is because she is the same general size and basically the same color but has a far more quiet personality than BIG PERSONALITY FINN.
And, since everyone loves Finn and wants to interact with him, they all hope that the horse in front of them is Finn. But, half the time it isn’t.
WHEN NON-HORSEY PEOPLE VISIT
When non-horse people come over, sometimes they think they want to meet the horses…
So, eagerly I introduce my guests to my herd… I bring them out and slog them through the mud and guck without even noticing as I spout off each horse’s name and occupation. But, by about the 5th horse, I can see their eyes glazing over as they gaze longingly back towards the house, wondering if their shoes are getting ruined.
I just need to understand that horses don’t mean as much to some people…
MY LIFE LESSON
So, yesterday, as I was about to pass judgment on this person who thought the neighbor’s cow was another one of my horses… I was struck upside the head almost instantly by my narrow view.
You see, just as I was about to formulate my thought on why my neighbor’s cow was not a horse, I saw the 50 or so wild turkeys coming down the hill towards the barn.
My guest asked if those big birds were mine and I replied that they were wild turkeys who make daily rounds of all the ranches around here.
Her: “They come here every day?”
Her: “Oh, so you must be able to tell them all apart by now…”
Me: (audible gulp) “Uh, no, not really. They all look alike to me…”
And therein lies my lesson for today.
It is all about what interests you… (not that I’m not interested in wild turkeys – I just haven’t studied them.)
THE UNIVERSE TOPPING IT OFF FOR ME
And as I was headed out to run errands early the next morning, I stumbled upon the out-path of the UPS warehouse. I don’t know if any of you have seen this humorous (to me) exodus but it is when all the trucks are loaded and every single driver pulls out of the UPS parking lot at the same time.
The scene is hilarious and incredible because all that is visible for miles around is a sea of Brown UPS Trucks lined up at the signal, entering the freeway, on the freeway and jockeying for position all around you – us hapless drivers in the tiny passenger cars.
And do you know what? All those trucks looked alike to me.
I’m sure they were all loaded differently, were headed to different destinations and all the drivers could identify their particular truck at a glance. But to me, again, they all looked alike. Sigh.
Enough already. I get it. No more signs, Universe, I get your not so subtle hints!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!