They don’t “all look alike” to me!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | Filed under Musings

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…

BG and Finn


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…

Mama Tess and her son, Bellorazzo


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…

Finn and BG


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.

Aladdin, Finn (at fence), BG behind


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…

Can you determine which is Finn?


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.

One is an 18 year old mare, the other a 3 year old gelding…

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?”

Me:  Yup.

Her:  “Everyday?!”

Me:  Yup.

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.)

Wild turkeys in the pasture


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!

Through my windshield a parade of UPS trucks.


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

11 comments have been posted...

  1. Krista

    I’ve found that when an alleged horsey person can’t tell horses apart you need to watch out! I went out to feed my horses when in college and kept staring at Kricket’s hooves. Something is differ…. SHE HAS SHOES ON! Someone had brought up my 4 year old chestnut filly with a blaze instead of a 10 year old chestnut gelding with a blaze to see the farrier and get shoes put on. Wouldn’t you notice something *ahem* missing while leaning down there?!. Apparently she was perfectly willing, though!

    Similarly, the last barn I (attempted) to board at could not tell my horses apart. Yes, they are both chestnut Quarter Horses and between 15-15.2hh. However, Paige is 26 and the height of her back and withers differs by about 8 inches. They would even ask me which one was the older one!

  2. Kelly

    I totally get the “non-horsey” people’s position. But, as a horse person, I could pick out my sorrel with a tiny star from 1/4 mile away. Now, I have a flea-bitten gray so, yeah, he’s easier to pick out but even if he was in with only other grays, I could pick him out. :)

  3. Trudy

    Enjoyed the post. I can see the point about not being able to tell a whole herd of bays apart , or any other color for that matter. Until you spend time with them & get to know them individually, if they aren’t yours. I have trouble recognizing ppl that I see infrequently. If I were to see them off their property, I most likely wouldn’t recognize them right away. Now, if they had their dog or horse with them , I’d know right away who it was. LOL That is a sad fact that I have to own up to. I always remember animals names, ppl not so much.

  4. Linda

    Finn on the right. I’m a horsey person and I have to say that Aladdin, Finn and BG are pretty easy to tell apart. It could be the camera angle but Finn looks a shade darker than BG and it also looks like his mane lays on the opposite side. They don’t all look alike to me either lol but having said that I have twin girls that are now 22 and when they were babies I got them mixed up many times – eek! Lol

    Great post and beautiful horses.


  5. Lynnie

    I can’t tell many of the younger movie stars apart so it sort of makes sense that I can’t tell all horses apart unless I know them personally as an individual. I definitely know how to tell if it’s an Arab, Belgian, Saddlebred, Appaloosa, Shetland or a Mini. But I can’t tell Clydesdales and Shires apart. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t always recognize a thoroughbred or a quarter horse. Most warmbloods look alike to me. I can tell you all the coat colors and whether it’s a mare, gelding or stallion… but that’s about it. Oh, and I have about 95% recognition of dog breeds except some of the newer ones. So go figure. I guess everybody’s brain is configured differently.

  6. KD Huff

    Ha! Great post ! Luckily, my 3 horses look totally different so my guests can at least say the brown one, the white one and the brown and white one. Actually a solid bred Paint, an overo paint and an older Appaloosa. :-) Love your analogies ….. what… you can’t tell the turkeys apart? :-)

  7. rose

    I am one of those people who doesn’t have horses or is around horses. I have learned a little about the size and shape thing IF the horse is a good example of the breed. lol No short legged TBs please. And sorry but 4 “brown” TBs with a black tails and manes? I’d have to paint numbers on their sides until I “knew them. lol

  8. Jody

    Very Good post! My hubby will remember a vehicle before someone name…LOL Me, all vehichles look alike….I am getting to know horses though, and I could relate to most of your post….LOL Very good!


    LOL, I can point out every horse in the pature , then have to think of the faces of the people who own them. Then I have to rack my brain for the owners names.

  10. Ronnie

    At least you are not alone! My husband can’t remember someone’s name unless they also say their horse’s name. For years we had two or three German Shepherd Dogs at one time, and people would ask how we could tell them apart. Really? You can tell your own kids apart, right? I could tell them apart in the dark with my eyes closed.

    Bays give me the most trouble, don’t know why.


Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *