It occurred to me today … that someone ought to record the individual instruments played by the horses and put them together to create symphonies.

You know what I mean…



For example, the bucket.  The bucket is a remarkably musical instrument.  It creates a different sound depending upon which portion is played.  The ‘bucket bang’ – more of a percussive instrument – creates a deep thumping.  Great for backbeats and drama.

Or, the ‘bucket flip’ which creates a much lighter and diminishing tone, quite like a string plink.  This is most often used to complement disgust and/or departing tones.

The ‘bucket kick’ is for more dramatic, ending resonance.  A final BOOM chakalacka, definitely resonates the finality of the sentiment.



And then there are the metal instruments…

The most popular around here is the ‘gate grate’.  Played by only a few talented souls, the gate grate requires dentin mastery.  First they must understand the weights and measures to create the exactly precise tooth against metal ratio to form the highly pitched screeching.  Or, if more masterful, the quick yet light scraping technique for the heavier and elongated ‘swiping’ sound.

This is generally used near dinner time, but can be implemented anytime a human is present.


We’ve all experienced the ‘pocket snuffle’.  This instrument is the most readily available and easily acquired in the equine horchestra.  All it takes is one cookie – once – and the pocket snuffle is a finely tuned component to the repertoire.  The cookie bearing human arrives near the horse and the horse instinctively plays his snuffle against the human’s chest pocket.  Easy!

The ‘murmuring hustle’ is what all equines play when a kindly appearing human is near.  Strangely, we humans hear it much akin to angels singing… it evokes our desire to love upon and feed the equine player.


KEYS (green, brown, silver, white)

Many of our equine friends are illustrious at playing the ‘keys’ or fence boards.  Most use their front feet but the very skilled use their hinds.  So many tones can be created through the pitch and velocity of the strike.

Of course, the vast materials used to create the fence boards effect the tone of the strikes – metal, wood, vinyl, wire…  These keys are true statement instruments.  The act of key strikes take a firm commitment and accuracy to the playing.  Only masters attempt the keys.


HOOF TO DIRT ~ WATER and the various stages thereof

These instruments are more primary, learned young.  Hooves on dirt creates a rhythm whereas hoof through water creates a tinkling or splashing cascade and the combination of dirt and water – WOW! – the splatting of mud against barn and the sickening sound of shoesucking … well, those reverberations are deeply moving.



Vocal harmonies are genetic to the equine.  When a horse hears another horse playing their particular instrument, most often, a horse will feel compelled to harmonize.  Whether it be a squeal or a whinny of some kind, most will fill in the air with complementary accapella pairings.



To me, I think the horses are simply begging for some up and coming DJ to sample all of their unique instrumentations for a new type of STOMP on Broadway.  Or maybe samples could be massaged into loved Showtunes or Classic Rock and Roll.

In any event, I am sure all this equine cacophony is created merely to help us dense humans to understand the equines’ immense musical abilities so that we may cherish their unique talents more readily.  I doubt any of it has to do with food.




PLEASE DONATE AND HELP THESE SORRY HORSES HAVE THEIR DREAMS OF FOOD AND CARE COME TRUE!  Just a Drop in the Bucket will help so much! – It all adds up!

Our February Bucket Fund horses were starved, living in knee high muck, covered in ticks and only given rotten fruit and vegetables to eat! Click image to read their story and donate! THANK YOU!

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