Thursday 11 July 2019

Chatty Ponies

Screaming horses are NOT my thing. The universe laughs at me, because Sophie has the highest pitched, screechiest whinny I've ever heard. And she LOVES to talk to me and anyone else who will listen.

Me, 2 feet from Sophie's face: "Hi Sophie"
Everyone on the farm: "My ears!"

Fingers crossed, with patience and miles this too shall pass.

However, it reminds me of a pretty funny thing that happened the last time I had a chatty, anxious horse.

I feel like I diligently followed all the advice and remained calm and just redirected the focus back to her work by asking a little more or swiching exercises. Basically, just keeping her relaxed and working and focused on me and not worrying about her friends.

However, at some point my smart mare must have still put the pieces together and realized calling to her friends was not something I particularly enjoyed. Yet it was not something she was ready to give up either.

So, she did it really, really quietly instead. Kind of under her breath, mouth closed, starting with what sounded like the tiniest squeal, then kind of fading off ("she sounds like her batteries are running out" one kid helpfully described to me)

It was the saddest, most hopeless thing you've ever heard. And just loud enough that show judges and spectators would be wondering what that noise was and where it was coming from, thus attracting far more attention than standard whinnying.

Please, universe, let me be more successful this time around.


  1. That's so hilarious/sad! My heart horse Baasha used to scream at horse shows, so I'd back him up each time. He eventually just backed up on his own, each time he wanted to scream. Over and over and over. I wish that on no one. I'd be happy if someone though, would tell me a better way?

    1. I've never got a one size fits all answer from the trainers I've asked. Everyone seems to agree it's anxiety/lack of focus on the rider, so my default is to just keep pony busy and on task and stable near a non chatty friend. For some, that's worked, for others not so much :)

  2. "Sounds like her batteries are running out"


    1. I so wish I had video and audio...imagine a ventriloquist horse :)

  3. Cisco also has the high pitched but very quiet "eeeeeee" when he's supposed to be concentrating under saddle. I think it's adorable! He also has the quietest little nickers that he gives when he sees an old friend and they are near him but not close enough to touch. It's like he's a creeper whispering "I love you" and no one else hears it but me.
    Phantom only talks when there is food involved. And then she gets quite chatty!

  4. Opie went through a phase right after I got him when he was learning I DO NOT TOLERATE SCREAMING IN MY FACE where he would mutter under his breath when he felt he had something to say. Fortunately he's much more mature about the whole thing now because tbh I would have sold him based solely on the amount of noise he produced.

  5. lol, Irish used to do that too! The 'whisper whinny' I called it.

  6. One of the horse shows T came to me with when we were dating we had a horse that kept screaming and screaming and screaming. T doesn't like loud consistent noises (I mean really who does?) and so we took Ramone for a walk to escape the noise, I then saw THE CUTEST small pony and told T how much I love ponies and wanted a whole fleet of them.

    "Are they quieter than horses?" T asked, and right as he finished his sentence the pony let out the highest pitch longest squeal ever and T covered his ears and said "You are not getting any ponies."

    I DIED lol