Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Horses Are Alike All Over

Go on. Give it a pull!

Horses are fun.
And smart.
They have distinct personalities.
Some are lazy.
Some crafty.
Some love people.
All like to play.
A favourite game when I was growing up was 'tongues'.
You would tickle a horse's lips until he stuck out his tongue, whereupon (good word) you would give it a little pull.
The tongue, I mean.
The horse would whip it back into his mouth.
Then promptly stick it out again.
Pull.
Retract.
Stick out.
Pull.
They loved this game.
They would play it for hours.
Or until you got tired of it.
You can probably guess which scenario usually happened first.
My Husby and I were touring the Buckingham Palace Mews, conducted by the head hostler to the Queen, Edward.
A very proper and pleasant British man.
Who also loved horses.
We were instantly connected.
Moving on . . .
My Husby and I were having a great time.
We had dutifully and happily walked through the coach storage buildings.
And had headed into the stables.
Ahhh! Heaven!
Horses are intensely curious.
If something is happening, they want to be front and center.
Gawking.
Getting in the way.
Pretending to be startled and fleeing spiritedly.
Coming back to see if there was anything they missed.
For the resident horses, our tour of the stables was out of the ordinary.
Everyone wanted a look.
Heads popped out of stalls the whole length of the building.
One horse, a handsome grey gelding was especially interested.
I should point out here that horses, when they meet another horse, sniff each other's noses.
A much more civilized practice in my opinion than what one would typically see when dogs greet each other.
Ummm . . . back to my story.
The big grey sniffed me.
I sniffed him back, then started to move on.
He moved with me.
I think someone was bored.
I touched his lips.
He licked them.
I pulled his tongue.
His head shot up, startled.
He stared at me for a couple of moments.
Then he stuck out his tongue again.
I pulled it.
He drew it back in.
Then he did it again.
This went on for some time.
Grant and Edward had been standing a little ways off, talking.
The horse and I were enjoying our game.
Then I realized that the stable had fallen silent.
The men were watching us.
Thinking they had finished their conversation, I patted my new friend and started toward them.
The big grey leaned out as far as he could, nickered at me and stuck out his tongue. “Hey! I'm not finished with this game!”
I laughed and patted him again.
Then joined the two men.
Edward was still staring. Finally he shook his head and in his perfectly modulated English accent, said, “I've never seen a horse do that before!”
He looked at me with renewed interest and said,” Any time you want to come back here, you are welcome. Anytime.”
A horse lover knows another horse lover.
And all horses are the same.
No matter what circles they move in.

11 comments:

  1. Well it's not like he could say, pull my finger, now could he?

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  2. I so enjoy reading between your lines the pleasure you find everywhere. I wonder if the 'ead 'ostler (that's what Bill would have said) tried to play the horse's game when you left. May have been too stodgy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm like you, Joanne! Life is just fun and interesting!!! Speaking of Bill . . . I'm still waiting for the whole story. Or have I missed it? I'll have to go to your blog and investigate!!!

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  3. We have so much fun with our two puppies but I have not spent enough time with horses to see the fun side of them. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. what a nice story!!All the horses I knew were after my carrots I would always be surrounded lol I sure do love them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Diane, I didn't know a horse could that either! I think horses are beautiful creatures and sadly, have only ridden one once in my life. I was 14 and away at camp. I shall never forget the experience. However, I don't know if I would have the courage to stick my fingers into a horse's mouth! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know much at all about horses, but I now know a little more than I did before reading this delightful story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kara! Horses are just like big house cats. With hooves. :)

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  7. Who knew a horse could be so playful! I have not had the opportunity to form such a close relationship with one but have always been fascinated with them. My 5 year old is dying to ride one so maybe we will get our chance to be nearer to these amazing creatures. Thanks for linking up at NOBH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Heidi! Horses are amazingly smart and playful. They love to play. Picture a cat - with hooves. I hope you and your son have a wonderful experience when you get up close and personal with his riding partner!

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