Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Irrational Fear? Part One

Hey there!  Sorry to be getting this to you a little late in the day.  I'm solo at the farm today. 

Ruthie is getting her master's degree in teaching English as a second language.  She had to do some make-up teaching today.  She must have missed some days with the snow.  So, being a nice boss, I said, "Ok" to her request.  Of course, I got something in trade.  She worked Sunday for me.  I'm not that nice!  Hence the late blog entry for you.

I've started hiring people with little or no horse experience in the past few years.  It allows me to teach them to do it the way I want it done.  It cuts down on people who think they know horses, but they don't.  Those folks are still alive by the grace of God!  I've seen some real doozies by people who "know" horses.

People have a lot of preconceived notions about horses.  You've probably gathered that by reading my blog entries over the past few days.  When I hire new people, they also have some preconceived notions about horses.  When they start interacting with my horses, it's always Tar that they tell me they are afraid of.

Being afraid of Tar is like being afraid of a puppy!  Tar doesn't have a mean bone in his body.  Yes, he's big.  Yes, he's curious.  Yes, he's smart.  Mean he is not.

If Tar hurts you, it's probably an accident.  Either you didn't watch your feet and he stepped on you.  Or, you didn't obey the rule about not getting between a horse and a wall and he squished you.  YOU as the person have a responsibility to keep yourself safe.  It is not Tar's responsibility to keep you safe.

I don't know that Tar has ever done these things with the staff.  They are simply afraid of him because he's huge.  He can't help that.  As my dad would say, "That's just the way God made him."  It's a common fear, being afraid of big horses.  It's an irrational fear.

Tar rather enjoys playing tricks on these timid souls who are afraid of him, though.  It's a rite of passage here.  Tar will play a trick on you sooner rather than later.  He's not going to hurt you, but he is going to get a laugh out of your misfortune.

One of Tar's favorite tricks to play on the newbies is toss the wheelbarrow.  I warn them, but it happens anyway.  This is how it goes. 

The paddocks have to be cleaned every week.  It's unhealthy for manure to stay around the horses for long periods of time.  Standing in it is bad for their feet.  It promotes parasites.  It's just not good. 

The staff sometimes use the tractor, sometimes the wheelbarrows.  When someone is new, they are not getting their hands on my very nice tractor.  Those folks use the wheelbarrow.  I think Tar starts to grin when he sees them coming with it.

Tar socializes with the staff while they clean his paddock.  He watches them.  He rubs on them.  He solicits petting and chatting.  Then, when they have a wheelbarrow full of manure, he flips it over. 

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened.  It's happened enough that I warn them.  But, Tar is cleaver.  So, he gets away with it anyway.  I told you horses are smart!

Not everyone is afraid of Tar, though.  But, you'll have to wait to hear about that tomorrow!  Thanks for reading!  Have a good day!

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