Gen is hands down the smartest horse I have ever known. He is also the most expressive. I never have to wonder what my boy is thinking, he always tells me. I know that many of you are going to say I am crazy…or have rational explanations for the story below, but I am going to maintain that my horse is a genius and he knows English. If he could, he would talk, but since anatomically he can’t talk like a person the only way I know he speaks English is by the fact that he understands what I am saying.
I have thought this several times over the past several years, but just yesterday he amazed me again so I had to share. The weather in my part of the county is crazy during this time of year. It is common to have it be 70 one day, go down to 30 that night and only go up to 40 the following day. That is a big temperature change for an animal who is not used to it. My vet has unhappily nicknamed this type of weather “colic weather”. Horses forget to drink, or don’t drink enough to compensate for their furry winter coats and suddenly there can be 5 colic calls in a single night.
Since we all know how laid back I am in general, I of course worry whenever I see a crazy change in temperature in the forecast. Yesterday I was fretting while at Gen’s so I just started to talk to him. I reminded him of how good his life is at the moment and told him that I didn’t want him to get sick. Gen kept an ear turned towards me the whole time and would turn his head and look at me when I spoke about belly aches. He was listening. I told him that I needed him to drink plenty of water and to not run around like a wackado because I needed him to be healthy.
Just as I was finishing up grooming him I told him I loved him and that he needed to be good. He gave me one of his patented looks of offence, because he obviously could never dream of being bad, and walked quietly next to me as I took him back out to his field. I led him in closed the gate and unclipped his lead rope. As soon as he felt the pressure go away he started to shake his head and began to spin, a clear indication that he was about to engage in horseplay. In a normal voice I said “fine, you want to be an idiot and get yourself killed, go ahead, you clearly didn’t listen to a word I said”. He had only made it one stride away when I said that and yet he stopped in his tracks, and turned back towards me. I said, “I told you to be good and drink water, why is that so hard”. He looked at me, let out an exasperated sigh and walked over to the water trough. He took a drink, even though I could tell he wasn’t thirsty because he was more playing with the cover than drinking, and then calmly walked away to graze. I don’t care what any of you say. I had a conversation with my horse and he listened!