Bad manners or lovable spirit?

This is a video of the beautiful Baroque Pinto stallion, Dream Gait’s Bizkit, that some people might suggest is demonstrating ‘bad manners’. Of course context is important. At the very least it is plain to see that this horse is coming out of a trailer and he is definitely a breeding stallion. I have also been told that this clip was after a period of box rest due to an injury and/or that he was there to cover mares. Whether this is true or not I couldn’t say but I don’t think we need this to excuse this behaviour anyway.

I think that most people with extensive experience around studs would recognise this as quite normal stallion behaviour – whether they would admit it openly or not. He is in a new place, excited by the presence of other horses and doing what stallions do: prance and call.

But what he isn’t doing is as important as what he is. What he isn’t doing is pulling or pushing or endangering his handler. He is light in the headcollar and keeping a safe distance. He does exactly what is required of him.

We spend a lot of time and energy training our horses to be well-behaved, and to do whatever we ask of them. But we can get too caught up in this to appreciate them for themselves: living, breathing personalities, with their own quirks, habits and desires.

For many people, getting to know the individual personality of a specific horse is a big part of why we fell in love with horses to begin with. It would be sad if we felt it necessary to suppress every hint of personality and independence a horse shows just to demonstrate our credentials as horsemen!

In this case Bizkit was doing nothing to endanger his handler, he was just expressing himself a little. Sometimes we should just let horses be horses.

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