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What is my horse thinking?

By Leslie Potter | Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Tarot Cards
"And this card means that you could have bought a few bales of hay for what you paid for this bunk tarot card reading..." Photo: Getty Images/ Thinkstockphotos.com
"Horse stuck in ravine rescued through 'telepathy.'"

That headline stood out as I perused today's horse-world news. It came from a Seattle Times article about a young Fjord mare who wandered off and, well, you can figure out the rest from the headline. Fortunately, the story did have a happy ending, which apparently can be attributed—at least in part—to a horse psychic.

Let me be upfront about this: I don't believe that there are people who can communicate telepathically with animals. I believe there are some people who have good intuition and use the same tricks that human "psychics" use to manipulate people into believing that they are communicating with animals.

In this case, the communicator told the owner that her horse was stuck in a tight space and that she could hear traffic and moving water. The owner recognized that description as fitting a 70-foot ravine in the area, and sure enough, there she was. One could call this proof of psychic ability, but every time there is a case of a person or animal missing, there are always psychics who step up to offer their assistance, and they rarely seem to actually help.

As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Over the summer one year, my university had an animal communicator out to talk to some of the school horses. I guess it was just for fun (and paid for by one of the professors, I believe, not our hard-earned tuition dollars.) The results were intriguing. One sweet old gelding who had recently had some veterinary maintenance done said that he was worried that he would be retired, and he didn't want to be because he loved his job. A rather self-important, 14-hand Morgan with a Napoleonic complex said that he should be winning at shows, but couldn't because he didn't have a good enough rider (a burn on the professor who had been showing him that summer.) A cranky member of the hunt seat string said in no uncertain terms that he hated being a school horse.

Two Jack Russells belonging to two of the professors said that they thought the Corgi owned by a third professor was kind of dumb.

Now, supposedly the communicator didn't have any background info on these animals. But just by observing these animals, one could make some guesses. The sweet old gelding was clearly both sweet and old, so it wouldn't be a leap to suggest that he was happy but nearing retirement. The Morgan was the type to come up to the front of the stall, head up high and ears pricked forward, clearly thinking a lot of himself. The cranky hunter was also the type to come to the front of the stall, but in his case, the ears were pinned and sometimes the teeth were bared.

As for the dogs, well, have you ever met a Jack Russell who didn't think he was smarter than everyone else?

While this visit was just for fun, it did mesh with some decisions made for the horses. The sweet old gelding stayed at the school for a few more years (although I don't think there had been any plans to retire him at that point anyway.) The cranky horse WAS retired, per his wishes (and there was much rejoicing amongst students who had to interact with him.) As for the Morgan, he did not get to be shown by a big-name trainer, but he did have one other curious message. He said at his previous home, he'd had a chicken, and he missed his chicken. So they got him a chicken, and he was happy (until his stall neighbor stepped on it and the bird had to be rehomed somewhere safer. Oh well.)

I suppose as long as you don't put too much weight on what you hear from a supposed psychic, there's no more harm in having an animal communicator "talk" to your horse than there is having your tarot cards read at a party.

Have you ever had an animal psychic communicate with your horses or pets? Do you think there's any validity to what they do? Click "Submit a Comment" below and share your thoughts.

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Reader Comments

Claire    Provo, UT

7/27/2013 9:36:06 PM

I don't believe in the whole physic thing. Anyone who spends time around horses learns to read their body language.

turnandburn    Ft. Wayne, IN

6/5/2013 9:02:59 AM

haha Love the caption under the photo...

kygal    rural, KY

5/29/2013 2:02:27 PM

not actually had a reader tell me about my horses although I sometimes wonder would I really want to know what my horses thought I do believe my horses do visit me in my dreams to give encouragement

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