It Is So Funny…

… when a horse farts.

It just is. It is the funniest thing ever. There we all may be, trotting large, a horse lets one rip, and all of us grown-up women snort and giggle like eight-year-old boys.

It’s the insouciance of it, I think, the fact that they fart while moving, and care even less than fathers do, when they fart.

Just imagining it right now is making me laugh. I think I have a new pick-me-up: when I need to lighten up, or relax, or generally throw off a funk, I will simply call to mind the fart of a horse.

I think it’s also because the lesson horses don’t make any noise. They don’t whicker, they don’t whinny. The livery horses do, because they’re used to, and fully expect, to interact with a special human; school horses save their breath, even when they know you.

This disappoints me, after all this time of working fairly exclusively with a couple of horses. I would love to hear Argo calling to me, or Delilah responding to my voice with hers.

On Thursday I had my private lesson in the outdoor arena, and one of the Livery Ladies was in there, on her Appaloosa, who lives in the stable next to Rebel. The Appaloosa called out when he saw Reb. Rebel, head held high, ears to the sky, rumbled back at him, fully from his chest, deep, peremptory, like an actor in an English film from the Forties: ‘I say, good sir! I say!’

It was the first time I saw Rebel as a horse who knew other horses, and as a horse who was known to them. The other school mounts— well, they treat each other like co-workers, they see each other day, nothing new to report, they have their allegiances and their petty grievances, and they tolerate each other at best. Hearing Rebel’s voice makes me understand how he is an individual, and even though he was positively filthy with me, today in the lesson, I’d love to hear more of what he has to say.

2 Replies to “It Is So Funny…”

  1. The one and only time I ever had a horse respond to me vocally was upon my return after a ten day absence. Before I’d left on vacation, my horse had been quite ill with strangles and I’d been to the barn every day for 30 days at least 2 times per day to medicate, irrigate his jaw abcess, hand prepare/mix his meals. Once he recovered fully, I went on the vacation I’d postponed due to my horse’s illness. When I came back, I walked into the barn, spoke his name in a normal, conversational tone of voice to be treated to his head popping out his stall door, nostrils flared to full, ears straining forward accompanied by what I can only describe as chest slamming joy in the form of a full on yell of the equivalent of MY name in horse-ese. The sound started in all four of his hooves, radiated up through his midsection/back, up through his throat and out his wide open mouth in a air cannon geisyer! This happened over a decade ago and remains my singular favorite equine memory over a lifetime spent with horses.

  2. (Okay, so I somehow originally left this comment on an entirely different post…perhaps you can delete that one? I have no clue how it happened, since I’d just finished reading this one…)

    I took a trip to Peru last fall, and did a two-day ride in the mountains around Cuzco. I don’t know what they fed my horse that morning, but he farted the entire first day. Imagine climbing this breathtaking landscape, nothing to see but mountains unfolding all around, the occasional thread of an ancient Incan footpath, maybe a scattering of llamas, and with each step poot poot poot. He was the sort of horse who insists on being in the front too. I couldn’t stop laughing all morning. And his name? Dignitario.

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