Last week ,as I was waiting for the start of the Trooping of the Color rehearsal ,two mounted police started down the Mall. One horse was clearly a newbie and the other a veteran of such affairs. Their conversation went something like this:
“Wow! Hey! Who are all these people? What are they doing?”
“That’s just the crowds here to see the parade. No big deal.”
“No? Wait! What? What was that?”
“Just a human with an umbrella.”
“No! will it kill me?”
“Focus man! Don’t loose your focus! Your rider will be some pissed off if you loose it now. Just do what I’m doing, just walk and chill.”
Can you tell from this photo which horse is which?
Yes, the one on the right is the calm veteran and the one on the left is the nervous newbie. Horses are capable of intense focus. The only problem is that sometimes that focus is directed toward the wrong things and is not focused on what the rider is asking for. Here is another photo of the more nervous horse. His head is up, his ears are pinpointed to the front and his mouth is open as he is chomping at the bit. When riding a horse ,if you watch their ears, you can tell what they are focused on.
His rider however is calm and has a good contact with both reins should the horse decide to make any sudden moves. For any horse the atmosphere of a large crowd, marching soldiers and marching bands is a lot to deal with. Here is another photo. The horse on the right has his head a bit high and ears forward but he is following the lead of the chestnut horse on the left who has a lower head and ears are forward but in a more neutral position.
I can tell you that although the more junior horses may have been nervous ,with a higher head carriage and very alert ears, none misbehaved. The did their riders proud.
These photos are my response to this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge: FOCUS