The Ears! That’s Your First Clue.

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?

IMG_0339

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.

IMG_0340

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.

IMG_0409

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

16 Comments Add yours

  1. That’s funny 😂 thanks for the post once again, Anne Lureen! (By the way, I mentioned you in my last post, thank you)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I Amy not have seen your last post yet. We flew back from England yesterday and i’m behind with everything today! But I will check it out. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool, that’s so awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    I very much enjoyed reading this!!! I find it so fascinating that you can watch just a horses ears, and be able to tell what they are feeling and thinking!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      If you have ever ridden a spooky horse you will know it is a good clue to where there attention is directed. Also when you see some of the best dressage horses their ears are more neutral because they are completely focused on what the rider is asking for. Thanks for your comment I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Like

  3. Alli Farkas says:

    My mare is quite distractible. Even in places she’s been a skajillion times before–like the stall aisle, for example. When riding I often hear my trainer proclaim to me “you’ve lost her ears”…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Ah! I love it. It is soooo true!

      Like

  4. lulu says:

    I’m learning quite a lot about horses from you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and I am so glad you are enjoying it.

      Like

  5. To me, the rider on the left also seems to hold more tension in his body, especially the shoulders, arms and legs, which will not be reassuring to the ‘newbie’ horse. The rider on the right has a much better and more relaxed posture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree but in the rider’s defense I think he has adopted a defensive position. His heels are well down which is a defense against being unseated. Also the horse was doing some prancing on the spot which can’t be seen in the photo so he had a pretty firm contact with the reins. If I was riding I would rather have the horse on the right and I would be more relaxed on that horse as well. You have observed very well however. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sandyjwhite says:

    A great example of focus from the world of horses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks! It was interesting to observe. Glad you found it interesting also.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome! I guessed it right 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Great! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s