I wanted to give you, the humans, a couple of examples of how I (a nice quiet gelding) reacts to different situations and how Dia (a mare….need I say more) reacts to the same situations.
Situation 1: We’re grazing quietly in the pasture on a nice sunny day. There is a wonderful breeze blowing my mane (which makes me look like Fabio, I hear), and all of a sudden something comes blowing across the field that doesn’t seem like it belongs there.
My reaction: I look up suddenly, put all my attention on the intruding object and watch it from where I am standing. It blows about and after a few seconds I realize it is a plastic bag (which may have had carrots in it at one point). I notice that my friends aren’t overly concerned either, so once I make sure it is going to continue blowing right on past, I go back to eating along with my friends.
Dia’s reaction: Dia takes off running, screens at the top of her lungs and doesn’t even try to figure out what it is. She alerts everyone else (who may or may not pay attention to her) and then once the intruding object is gone, she is annoyed that it was in her field and takes her annoyance out on Hannah by pinning her ears and making her move somewhere else.
Situation 2: The vet is visiting to make sure we are all healthy and to give us our shots. I actually have no idea why we get shots, but shots usually mean cookies. The humans approach each of us with a halter, put it on us and then the vet comes up to us, talking nicely and rubbing our necks. Then he pulls out the shot and sticks it in our neck.
My reaction: Cookies?! I love cookies. Are you humans all leaving me already?
Dia’s reaction: She goes flying backwards, eyes rolling in her head, wondering why the humans are offending her so deeply. I try to tell her there are cookies, but she doesn’t even notice them. I wonder if I can have her cookies.
Situation 3: A human decides it is a good idea to ride in the arena for more than 20 minutes. At the trot, none the less.
My reaction: I stop at the door. Every single time. This gives me a break from the work and allows me to say hi to all my friends that are still in the field. It also seems to make the humans get done with their ride faster.
Dia’s reaction: She starts pursing her lips and kicking out. Then she goes faster. She is insulted that the human is telling her what to do, so she tries to tell the human what she things they should be doing instead. This seems to make the humans continue riding for much longer.
I realize this is just my reaction and Dia’s reaction, but in my experience, this is pretty typical of how a nice, quiet gelding reactions versus a mare. Any mare.