From pasture to stall, all horses have some habits that will leave you wanting to pull your hair out.
Horses may capture your heart, but they will push you to your limits.
Sometimes you just have to have a sense of humor about it! These are our top 16 things your horse does to annoy you:
1. They’re ill-mannered right after you brag about their disposition
Just like children, it seems horses are always ready and available to prove us wrong. Just when we brag about their disposition, all seems to go wrong.
“My mare is a dead-head, worth her weight in gold. Even little kids can rider her!”
Que bucking in 3, 2, 1…
At least we know we can count on those manners 99% of the time.
2. They roll immediately following a bath
It’s almost a guarantee your horses will find the muddiest/dustiest area in the paddock to roll after you bathe them.
Our hearts go out to the grey and white horse owners who have it the worst.
Luckily it’s mostly surface dirt they shimmy their bodies into- but it’s painstaking to see your labor covered in a thick layer of mud or dust.
3. They move at exactly the wrong time
As soon as you get the mounting block or step stool positioned and climb up- your horse takes a well-placed step away from the block. Coincidence?
Probably not. The end result is the same, but we are convinced this is a fun little game for horses to annoy their owners.
It’s even more fun when you’re clipping bridle paths and your clippers don’t reach!
4. They pick the worst times to poop
How much control can you really expect a horse to have over their bowels?
It seems they have enough control to poop as soon as you enter the show ring, step into the grooming rack, or try and snap a photo.
Our favorite move is the “big unload” after stalls have been cleaned and you’ve put away your manure fork.
5. They step on the hose during a bath
Almost assuredly, if there is an inch of hose on the ground, your horse will find a way to step on it and halt the water supply.
Can horses snicker? We’re quite sure they’re giggling when they do this, despite our frustration.
6. They will destroy brand new masks or “apparel”
Even the calmest and most seasoned horses must think brand new fly masks and sheets are the enemy.
Some items in your stable have survived over a decade with little care. But it’s as if horses can read the “rip-stop fabric” fine print on the label and want to challenge it.
Masks and sheets vs 1,000-pound spoiled animal: the animal almost always wins. Horse folks love warranties for this reason.
Also read, 11 obvious signs a horse likes you.
7. They disappear into unknown spaces when it’s time to halter
How is it that your horse can hide in such a small space when they see the halter?
Whether it’s retreating deep into the stall or the furthest possible corner of the pasture, horses seem to know when it’s time to work.
8. They pass gas when we’re near the rear
Grooming the flank area or tail is a sure-fire way to ensure your horse is passing gas.
Most of us have had tail hair in-hand when their horses release a fart directly into our line of vision- and smell.
Luckily, most of us are immune to the odor of manure, so we carry on as usual.
9. They’re prone to injury – right before competition
Livestock in general will equate to frequent (and large) vet bills. However, horses seem to plan these “mishaps” during show season.
They especially like these injuries after non-refundable deposits have been made for an event.
“Mom has a group trail ride planned? Oops, I’m lame!”
10. Their poop ends up in the most inconvenient places
If the farrier is visiting for a trim, your horse is sure to poop while tied and smash it into his/her hooves.
Our favorite is when they seem to have strategically aimed their poop into the feed pan or even freshly-scrubbed water bucket.
Who doesn’t love a little extra cleaning on top of regular barn chores?
11. They will rub out their braids
Braiding can be cheap or easy, but usually not both. Your horse can sense this hard work, and has an uncanny ability to rub out braids just before showtime.
Not a braider? No problem. Sometimes your horse will let you know how they feel by rubbing out a full chunk of mane or tail instead!
12. They spook at inanimate objects
Sometimes things invisible to the naked eye may set off your horse.
When will there be a scientific study conducted to see if plastic bags eat horses?
There are some strong theories about horses spotting hidden animals from Pokémon Go!
The only thing worse than a surprise spook can be a sudden irrational fear of the trailer ramp when you’re in a rush. (And only when you’re in a hurry, of course.)
13. They won’t accept your treats
Nothing will make you feel worse than an outright refusal of a peace offering.
Some are picky eaters and will let you know you chose the “wrong” cookie.
Others are in such disbelief at your human actions, they won’t even accept a treat from your hands.
14. They make demands during a show or competition
“The horse knows best,” some riders say. Have you ever seen a horse take control in a show?
Nothing is quite as humiliating as a horse that is demanding a first-place ribbon call-out that didn’t actually place. Try keeping a horse in line-up that thinks it’s time for a victory lap!
Some horses are so accustomed to the show announcer, they will make moves before the rider even asks.
Although junior exhibitors adult amateurs might appreciate these push-button mounts, the rider is supposed to be making the calls!
15. They will mark you with their slobber
Marking is a sign of love, right? Or maybe just ownership…
If wearing a white shirt or “non-barn” clothes, it’s almost a guarantee your horse will leave a streak of green slobber on you.
If you are really lucky, they will save a nice green sneeze for the front of your outfit.
No drool? No problem. A quick head rub to smear dirt gets the job done.
16. Leaning on you or refusing to move
First, they don’t pick up their hoof when you ask, but when they do, they slowly lean on you more and more. Some horses seem to get pleasure in seeing our back strain to hold up a section of their body.
We’ve also had a horse refuse to shift their bum over in the stable. Both hands on the side of their rump; pushing as hard as we can while asking them to move!
The horse just stands there still acting like they have no idea what you’re asking of them. It takes a hard pat to eventually get the message across.
- 11 Funny & Grose Things Horsey People Do
- 11 Things That Really Annoy Horse Riders
- Do Horses Like to be Ridden?
Despite the frustration (and sometimes humiliation) these creatures bring, we sure love our horses! No one will ever quite understand the bond, or playful antagonism, that comes with horse ownership.
These moments are the memories we look back on to laugh and cherish. What does your horse do to annoy you?
If your horses share any of these habits that drive you crazy, be sure to share this article with your friends!