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Belonging to a Herd

     I recenly read and article titled "What Humans can't teach: The Importance of Herd Socialization for the Performance Horse written by Allison Nicole Shultz in the Eclectic Horseman magazine. It was an excellent article discussing the reasons horses, especially performance horses, should be raised in a herd. The writer stated that the reason why the potential sport or performance horse is kept in a barn and stalled for most of his or her life is the risk of injury that would derail a promising career. There are risks but sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks.

     For years I have watched our horses interact with each other and never cease to be amazed at the like, the love, the anger, the indeference, the playfulness,the competitiveness, and the concern they show for each other at different times. I often call them 1000lb toddlers. If one gets out of line, another one might show signs of iritation and walk away or shake a head to show disdain for the one out of line. It is both funny and enlightening to watch these wonderful creatures show almost human emotions.

     The writer suggests that living in a herd teaches respect and manners and once the herd hierarchy is established the new horse will know his place and become secure within the herd dynamic. Without this socialization the typical performance horse becomes insecure, and will exhibit signs of cribbing, weaving and overaggresiveness with both other horses and people. She describes the benefit young horses growing up in pastures with other young horses and their mothers learning balance over terrain, abstacles and streams which subsequently builds good bone, strong feet, atheletic ability and brave character. This way of life results in better atheletes and happier horses.

     My point exactly. Here at My Happy HorsePlay we want and encourage everyone to keep their horses happy and help make those less fortunate to live out the rest of their lives happy. Happy horses make better horse/human partners. You can go to Shop Now and pick out something from the unlimited horse products and supplies at horse.com to make your horse and you happy. Have a blessed and awesome day. 

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