Never Stand With Food In A Field Of Horses

Herd behavior is the structure that horses use to make sense of their lives.  This is how they avoid danger as each horse is responsible to warn others of something coming.  Immediately the rest of the horses blindly follow before identifying what the problem is.  This is normal.

Horses in the wild have access to food throughout the day.  There is no “feeding time” but in current horse ownership, people often create this phenomenon and the horses are willing to go along with it especially when the food you are bringing is sweet.

Sometimes feeding horses in a group reminds me of a shark feeding frenzy where horses attack other horses because of gluttony or because of greed.  Triumph goes to the aggressive and battle scars go to the weak.

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Herd behavior is the structure that horses use to make sense of their lives.  This is how they avoid danger as each horse is responsible to warn others of something coming.  Immediately the rest of the horses blindly follow before identifying what the problem is.  This is normal.

Horses in the wild have access to food throughout the day.  There is no “feeding time” but in current horse ownership, people often create this phenomenon and the horses are willing to go along with it especially when the food you are bringing is sweet.

Sometimes feeding horses in a group reminds me of a shark feeding frenzy where horses attack other horses because of gluttony or because of greed.  Triumph goes to the aggressive and battle scars go to the weak.

Humans are often the ones with the battle scars and I have even known of some who have died while feeding horses in a field.  While carrying several buckets of grain, the person walks among the horses distributing the food in separate piles all the while feeling invincible from an attack.  

But horses in a frenzy become blind to details and feel the presence of another horse coming to take his food.  He must fight for his pile or he will go hungry.  The hind hoof splits the air in a threatening gesture to the approaching horse but instead of the planned miss, the hoof connects with the person feeding walking in blind bliss or a drunken stupor.  This is how Ned died on the farm I worked at in my early years.  Since then I have heard many other stories of death or serious injury of people caught standing in a field feeding hungry horses forgetting about Laws 1, 2 and 3.  Regardless of how many years you have done this, remember that it can happen and that all the young people’s eyes are watching you for guidance.  It is those young people with less experience than you that will become a statistic.

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