Leading the leader



Since he had his pictures published on Facebook, Caesar is a little cocky and he is bullying Manchester. All three are in the large field, Arpege, Caesar and Manchester and the dynamics is changing. Manchester is the patriarch, the philosopher and I was expecting that he will move away. I was amused by Caesar postural behavior and even if I was grazing and not even watching, I expected seeing Manchester walking away. I became intrigued observing that at the contrary, Manchester held his ground. Then I was appalled to see Manchester rearing and then chasing Caesar while bucking. The grass fell each side of my mouth it is how I realized that I had my mouth open. Even Caesar was surprised. He cantered away realizing that Manchester had metamorphosed into a leader.

I walked toward the fence and Manchester joined me on the other side. We were grazing like if it was business as usual but as you know, I cannot resist a little sarcasm. I told Manchester, Well, according to the horsemanship theories you are the dominant one. Manchestre reacted quickly. What these herd dynamic theories completely miss is that our behavior in the field is directed by our personality and our athletic capabilities. I have been crippled and lame for 8 years of my life. I could not rear. I could not canter. I could not buck. I could not even kick with one hind leg while standing still. I could barely move away at the trot. I did not have the physical capacity to react. I am not low in the packing order lacking self-esteem like these theories theorized. I had a strong mind but a crippled body. I did not have any choice but outsmarting the physical ones. I never have been the young stallion puffing his chest entertaining the ladies. I always have been the patriarch, which company has always been appreciated by the females seeking calm and the young horses seeking advice. While the physical leader was posturing and gesturing, I was the spiritual leader around which many horses liked to graze. The horsemanship believers were all wrong and truly never understood my situation in the social order. I guess they judge in terms of hormone or testosterone but not in terms of grey matter. Today I am physically sound and in fact, I feel stronger and stronger. horseI have the same mind but a stronger body and I can play the physical game.” I told him that I remember having done the same thing to him when I arrived at the farm. I was happy to have company and I pushed him. I even hurt him. Helyn and he separated us and when they tried again later Manchester was always placing a tree between him and me. When I realized that Manchester was in fact outsmarting me, I gained respect for him. We have become great friends. His presence reassures me and he likes to be close from me.

Mom arrived. She had this Mona Lisa smile saying, “Nice move. hope you will not be too stiff walking tomorrow.” Now, if you wonder where my sarcastic mind comes from, look at the female side of my bloodline.  Manchester feed Arpege about our discussion and her Mona Lisa smile turned into a frank laugh. “I never told you this one but it was really funny. One of the farms that hosted me when I was a broodmare had a Horsemanship expert coming teaching the farm crew. Even if their rhetoric is elementary, I have seen a few of these guys who did have a good horse sense. This one was a sale person but really not a horseperson. I did not like the guy; he was a great sales man but he had nothing to sale. He was turning totally natural reflexes into leadership theories that did not make any sense to me. As you know, I am the ‘no problem’ type of mare but for some reason the arrogance of this man annoyed me.

I guess, I was looking at him intensively and he misinterprets my regard theorizing that I was a dominant mare. He wanted me for his demonstration. They had set for the occasion a pen all circular and they bring me inside the pen. The guy made a move to the right and naturally I moved to the left. He moved then to the left and naturally I moved to the right. As he was making me move to the right and then to the left and away from him and then toward him, he was using totally natural reflexes but he pretended that he was establishing his leadership. At one moment I had a hitch and I walked toward the fence to scratch my neck. The guy theorized that I was enjoying the game willingly starting anticipating his moves.


Now I was truly annoyed. I did not understand the purpose of his behavior and above all I did not like his interpretations. I was so annoyed that I walked toward him thinking, ‘what the hell do you want!’ I froze halfway; he was telling to the farm crew that I was’ joining’; that ‘I surrendered to his leadership’. I was so annoyed that I decided that he needed a lesson. He was very predictable. I decided to confuse him moving at the opposite of his expectations. When he moved to the right, I moved to the right with him. As he moved to the left and I moved to the left with him. He walked toward me and I walked toward him. He backed away from me and I backed away from him. It was hysterical. The guy was totally lost. The small window of his knowledge did not allow him to realize that I was playing with him. He decided then that I was too stupid, that my IQ could not handle his leadership.

What happened then blew my mind. The guy was a good salesman and I realized that even if they knew me, even if they see how intelligently I avoided troubles, the farm crew started to believe the guy. The power of persuasion is amazing. I decided that I had to do something.  As he was preaching the farm crew turning his back to me, I approached quietly and bit his butt. It was a little bite. I did not close my teeth. I squeezed just enough to let a small mark. I had two reasons in my mind. One was to show him that his expertness was falling short. If he was that good in equine behavior he should not have turned his back to me losing his concentration on me. The second reason is that as you know, I am a female and I let a small mark on his butt thinking that he will have hard time explaining the mark to his wife.