I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was saved from severe injuries by someone rushing up and warning me excitedly, "Watch out! S/he hates men!"
I'm not complaining. I'm actually grateful because most of the time the warning came while I was in the stall or in close proximity to the dangerous beast. I could have been seriously hurt.
It seems I lacked the ability to tell when a horse hated me. If I had not been warned I never would have known the horse was a man-hater.
I've been attacked by horses. Not because they were man haters but because I was doing something they didn't think I should be doing. Such as insisting they show the right amount of respect before they stuck their heads in the bucket. That one cost me painful ribs and the mother of all chest hematomas. Fortunately the impact slammed me against the stall wall rather than knocking me to the ground where he could have had his way with me. On my feet it was easier to give him the bucket until it flew apart and I was forced to jerk the water bucket off the wall and use that.
But I digress...
The only woman hating horse I ever knew was in Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic organizer took me to him the day before the clinic because he was too dangerous to bring to me.
I figured since he was a woman hating horse, I was safe as long as I hid my feminine side. So into his pen I went. The pen consisted of a somewhat round fenced in area of about 50 feet with railroad tie planted upright in the middle and a stall shelter on one side.
After a few minutes of working the horse I thought, "This is just a plain ol' friendly horse." He was showing absolutely no aggression to me or to the crowd of ladies up against his fence.
I was hampered by having to keep moving around the railroad tie in the middle of his pen. I thought it was a western horse training staple, a snubbing post, but the post had been there awhile and the edges weren't rope smoothed off. So I asked why it was there.
"We use it to keep it between us and him when we're stalling him or letting him out of his stall."
I stood the horse beside me with no halter and told them to come in. "He won't do anything, maul him," I assured them as they nervously filed in.
In no time they were all over him and he was eating it up.
A couple weeks later I get an email telling what a great horse he was and pretty much anyone was using him as a trail horse through the desert.
I don't know what the horse was exhibiting before I got there that gave them the idea he was a woman hater. If he was a hater, women were all he could hate because that is all there were there.
I suspect in his efforts to friendly up he just came on a little too strong and then he had a reputation.
The point is, his actions were misread. Once the ladies minds were changed, the situation changed. The horse was the same horse.
Our minds can give us what we want. If we want an uncontrollable horse, we'll get one. If a woman, or man, to be fair and equal, has somewhat pronounced opposite sex issues, guess what the horse will have.
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