I have known many horses who hated men in my time, I've only known one who hated women...
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 was in danger I never would have known the horse was a man-hater. Usually the horse was so sneaky I was completely off guard.
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 feed bucket. That one cost me painful ribs and the mother of all chest hematomas. Fortunately the impact of the whole horse hitting me 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 feed bucket he wanted until it flew apart and I was forced to rip the water bucket off the wall and give him that until it fell apart too.
But I digress...
The only woman hating horse I ever knew was in Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic organizer took me to him at the rescue facility he was at the day before the clinic because he was far too dangerous to bring to me. They were afraid to even attempt to get him into a trailer.
We get there and the horse is in a small paddock curiously sizing up the gathering group sizing him up. They were all expecting to see him make short work of the guru. They considered him to be hopelessly aggressive.
I figured since he was a woman hating horse, I was safe enough 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 a railroad tie planted upright in the middle and a stall shelter on the opposite side from the gate. I wasn't surprised by the post being there because snubbing posts are often used to control unruly horses. I was a tiny bit surprised because the edges of the tie had no rope rounding. The tie looked every bit as pristine as the day it was put there. I turned my back to the horse and asked toward the fence, "What's with the post?"
Their eyes widened as they expected the horse to tenderize me at that moment.
Turns out they used the post as a barrier between him and them when working in the paddock. They would wait until he moved to the other side of the tie then dash in and keep the tie between he and them until they could dash for his shelter to work in it.
After a few moments of working the horse I thought, "This is just a plain ol' friendly horse," as he obediently followed my directions. He was showing absolutely no aggression to me or to the crowd of ladies face up against his fence just a few feet away.
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 ready to bolt out through the gate.
After some initial apprehension they were all over him and he just stood there totally tack-free 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 after I left that it was when I got there..
I did some regular clinics in northern New York for the late Kathy Studwell who had a boarding farm on the Canadian border. At the first clinic one of the auditors kept insisting what I was teaching would not work with their horse Lightning, period. The horse wasn't at the clinic because they didn't have a trailer to haul him. My former horse partner who was working the clinic with me at the time went up to them as the clinic was winding down on the last day. "Go get him! We'll find someone here who will haul him. Go get him!"
Lightning. a rather large Tennessee Walking / Quarter Horse palomino arrived and we rushed him off the trailer and into the pen. In very few moments I turned to to his owners and said, "There is only one thing wrong with this horse and that is his name, Lightning."
No one with any smarts walks innocently up to a horse named after a weather pattern, "Tornado," or after an evil spirit, "Devil" or after a characteristic like "Killer." You give anything a bad name and it will live down to it because it psychologically creates apprehension in the human whether they realize it of not which the horse by extension picks up on and reacts to.
NO ONE cautiously goes up to a horse named "Honey," "Sweety," "Lovey," or the like expecting any problem. The horse, the animal. picks up on the openness and acts accordingly.
Our minds will 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.
I was asked for a suggestion and I said, "Buddy."
Couple weeks later I get an email from Buddy's owners...
"You have no idea how long we have tried to sell Buddy and no one wanted him. Now he is not for sale at any price! It is amazing what a difference a name makes."
It made no difference in the horse. It made a difference how they looked at him.
I make a difference in horses and humans, no brag, just fact. Feel free to contact me at 706 816-7190
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