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Old 30 March 2014, 02:01 AM
catty5nutz catty5nutz is offline
 
Join Date: 22 January 2007
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,649
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I don't know a lot about horses, but they seem to be high-strung, nervy creatures. Also, smart and very good at reading people and their body language. They seem to know if someone isn't confident around them, and they will act up around these people.

I had an uncle who bred horses. When we went to see them, I was always being warned about being careful around them - not to walk around behind a horse; not to turn your back, not to make any sudden moves. And most of all, not to touch them without permission from the owner or handler. Even then, you should extend a hand for them to sniff [remembering to curl up your fingers] before patting them.

Actually, these warnings can apply pretty much to any living creature. The smallest creature can be stroppy, dangerous and vicious if they are frightened, threatened or no handled properly.

Years ago, I did a vet nurse's course. One of the things we had to do in the final exam was to sex either baby mice or baby rats - they weren't newborns. They had their fur, their eyes were open, and they were quite active, although still with their mums. It was the mice that almost everyone found more difficult to handle. They would fight and bite when you tried to lift their tails to see whether they were male or female. Almost everyone round up being bitten at least once by the mice when we were being taught how to handle and sex them. The rats, despite their much larger size, and a bad reputation in popular culture were much more amenable to being handled. Almost all the students, including myself, ended up going with the rats when having to choose either rats or mice to sex.

The hardest part of the exam was actually trying to get a cat's heartbeat. The cat wasn't against being handled - far from it. It liked the attention, and purred throughout the entire time it was being handled by the various students. It purred so loudly in fact, that almost no-one was actually able to hear its hearbeat!
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