Horse scared of African Americans? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Horse scared of African Americans?

I saw something odd this afternoon. I was shoeing a gelding for a trainer because he had a guy coming to buy him. So I put some new shoes on him and we had him looking real good. I hung around afterwards and soon the buyer showed up. He was a nice colored man.

Well, the trainer had the horse saddled in his indoor arena, and so we went in there to look at him. This horse was terrified. He snorted like they do when they see a coyote. Ears perked, nostrils flared, and bug-eyed. When the trainer climbed on, this horse struck into this high-headed, quick-steppin' trot and never took his eyes off the black man. The guy wasn't loud or jumping around or anything. The only thing he did was when the trainer put the horse into a spin or rollback, the guy would do a dance. I guess it was his way of showing approval. He really liked watching him spin.

So really it seemed like the horse was scared based on appearance, not behavior. The horse wasn't scared of me at all and cooperated well for shoeing.

Has anybody ever seen this?

Last edited by AmazinCaucasian; 03-09-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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post #2 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:36 PM
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horses see differently than we do. Pretty sure in three colors. Black, white and red. (might be wrong on this.) so if a horse has never saw any color but white skin.. a dark skinned person approaching them could scare them.
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post #3 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostwindAppaloosa View Post
horses see differently than we do. Pretty sure in three colors. Black, white and red. (might be wrong on this.) so if a horse has never saw any color but white skin.. a dark skinned person approaching them could scare them.
I'm not sure about the other two, but horses can't see red(:

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post #4 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:40 PM
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Perhaps the horse ha been abused by a black man in the past.

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post #5 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:43 PM
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It's anecdotal evidence at best, but I knew a mare who was TERRIFIED of Hispanic men. She was raised at a show barn where the men who did the stall cleaning and turnouts were Hispanic and would routinely smack the horses (HARD) with a rake if they didn't move out of the way quick enough and were just generally rough with them. The mare only lived at that barn until she was a yearling, then she was given to my friend. To my knowledge, she hadn't seen a Hispanic man in years, until she moved to the barn that my friend was leasing. The previous leaser and my friend had leases that overlapped by a couple of months (don't ask) and the previous leaser had a very nice Hispanic man who tended their horses for them. He never once treated any of the horses badly that we saw (he was actually very gentle with them) and was even nice enough to clean our stalls and bring our horses in from turnout. However, this mare absolutely WOULD NOT let this Hispanic man near her. She would get all antsy if he came near her stall and would literally go into hysterics if he had a rake with him. Even if you had her in hand and walked past the Hispanic man, she would turn so she could see him at all times and would dragon snort if he even looked at her. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen.

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post #6 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I had a horse that was scared of blue ropes. When I was working bull ridings, those bulls would buck off the riders, then the ropes fall on the ground. So sometimes when I was following a bull out of the arena, there'd be 2 or 3 ropes laying in the arena. My horse would walk right over red, black, and brown ropes. But he always made a big wide circle around the blue ones......Odd, I know....
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post #7 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I got off topic. I have to say too, This guy could really dance
kevinshorses and PintoTess like this.
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post #8 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 11:22 PM
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Not just horses are hostile towards people or things....
I was driving through town with my wiener dog in my lap, when we stopped at a red light.
All of a sudden, he goes from snoozin on my lap to trying to go through the passenger side window at a family pushing a baby carriage!
He never gets riled, has ALWAYS loved everyone (lousy watchdog), except this particular family.
They were VERY african american.
Apparently, he didnt like their shoes!

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post #9 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 11:24 PM
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My horse is scared of yellow trot poles - the white, blue and red ones are OK by him!

I've also seen horses scared of Paint/Pinto horses.

I don't think it's too far fetched for a horse to be scared of a person based on color.
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post #10 of 164 Old 03-09-2012, 11:47 PM
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I don't see how you could make any association based on only one exposure. IT could have been any number of things that had the horse frightened, and if they were connected to the man (and I wonder about that), it could have been his clothing, his size, his scent, his way of speaking or moving.
I rather doubt the horse even really notices the color of the skin. Right now, it being winter, most of us have our skin pretty much covered up, so the horse can only see the man's face. I strongly doubt it was the color, however, if there is anything that might have been associated with a former bad experience for the horse, it might be connected to scent, such as some of the hair products that people can use or other sourced of strong scents.


I do not believe horses see red. I thought only greens and black and white.
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