Alfie the Horse: I try not to panic but always do. How do I let go?

Dear Paws to Talk,

My humans love to take me out on long trail rides in the beautiful area where we live. I enjoy it too.

Recently on a ride, I almost lost my footing as some kind of small animal weaved its way through my four hooves. I got very anxious and started flinging around like a wild buck to get this animal away from me.

Unfortunately, I accidentally threw my mommy off my back during this incident. I felt so guilty.

A week later, I found myself in a similar situation on the trail and panicked. Mommy went flying off my back again. Now, she is mad and afraid to take me on rides. I am so upset but I don’t know how to remain calm when these little animals are messing with my hooves.

How do I get rid of the panic?

-Alfie the Horse

Howl Alfie,

Even though we’re not exactly sure what hooves are, we’re glad you wrote to us. While we try to love and respect all beings (including cats), we must admit we are sick of these little wild animals and their antics.

We have started drinking coffee (French Roast of course) in order to stay awake long enough for an extended day and night patrol. This is necessary to keep them from entering our yard and pillaging our lovely trees and plants.

There is no reasoning with these animals. Bella delivered an effective speech on boundaries to a couple of squirrels recently but they still tried to climb our stone wall. So, you have to find a way to not let them bother you.

For starters, give your mommy a little time to get over being thrown. However, don’t let the idea of trail rides leave her mind. Do you have harness or something you can take in your teeth and shake as a reminder? Maybe you can lean against the horse stable door? Our humans always take us out when we lean against a door.

Once you are out on your ride, expect that someone will mess with your hooves and run under you. If you are prepared for this behavior then there will be no need to panic and toss your mommy to the ground.

If you feel the anxiety building then just trot away. Keep moving and enjoy the scenery along your ride.

Before you know it, these creatures and your panic will be fleeting thoughts on your trail ride.

Let us know if you need some French Roast for an all-night pasture patrol.


Bella and DiDi
















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

10 thoughts on “Alfie the Horse: I try not to panic but always do. How do I let go?

  1. Ladies, I think a cup of French roast will serve to keep Alfie awake and alert. Hopefully he will be more alert to the little creatures and his mommy won’t be thrown any more. I think Alfie’s mom could benefit from a little French roast as well! hee hee! :)

  2. Awww poor Alfie. It sounds like you need to build up confidence riding short distances for a little while, just until you both relax. One thing that our Mummy did with a doggy that was scared of small animals (kind of like us cavies!) was get a cuddly toy and let the doggy sniff it for awhile then began winding it through his legs. At first the doggy was scared but Mummy just calmly did it again and the doggy eventually saw it wasn’t a threat. Not sure how hard this would be with a horsey but maybe you could try a therapy like that?

    Hope you and your Mummy feel better and are riding those trails again soon.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

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