Stealth Horse

You can hear horses nicker and whinny.  You can feel the ground shake when they gallop past you in full run.  When you are inside a horse trailer with them and they call for their mates, the trailer vibrates with the force of their voice and your ears ring for thirty minutes.

Even so, horses are quiet.  Really quiet.

One story, among many I have, illustrates the stealth horse in every horse that lives and breathes.   Air force secret stealth projects have nothing on these guys.  Four years ago I was setting up cedar staves between big fence posts on the boundary between our place and a neighbor’s ranch southeast of us.  Our small remuda of equine was in the pasture behind me and I was sweating and swearing vigorously in the morning heat.  Between me and the horses in the field was a flat-bed trailer.

As I stood back from a particularly hard tie of a cedar stave to a five-strand barbed wire fence, I felt this hairy flesh about my neck and shoulder.  I was already nervous from fighting yellow-jacket wasps and I had a couple of minor puncture wounds from the barbed wire.  What in the world has got me now?

It was Star, paint horse gelding!  Sneaked up he did, went around the flat-bed trailer, and quietly walked up to my backside!

Five minutes ago, he was back up a hundred yards in the pasture.  Now the guy is building fence with me!   “Star, what are you doing?  You scared the daylights out of me!”

He stood there looking at my work.  I’m sure he was real proud of himself  having spooked me.  I gave him a gentle rub between the eyes.  He stood with me for about fifteen minutes while I finished the task and then ambled off, walking around the flat-bed trailer to go munching on bermuda grass.

That Star is a stealth horse.


Star the stealth horse lying down in the pasture.


Star the stealth horse galloping away.








Forthcoming post:  Star Herds Sheep Without Rider


Filed under Cedar, Horses, Juniper

10 responses to “Stealth Horse

  1. “Star the Stealth Horse.” I love it. A great personal story here, Jack. Really nice.

  2. Kittie Howard

    He stood with me for about fifteen minutes while I finished the task and then ambled off.

    This warms my heart. Star knew, he just knew you were hot and sticky and had to help his buddy out. I’ve often wondered how animals know, but they do.

  3. This is a trait I see and delight in with my dogs—how quiet and sneaky they can be. I swear they know how to tip-toe! Sometimes it’s pure mischief, sometimes something deeper. Why sometimes do I clearly hear their nails on the floor, other times they surface in utter silence?

    Horses are way wiser than people think, aren’t they.

    I never thought of this, but now I’m going to have to call my dogs “stealth dogs”!

    • Yes, wiser than we think and smarter than I ever thought they were. Dogs are at the top, cats, then mules, then horses. There’s a lot of writing on human-animal relationships these days.

  4. Jack,

    I had a horse nuzzle behind me when I was photographing, as to say, “Hey I want my picture taken.” I laughed and took their picture and now we are both happy!

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