Intent Matters

I’ve been kicked pretty hard a couple of times, but in none of those incidents was I the intended target of the horse.  In fact, I can only remember being the focused target of a horse once.  That time ended with the early and unfortunate demise of a plastic feed bucket and a pound of feed.  I’m not sure why that horse chose that particular meal time to think I needed my face rearranged, but it was early in our relationship and he hadn’t yet conceded to the fact that I was a bigger badass than him.  Even so it surprised me since feed time had never been a source of problems before, but more surprising was that he missed me – all four times (he was a very persistant sort) – though, his best chance had undoubtedly been his first.

Blondemare forwarded me this short video that shows clear intent on the horse’s part.  It made me wonder what history this horse and rider had, since it appears to me that from the very start of the pinned ears that this horse knew what it was doing and going to do.  The usual response of a horse, even one that’s been harrassed in the past is to simply leave.  Sometimes injuries happen in the leaving process, but there’s typically no intent to harm, it’s all about the escape.  I’ve worked with some pretty aggressive individuals and others who’ve been severely beaten, and in every case, if given an out, the horses chose the option to leave before standing to fight.

Why did the horse in this video go out of its way to purposely wound instead of just leaving?