For over a week now I’ve sat down every day and tried to write a blog post, but every time I do, I start writing about Brexit and the farce that has followed (Prime Minister, UKIP leader, and the shoe-in for the next Tory leader have all handed in their resignations … good), which then leads into a very long and incoherent piece on the tidal wave of hate that has swept the world and the surge of increasing violence and prejudice that is building up into the mother of all tsunamis. And somehow it always gets onto Trump. So then we’re left with a jumble of confusing words, hence I haven’t posted anything.
However something else did catch my attention yesterday: horse whispering.
Horse whispering, the notion of being able to bend horses to your will by fixing them with a piercing gaze and murmuring quietly. Sounds a bit creepy when put like that, but Robert Redford managed to make it look very soothing.
The topic came up in conversation with a nine year old who informed me that she had at a birthday party, been taught how to horse whisper, and had made a horse follow her round a field. I kept my cynical suspicions that there was a trainer with a bag of sugar lumps standing behind her to myself and instead asked, “So how do you get them to stop following you?”
There was the briefest of pauses (like the amount of time the green arrow on a left turn signal stays lit) before she cast a withering glance on me and replied, “You leave the field.” A sigh and a shake of the head added a tacit “Duh”.
I gave the matter some thought – because at this point I’d happily give a surfboard made out of banana skins some consideration if it means I take a break from being wide eyed and rocking in a corner muttering to myself about effed up UK and USA politics, mass shootings and global genocide – and I came to the conclusion that “You leave,” was not an adequate exit strategy. What if horse whispering is like hypnosis, and unless you deliberately exit the hypnotic state you will be susceptible to certain behaviour patterns whenever your trigger is present. Or in other words, what if the horses felt compelled to follow a particular person whenever they saw him/her.
Imagine the following scenario. Two friends – let’s called them David and Nigel – are ambling down the street, maybe Riverside Drive, (non- Angelenos, this is a street in L. A. that runs alongside Griffith park and is home to multiple equestrian centres).
– Right I know this is going to sound weird.. but there’s a horse over there giving you the eye.
-You sure it’s a horse, not a pig?
– Um..nothing. What horse are you talking about?
-The one over there, on the other side of the road, staring at you.
-Oh bugger, it’s Trigger. Quick, turn down this street here.
-What? Dave, what you on about? Who’s Trigger?
– Fuck’s sake Nige, hurry up, we’ve got to run away before it’s too late. It’s just this horse who was at my birthday party when I was a kid. Bollocks. Silver’s just joined him. Now we’re done for.
In the mean time across the road …
–Silver! Silver! Get over here. Do you see him? It’s him isn’t it?
-Who we looking at? Oh my god Trig, you’re right! It’s Dave! COOOEEEEE DAVE, DAAAAAAAVE. It’s us, your old pals, Silver and Trigger.
– I don’t think he can hear you Silver. Maybe that’s not Dave. Oy Boris, come over here! Is that Dave on the other side of the street?
-Dave? Where? Oh yeah, so it is. And he’s over there with my pal Nige. Oh no look he’s leaving… we should follow him.
-I was thinking the same thing!
The three horses nimbly leap over the 4ft fence erected by people who mistakenly think that horses will not see that it is four feet of wood with gaps in it, and instead will think it is 12ft stone wall topped with spikes. They briskly trot over to the traffic light crossing.
–Ey Trig it’ll be grand to see Dave again. How long’s it been now..2, 3 years?
-Must be that at least, It was when we were in the parade, and we spotted him in the crowd didn’t we?
-That’s it. Shame he had to leave before the end.
-Yeah Silv…that was a bit odd though, him running and screaming like that and getting all tangled up in the band.
-Let’s hope that trombone didn’t do him any permanent damage.
-Boris mate, do us a favour, stick a hoof out and press the button.
– Ooh no, I’d love to press the button, but I don’t think I can…. hoof rot, see. They’re soft as jelly.
– Well use your nose then.
– Umm… my nose isn’t the right shape. One of your noses would be better.
-What the bloody hell? Do you want to cross the road or not? Never mind move over I’ll do it.
…Right boys, green horse is lit up, over we go, single file, don’t scare the cars.
-Where’s Dave and Nige gone?
-They were here just a second ago….
-Wait I see them they’re running down that side street! Oh I love this game. Let’s catch up.
-Woohoooooooo, hi ho Silver!
-Aww, it’s not fair. I want a signature sound like Silver’s.
-Well Boris, right now the world’s tiniest violin is playing for you. Come on let’s go.
You could have a whole day of this, three horses following Dave and his mate around on a big day out: shopping in Rodeo Drive; enjoying the rides at Universal Studios; getting up to hijinks with the shopping trolleys at Walmart; hanging out at the gym on muscle beach… they wouldn’t actually be together of course. The horses would always be at least 10ft behind Dave and Nigel, like really bad stalkers. They’d wear dark glasses and false moustaches, and nonchalantly look away whistling whenever Dave looked their way.
….So yes, horse whispering, it seems all nicey nicey on the surface but beneath there lies a sinister side.