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Horse Sense

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
- W. C. Fields

No one knows where the phrase horse sense originated. But it means simply common sense.

The Phrase Finder defines it as "A robust form of common sense believed to be found in poorly educated but shrewd people."

You don't need a PHD to be an expert horse person. You do need a lot of experience. Where do you get that experience? One of my teachers was a wealth of information. I asked her how she knew so much and she said she read a lot.

You can learn from teachers. Some good teachers will advance your knowledge quickly. On the other hand, if you have a lot of common sense, you will notice faults in some expert's methods.

Then there is the on-the-job-training so to speak of interacting with the horse. You observe the horse daily and notice that the horse is well and contented.

But another day the horse is different and not so well looking. Just a little off due to some slight injury or discomfort.

And rarely you find the horse in a state of trauma. You don't need a thermometer to tell you that horse needs immediate help. You see a small infected puncture wound. The horse is lying down, lethargic and not eating. That horse needs antibiotics to help it fight the infection.

Another time a horse is shivering while all the other horses are normal. The horse is in a state of shock.

Horse sense to me means that you can see at a glance how the horse is doing because you are aware of the signs of health and aware of the danger signals. You are able to know what is wrong with an animal that cannot talk and tell you what is ailing it.

Horse sense to me also means that you don't need a scientific study to know that a horse prefers alfalfa to grass hay. But I have seen horses fed exclusively alfalfa that craved grass hay. So I think they need a combination of alfalfa and grass hay. And when on pasture a horse will eat a variety: the grain off the tops of tall stems, the short grass with more protein, a patch of clover, a nibble of dandelion greens.

Acquire all the knowledge you can get from all sources but realize that horse sense is most valuable.



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