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Horses and Sounds: What You Play in the Barn
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Horses and Sounds: What You Play in the Barn

I have a little ranch up in Alberta, a place where I keep my oldest friends to play with the kids who live on the same range road. I visit frequently and I spend a lot of time there when I do, and it's just like coming home.

One of my bimonthly rituals is to change up the music and sounds that play in the barn in my absence. Ginger, my old quarter-horse, gets lonely quickly so playing the morning radio calms her down quite quickly. I have the radio set to play at a very quiet volume every morning at 8:00 AM regardless if someone is there or not, and so far her favourite channel is CBC Radio 2. She really, really does not like the hip and happening channels, even if I do!

But it begs the question: what is every horse's favourite tune? Spike, my painted gelding at home here, doesn't like anything more than ambient sounds of... loud trucks? Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you. I set a recorder down at my nearby traffic control job and recorded the sounds of large machinery and trucks going by, and now he gets that played at various times throughout the day. I thought it'd spook him, but he loves it!

I've heard that playing music helps acclimate a horse to that sound, such as the music you might choose for a performance or the sounds of tractors and trucks. But it should never be loud enough to disturb anyone, and you should still be able to pay perfect attention to your surroundings! Besides, what's better than getting all of your chores done with a little dance in your step?

Today's barn music: some low-key orchestra (my own choice) with a dash of angry sounding wheels and trailers banging against cement (Spike's choice.)

Photo by camposart.

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