I would say yes & no to horses being creatures of habit. Somethings they do are habit & they certainly can learn bad & good habits. On the other hand, at least for me, Cookie falls on both sides.. yes & no. I have a wooden bench in her paddock where I sometimes sit just to spend time with her. When no food is involved & she's just hanging out, she has been walking over to where I'm sitting & just stands there in front of me. Other times (which has been lately) I get her tail in my face. Not my favorite end, but ok, I'll accept it. Though I usually move her off a few steps because I don't want to be on the recieving end of hooves should she decide to all of a sudden get grumpy or scared. Her latest habit is during feeding time. When I'm walking out to the hay shelter, she tosses her head. It's interesting because she's been doing it for about a week now. I suppose I'm not moving at the speed in which she thinks I should. That could be one answer to this new head tossing. I've started taking my driving whip with me to push her back away from me & it has brought up this desire in her to do a small jump, head toss, rump raise thing. She does often surprise me with something new. One day she wants my company & readily comes to me for loves & petting, the next she is like whatever... you go over there & I'll stand over here.
Her eating habit also changes from day to day. One day she'll traverse around to each pile taking small bites here & there & the next she'll stand & clean up one pile, traverse to a few others then back to her manger. I'll never have a dull moment with her to be sure! Which is totally fine by me.
Also how she walks around her paddock changes. I have seen many a horse follow a trail. Cookie does follow her trails for a few days, then she'll meander a different route.
One day she's extremely alert to the kids playing basketball, the next she doesn't give them another thought. It's the same with the squirrels that bounce around in the trees, or birds that fly over head.
All of this makes me wonder if she will be able to retain good habits or if she is going to be the type that needs constant reminders. You just never know what you're going to get with her. I've thought about getting a companion for her, however I remember how she was like with her mule mates. She had become extremely aggresive towards them. Not just at meal times, but at any given time. I certainly don't want her to beat down another horse, or vice versa over trying to figure out who is going to be the leader. I'll have to think more about it & also see how she does over the next few months.
What have you noticed about your horse? Is your horse a creature of habit, not of habit or both? Either way, I know for me.. Cookie is a breath of fresh air every time I see her.
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