What are the first words that come out of your mouth when asking a horse to settle? For me they are "ho, son" for a gelding or "ho, mum" for a mare. These are the words my coach always used and they have stuck with me over the years. Does everyone say the same thing? If not, does it vary by geographic location? Discipline? Training barn?
When I went out to feed the horses tonight they were standing on the front lawn and I practically ran into Raven as I rounded the corner of the house. Pepper was hot on my heels and understandably startled by this irregularity, so he started to bark. This was not the wild jail break we had last month -- David admits to having left the gate unlatched, and the horses obviously wandered out when it blew open. Not wanting them to panic I issued a general "ho son" while ushering Pep back into the house, then stopped to consider where those words come from. In the meantime David lured Tonka and Raven back into the paddock with the promise of alfalfa cubes. And I definitely latched the gate after my chores were finished. Definitely.