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June 13, 2022: A Conversation with Tyra: Dealing with Conflict

Alys: Tyra, you have a bite mark on your rump. It looks like a smiley face. How’d you get that?
Tyra: Two possibilities here, Hrimmi and Raudi, who do you think?
A: Raudi.
T: You’re wrong. It was Hrimmi.
A: Hrimmi?
T: That’s right.
A: Why did she bite you?
T: Because I was eating what she thought to be her helping of food.
A: Were you?
T: The way I look at it, food is food. The way Raudi and Hrimmi look at it, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mind.

Tyra and Hrimmi

A: Oh.
T: Oh is right.
A: You appear as though you are getting your share of food.
T: Yes. But quite obviously, Hrimmi and Raudi appear as though they are getting more than their share of food.
A: Meaning, I put too much hay out for them.
T: There’s no way around it. The only thing you might do differently is put us in stalls when it’s time to eat.
A: Six times a day?
T: This seems to work for Tinni. He has his own little paddock and doesn’t have to worry about sharing his food with us mares.
A: We can’t build three more enclosures.
T: I’ll tell you what does work. You feed us individually when you are saddling us up at the hitching post area. This is why I am not underweight.
A: I’ll continue to do this. But let’s talk some about conflict resolution.
T: Let’s. What do you want to know?
A: How horses resolve differences.
T: Why do you want to know this?
A: Because perhaps it might give me some ideas as to how to go about resolving conflicts with humans.
T: Why are you thinking about this?
A: Because right now I’m having some human-related conflicts.
T: I thought so. You weren’t walking around singing today like you usually do.
A: Yes, I have a lot on my mind.
T: You see, we horses never have a lot on our minds. We have a conflict, we resolve it.
A: How?
T: We show our displeasure to other horses by laying our ears back. This means back off.
A: And if the other horses don’t back off?
T: We up the warning, say by baring our teeth or raising a leg.
A: And if this doesn’t work?
T: We bite or kick the one wanting what we have or barging into our space.
A: And then it’s over?
T: Yes, and then it’s over.
A: All is forgiven?
T: Yes, a horse’s life is too short to do otherwise.
A: Well, how come you have that smile mark on your rump?
T: That day Hrimmi was in an uncharacteristically bad mood. Alys had taken both me and Raudi for a ride, but Hrimmi got left behind. And Alys forgot to leave her some hay. So when I was put back in the enclosure, she let me have it.
A: She sure did.
T: But here’s the catch. Hrimmi is my buddy, even more so than Raudi. She’s the kindest, gentlest horse I have ever met. So it was very easy to forgive her.
A: Forgive and forget?
T: Yes.
A: And what am I to learn about this?
T: That its important to remain thick skinned.

Next: 162. 6/14/22: Other Writers

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