I must confess, that, in general, I am not impressed by the foresight psychics allegedly possess (which, I would think, would be one of those qualities that they might possess in relative abundance), especially those who claim to be able to communicate with horses. I rather think that if I possessed some special sort of ability to communicate, that I would chose to ply my wares in a place somewhat more lucrative and upscale than a barn.
Regardless, and being willing to consider that, to these dedicated animal communicators, the love of horses may supersede the profit motive, I have had the occasional encounter with friends, clients, and, well, total strangers who have regaled me with stories about their encounter with the “horse psychic.” NOTE: In my experience, the psychic and the horse have always been two different individuals. In fact, to my knowledge, no horses have also claimed to be psychics, which, come to think about it, is yet another thing that I like about horses.
Now, to me, it seems like the whole selling point of a horse psychic is that he or she (come to think of it, I haven’t run into a “he” horse psychic yet) can bridge an alleged communication gap that prevents the beloved horse from telling its owner its deepest and darkest and most important secrets. Apparently, for the psychically minded, the horse’s inability to vocalize in any language other than whinnies, nickers, and neighs is all that stands between a caring horse owner and a more profound understanding of the noble steed.
Now, frankly, I have a bit of a problem with the entire set-up. Not that I think that horses totally lack intelligence, but, somehow, I have a hard time believing that horses are truly concerned about things like what color leg
wraps they wear when they are mostly color-blind, or, that they remember all the details of a slight injury to a specific body part that occurred 8 years ago when, at the same time, they are willing to eat plastic bags (again), to leap away in horror or fear from, say, a particularly threatening bit of shrubbery, or to react to being urged to cross a small puddle as if it might be a previously unknown entrance into the Mariana trench, having been largely unconvinced by their previous years’ experiences that the puddle is more likely to be a – well, a puddle – than an invitation to drowning in the deep.
I could get it if people were doing this for amusement, say, hiring a psychic to talk to their horse in the same manner that they might hire a clown or a magician for their kid’s birthday party. At least there, you know what you’re getting, and you can even appreciate the digital dexterity of the magician, or the comedic genius that inspires one to get into a large polka-dotted suit and wear a red nose (OK, maybe I overstated that a bit).*
So, anyway, on to a couple of my more memorable encounters. These include consoling a shaken client, who learned from her telepathic encounter that her horse hated the color red. She was mortified because she had not only wrapped the legs of her cherished companion in red every night, but she had covered him an a red blanket, as well. This, of course, was an almost unbearable affront to the sensibilities of the horse: apparently even more of an affront than was being born mostly color-blind. The owner was doubly upset – not only was she going to have to replace a perfectly good blanket and set of leg wraps (with blue ones), but, she also was having to cope with the fact that she had not previously realized that horses were so “materialistic.” What could I say? Neither did I.
Then there was the perpetually sound horse. In spite of my best efforts to see any problem in the horse, to cover up any subtle problem with pain-relieving drugs (I had to try something), to listen carefully, attentively, and interminably to the owner’s concerns, and to reassure her that this was, without doubt, the finest and soundest example of the equine species that currently resided on the planet, it remained stubbornly sound. I was completely and frustratingly unable to convince his owner that her dashing charger was not permanently – albeit subtly – crippled.
That all changed with a phone call. Not to me, of course. After a couple of weeks of relatively blessed silence, I received a call from the owner telling me that 1) She was disappointed in me, and, (2) She had found the source of the problem by consulting with a psychic. Time has erased the painful memory of exactly what that problem might have been, but it seems to me that it required putting a hay net in the stall, or perhaps opening a window.
In a somewhat conflicted state of frustration, bewilderment, amusement, and curiosity, I did ask about the therapeutic encounter. When I was told that the psychic never actually saw the horse, but came up with this advice after looking at a Polaroid picture (remember those?), I could only sigh, and offer my apologies for my lack of vision. And, in some weird way, I suppose that the cost of $500 for the psychic advice, plus the cost of a postage stamp, must have somehow been worth it. I did see the horse again; from my view, he, now with a new hay net (of unknown color), persisted in his almost remarkable soundness, and, happily, the horse’s owner didn’t hold any grudges over the fact that I apparently lack special powers.
Really, though, I don’t get the psychic stuff, anymore than I get some people’s fascination with UFO’s, Loch Ness monsters, or crocheting. I suppose that it’s mostly harmless, at least to horses, although, frankly, I don’t think it does much to move the Bell curve of human intelligence to the right. As long as the owners are happy, the psychic doesn’t dispense medical advice, and the horse isn’t harmed, I’ve got other things about which I can worry. But, still…. really?
* By the way, there is a significant subset of the population that is afraid of clowns. There’s even a word for that – coulrophobia. To my knowledge, there is no similar word to describe a fear of psychics, but it seems to me that there should be.