To me, the sound of horses is the sound of music. I love the clip clop of the gaits, hearing them eating, snorting, the shish of their tail, pawing the ground. Okay, I simply love the horse for whatever it does. So, I got to thinking of what sounds a horse does make that we writers could use. I’m sure there are thousands.
So here goes. The clip-clop of a gait: The walk is single beat, one at a time sound. A trot is double, thus the clip clop. And the canter is three clops pause and three, which goes faster as the horse moves faster. (You figured that out easily enough.) They may paw the ground with one hoof when impatient or curious, throw in a snort or two especially if something is stinky. They swish tails if frustrated by flies or you for that matter. Oh and there is the thunder of a stampede. Get out of the way!!
There is the jingle of harness that is distintive and the creak or slap of saddle leather. There’s the metal jingle of bits, the clatter of wagons being pulled about amid the rattling of lines/reins, chains and jostling harness. You can hear this in the videos in my blog.
And they talk to each other usually in soft muffles, especially from a stallion to his willing mare. And then there is the opposite, if the mare is not willing, the scream of fury or pain from the stallion from being kicked. Should two stallions fight, there is the thud of hooves, the grunts and groans of muscle against muscle. Horses will greet you with happy eager nickers at feeding time that makes you smile because you know you are loved. And there is nothing more precious than a mare nuzzling and welcoming her new foal or that foal’s first whinny.
My favorite memory of sound was on a chilly autumn day when sleet began falling on the barn’s tin roof. I had just finished my chores and got to relax for a job done. I sat in a folding chair by the partially open barn door with my back side warm and my face chilled from the sleet. I still hear the Val and the Big Horse crunching the feed as they ate, then rustling the hay, stomping in the clean straw, and knocking the water bucket as they drank. I didn’t want to leave. In fact, I think I fell asleep. There was never a more perfect day than that.
So did I miss a sound? Probably. There are thousands. What sound reminds you of horses?