There's an old adage that says, "Horses are scared of two things: things that move, and things that don't." While some horses are slightly less spooky than others, this phrase probably describes the majority of the equine population at one time or another.
Take Dorado, my fairly level-headed eventer, for example. In reality, he doesn't spook at much. He raced for four years, and is quite well-travelled (having journeyed up and down the East coast last year), so not much fazes him anymore. And still, despite the fact that he quite happily jumps over whatever is in front of him, he firmly believes that the very same jumps are plotting to eat him if he has to walk by them. And when a deer happens to rustle in the woods as we jog by, naturally, he thinks that it might be--well, is more than likely--out to get him too.
It's this reaction in horses that forced racing officials in Australia to cancel most of the Jan. 26 racecard at the Hanging Rock Racing Club near Woodend, according to this report from ABC Central Victoria. Citing safety reasons, racing officials called off a total of seven races (including the Hanging Rock Cup--the main event of the day) when several kangaroos invaded the racetrack and refused to leave.
Apparently, the 'roos were spotted by several jockeys in an early race loitering near the racecourse. Before long, the mischievous critters had bounded on to the track. Track personnel tried to extricate the 'roos from the track, but had no success.
One race goer told Horse and Hound, "They'd chase the kangaroos up one way and then they'd just bounce back the other way. It was like watching a comedy."
You've got to take a look at this video clip ... it's hard not to chuckle when you see a kangaroo bounding down the backstretch and across the finish line!
Probably a safe move by the officials to call off the races for the day!
What is the most bizarre thing that's ever made your horse take a second look?