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Yo, Cowboy Bob, does this "Old Indian Trick" work?

"Here's an old Indian trick to catch any horse that never fails to work.

"If you are around horses enough, it is not hard to find a horse that is about to shed a chestnut. The chestnut carries a scent that identifies a horse to other horses and animals.

"So, find a chestnut ready to be shed, peel it off and put it in your shirt pocket or your hand. Now, go in your corral with your rope behind you and lean against a post and relax. Your horse will come to you. Let him smell the chestnut as you slip a rope around his neck with your other hand.

"Or, sit down in the middle of the pasture (with the horse downwind) and his curiosity will bring his nose right to your pocket.

"Get in the habit of slipping it into your shirt pocket when you are going to be around horses. Whatever you are doing, a horse will be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt during shoeing, clipping, grooming, etc. You may not look like one of them but you will smell like one of them."

-- C. T.

Chestnut on horse's legANSWER:

Thanks for your interesting note about using a chestnut as horse bait.

Actually, anything that carries a strong horse scent is likely to work, as I point out in "quirk #4" of Cowboy Bob's Questions and Answers page 173 - What would be a fantasy horse's endurance and quirks? (Sometimes there's an advantage to not sending your coat to the cleaner too often!) The trick, of course, is to get within range where their curiosity about the smell overcomes their nervousness about the critter that bears it. In my case, I took advantage of the "quirk" of a horse's two-dimensional eyesight. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a loose chestnut to see if it works any better.

The big trick, however, is slipping that rope over the horse's neck without spooking it!

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