Horses Befriending Goats
By Jill Harness
It may look like an odd coupling, but race horses and goats have been befriending each other for centuries. For whatever reason, the goats seem to have a greatly calming effect on race horses, who are often extremely temperamental. Even Australia's top horse, Black Caviar, has a billy goat friend (appropriately named Billy). Trainer Peter Clarke says the bond was "instrumental" in the horse's unbeatable form:
"He's always up for a rumble and he rears up and rolls on his back and she rears up and spins around and he'll rear up and buck away. But when she's out of the paddock, he just stands at the gate and waits for her to come back. It seems to me that he knows she is special and he's always looking out for her."
There's even a rumor that the expression "get your goat" started being used at the track where thieves would steal the goat of a favored horse in order to make the horse perform poorly. While the tale might be a fiction, its proliferation shows just how strong the bond between horses and goats can be.
[Image courtesy of Meir Jacob's Flickr stream]