Published 21st August 2012
Ohio born John Solomon Rarey was perhaps one of the earliest horse whisperers who specialised in the rehabilitation of violent horses. In 1858 he accepted an invitation to Windsor Castle to tame one of Queen Victoria’s horses..
The press sensing a story scoured the country for the most vicious beast they could find which turned out to be a breeding stallion called Cruiser. Rarey against advice shut himself in the stable only to appear several hours later leading the pliant stallion behind him. The owners gifted Cruiser to Rarey and the pair travelled throughout Europe and America.
Ironically the Rarey technique did not involve ‘whispering’, but strapping up one leg thus making it easier to lay a horse down using only his hands – though there is some suggestion that it could be more brutal than that. Once a horse was subdued he would then lie unthreateningly upon its hooves. Rarey died in 1875 and unfortunately Cruisers bad habits returned.