The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

14.12.2022 If You’d Kept Your Mouth Shut…

“Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses” is a quote often attributed to the Latin philosopher Boethius of the late fifth and early sixth centuries. As literally as possible, it means “If you had been silent, you would have remained a philosopher”. Less literally, it’s generally used as “If you’d kept your mouth shut, I might have thought you knew what you were talking about”. I came across this quote when I put a question on my FB page asking if anyone knew any Latin swear words. If you follow me on FB, you’ll know I post some fairly random questions occasionally – they can be great talking points!.

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This one got me thinking, though – is it best to keep your mouth shut? My first instinct was that I should apply this more often to myself. I’ve talked too much since I can remember, it’s the first thing that was written on every single one of my school reports, I think! But then I thought of all those times when I don’t understand what’s being talked about, but I just pretend that I do because it seems like the right thing to do. And I thought about how much time and effort I put into explaining to my clients what I’ve found, what that suggests to me about what’s going on for their horse, what I’m doing about it, and what I’d like them to do about it. And I wondered how often I assume that someone knows what I’m talking about just because they don’t question it.

I hope that doesn’t happen often in my work. But I know it happens far too often in my own life. I want to ‘fit in’, so I join in as though I know what’s going on. But I’m my own unique person, and I don’t have the other person’s life experience, knowledge, or perspective. It’s OK for me to question them, for me not to know, and for me to see things differently.

What would you like to know more about, but so far, you’ve kept quiet and pretended you already know?

Keep an eye out for my next book, “Harmonious Horsemanship: How to use the Ridden Horse Ethogram to Optimise Potential, Partnership, and Performance”. This ground-breaking book is co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson, and will be available summer 2023. Sign up at to be kept up to date with new information as it comes available. Watch a FREE 30-minute documentary on the Ridden Horse Ethogram here.

Here’s a FREE 30-minute presentation by Sue Palmer on how to be confident that your horse is comfortable.

Other books by Sue Palmer M.Sc. MCSP:

‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’

‘Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?’

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2022

December 14, 2022
Sue Palmer