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Ditch Bad Horse Days One Day At A Time…

Courage Can Simply Be Taking The Situation One Day At A Time…

I think all horse owners face days where they might question why the heck they own horses in the first place… they may begin to question their own sanity. Yet deep down they also know that a life without horses simply just won’t do! I’ll be honest, I tend to be overly optimistic, those around me have said I can find light in the darkest of places. My horsemanship and horse ownership is no exception.

Yet I recently found myself in one of those dark, ugly horse days, where I was pretty sure one of my herd members had worn out his welcome. You can here more of Lonan’s story and our ugly day from a Facebook Live video shared below.

Don’t Lose Hope-

Lonan is a horse that challenges me in ways I don’t often enjoy, and yet for some reason it seems wrong to send him on his way. I mention that I read a chapter from Heart To Heart With Horses The Equine Lover’s Guide to Reiki by Kathleen Prasad that morning. It was Chapter 8 titled Healing Fear and Finding Courage.

This chapter could not have been more aligned with what both Lonan and I are going through! He has some pretty strong and alive fears and emotions when it comes to people. He actually has an indentation scar from a lariat on his neck from a history of not ideal handling…

I myself experience a considerable amount of fear sometimes in his presence. I mention in the video he is expansive… something about him just feels big and loud. Yet there is a sensitivity and softness that when he feels safe enough to expose this side of himself, I am in complete amazement.

In the book there is a passage that shares “When we’re afraid to be who we are, our animals don’t feel safe to be who they are.” This strikes me as so true and reminds me what horses can teach us if we are open to it. Most of the time I feel the most myself when I am with horses… almost any horse!

Not this one… he awakens feelings I am not familiar with and instantly I no longer recognize myself. Through the tips I shared in my previous post and the words in that chapter I am so thankful I read that morning, I continue my journey with Lonan.

Looking at the Big Picture

So I mentioned my over site with Lonan’s diet and the fact I didn’t factor in the impact of the hay switch I had to make… Although it was not solely the solution, I have seen many times when diet and lifestyle are big contributing factors to a horse’s behavior and health! If you want to review your horse’s lifestyle for negative imbalances be sure to download our FREE PDF guide, The Secrets of Equine Naturopathy, click here or the image below to get this guide sent to your inbox today!

How to Naturally Improve the Health of Your Horse

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The Journey To Your Horse’s Health Begins Here & Now!

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Owning Horses Can Be Good For Your Health

Horse Health

Does your horse time benefit your health?

Okay, so this topic is a little different than what I usually share… but since you are probably just as passionate about horses as I am… this is still a topic you will enjoy and benefit from!

If you have read, watched, or studied with any great horseman or woman you will have likely heard them teach about how horses live in the moment. They are masters of it!

People… not so much. Unless you have put effort and habit into doing so.

When you work to develop a bond and connection with horses, you develop skills of being present and this practice has benefits for your health.

The Secret Behind Relaxation & Rejuvenation

I am recently developing a habit of meditation, visualization, and journaling (is that a word?). Being naturally curious I began to wonder why these habits are good for our health…

What I discovered was it is related to the Autonomic Nervous System.

The Autonomic Nervous System manages the automatic systems and functions of the body, such as your heartbeat, breathing, digestion, and other things your body naturally does without you thinking about it…

The Autonomic Nervous System has two parts:

  • Sympathetic
  • Parasympathetic

As horse owners we are familiar with the sympathetic nervous system… as it is what controls “fight” or “flight”. This is something not just our horse has and the truth is most of us spend too much time in this mode and have allowed it to become the dominant operating part of our nervous system.

The concern with that is that it is during the parasympathetic time that our body rests and rejuvenates. So supporting and encouraging our nervous system to activate the parasympathetic system regularly and have it become dominant is beneficial for our health.

Although our horses are well known for the fight and flight characteristics, they are masters of parasympathetic system as well… and when people spend time with them in a relaxing, bonding, and connecting state it has similar benefits (in my opinion more) to things like meditation, visualization, and journaling.

So I will continue with developing my new habits… but will also remember that the horse time that seemed like a hobby or pass time, is much more than that. It benefits our mind, body, and soul.

Returning The Favor-

Our horses give us so much! Let’s return the favor by doing what we can to increase their health and wellness. If you want to go deeper into ensuring that your horse is on a path to health and not disease then you should download your copy of our FREE PDF guide, The Secrets of Equine Naturopathy, click here or the image below to get this series sent to your inbox today!

How to Naturally Improve the Health of Your Horse

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The Journey To Your Horse’s Health Begins Here & Now!

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Horsemanship is About Partnership

A Journey of Becoming a Balanced Partner-

This post will wrap up my learning experience at the Forge a Deeper Bond clinic, I attended at the beginning of June. Of course my understanding and growth continues through my horses, but the last few posts have focused on sharing what the horses that I worked with during the clinic have taught me.

The last, but certainly not least of the trio of mares that helped facilitate learning that weekend, was Lil’ Shadow… she is the black mare in the image below. This image was provided by Eagle and Wild Horses Ranch, who was also the host of the great clinic taught that weekend by Elsa Sinclair of Taming Wild.

Horses used for Elsa Sinclair ClinicWhen Resistance Finds You – Increase Your Awareness-

I often share in my horse health consultations and online training courses that resistance is a tool and guide on our journey that needs to observed and studied, not simply heeded and listened too. I have experienced this many times and in particular in the case of essential oils. (You can get my full story on essential oils in the Chapter 1 Preview of my eBook), but simply put had I looked into my resistance to essential oils when it reared its ugly head, I believe my journey would have undergone a monumental positive shift much sooner!

Moving into or inspecting resistance was not a new concept for me… so at the clinic when I felt resistance towards Shadow, I responded by increasing my awareness and understanding of her. For that I am grateful because she painted a picture of transformation and partnership over the weekend that I will not soon forget.

I Want it Now!

One thing Elsa repeated throughout the weekend is her belief and view that the dominant horse or a horse that goes into dominant behavior desires connection and they want it right now! She also explained, that is the basis of her brand of Taming Wild… it was not chosen on the premise of her taming a wild horse. But that she sees a need for both us and the horse to balance and tame that wild streak that wants everything right now.

I resonate with this and find it is often something I face when promoting natural horse health principles. Natural remedies and care take time, where as traditional or pharmaceutical options can bring results right now… because of this I often have to “tame the wild” out of horse owners in the same sense.

Shadow was very clear and loud in her expressions of dominance over the herd she was in, and it was no different when we (the participants and Elsa would work with her). Because of her high energy and loud behavior, I naturally resisted working with her. Here are a few thoughts to that resistance, as I observed and looked at where it came from:

  • I am calm by nature, enjoy and strive to maintain that calm, and prefer to not increase my energy if I don’t need to.
  • I need processing time (thinking time), especially when I am learning new things. Being a participant in this clinic already took a fair amount of my energy and focus, I did not want to meet her energy at this time, as it would drain and distract from my overall goal. These points also did not make us an ideal partnership or set us up for success…
  • If I chose to work with her, it was likely she would be 2 miles ahead of me in thoughts and action. Because she easily was 1 mile ahead of her surroundings most of the time.

Teaching Your Horse to Help Themselves Feel Better

The first day of the clinic I chose not to work with Shadow, but I observed her often, both with the participants that did, when Elsa worked with her, and when she interacted with the other horses. During her clinic Elsa said that passive leadership is about teaching your to help themselves feel better. Shadow did an amazing job presenting that to anyone open to seeing that weekend!

By day 2, Shadow was much softer, calmer, and easier to get along with both for us and the other horses. There were still times that she chose to barge into their spaces or resort to a more dominant conversation. Even then it was far less rude and dramatic.

Observing her upon my arrival on day 2, I knew that it was a good day and time to work with Shadow, equally for her and myself. Over the course of the weekend, Shadow was bringing everything Elsa shared full circle in my mind.

Elsa Sinclair Horsemanship

She helped solidify, that partnership takes balance, understanding, and support. The participants and Elsa offered support and guidance through passive leadership to encourage Shadow to seek balance and make herself feel better. We must remember it takes understanding and decisions to be in relationship and connection to our horses. One of the principles that Elsa taught was, I am in control of my body and the horse is in control of theirs.

The ultimate goal of partnership is to be together, this togetherness should equal in energy, thought, and movement. It is up to us to be the best partner we can be, assuring we are fair, reasonable, and setting things up for success. The horse being an equal partner must do the same for the relationship to work and passive leadership offers a non-manipulative or coercive conversation to accomplish it. For me this was the path I was looking for and after the positive shifts and changes I saw in such a short amount of time with Shadow, helped clarify the path and next part of my personal horsemanship journey.

Begin Naturally Promoting Horse Health

Our mission here at Equine Essential Wellness is to help you promote your horse’s health naturally. We invite you to get our FREE The Secrets of Equine Naturopathy PDF Guide, click here or the image below to get this guide sent to your inbox today! Balancing your horse’s lifestyle with the 8 Laws of Health is crucial to their overall health and wellness!

Equine Health through Naturopathy

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Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!

The title photo of this post is the work of professional photographer, Nadja Rider. She has a great passion for the mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin and her work brings awareness and life to the herds and horses there. I hope to further the efforts of her great work, through utilizing these beautiful images. If you would like to follow these horses on Facebook Click HereBe sure to check out Nadja photos, they share a story of the lives of mustangs in such an honest and authentic way.