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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

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

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

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

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

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How to Achieve the Results You Desire in Your Horse’s Health and Horsemanship

Is it just me…

Have you ever wondered why some people achieve amazing goals and dreams, while others don't? Now I want to clarify that having a goal of taking a short trail ride with your horse is just as important as an Olympic rider whose goal is to win the gold medal….

Amazing goals in the context I am using them in is personal goals that bring you fulfillment and satisfaction. They look different from person to person. Regardless of the view from those peering at them from the outside each is meaningful and important.

Mentors and Self Improvement

Most of us have mentors that we look up to… we read their books and blogs, attend seminars and events, watch online courses and DVD series. But at some point, we have to stop taking in information. We have to go apply what we have learned or really it is not helpful.

In regards to horse health, implementing new things comes easily for me. I am open to exploring, experimenting, learning, and growing. The unknown is intriguing and begs me to discover new things…

My horsemanship on the other hand is where I have struggled in the past. I find especially with my mustangs that I want to read one more article, watch one more video before I go work with them. That is precisely why I adopted them. I became aware of my avoidance behavior in this area of my life and wanted to push myself to improve.

Watch what you say… to yourself.

If you find yourself in an avoidance pattern like I shared above it is very important to watch what you say to yourself. It is likely the thoughts and things you are choosing to focus on are what you feel weak or less proficient at. So instead utilize and raise awareness of what you do know already and start there.

Then introduce or take a small action that stretches your comfort zone and brings you closer to the goal you are trying to achieve.

When Pokey first became ill (Learn more on the About Page), I felt like a failure! With all the education, experience, and contacts I had… how did we end up here?

If I had allowed my thoughts and feelings to stay in that limited space I doubt I would be writing this right now. Instead, I put my head down and look for new perspectives and different mentors. Most of those I found were not in my area and I simply had a book, course, or maybe an article. The information often was opposite to what my background and experience taught me, I was out of my comfort zone, to say the least.

My desperation to help my horse pushed me through the fear of the unknown, stumbling along and figuring out. It was not until recently I came across the American Council of Animal Naturopathy and found some reassurance that what I was “doing” was a real thing… that there are principles and theory to what I share. Prior to that, I was totally reliant on the horse to let me know if I was on the right track.

Although I am grateful to have found A.C.A.N. and have now graduated their courses, I still firmly believe in allowing the horse to tell me if I am on the right track!

Takeaway Moment and Tips

When people reach out to me and share how helpful my website, courses, and content has been I feel blessed. But when I ask what they have changed or implemented from what I share and I hear things like, well I am not experienced or knowledgeable enough to (fill in the blank)… I see that I need to improve my communication and services.

There was a time that I was not knowledgeable or experienced. In fact, I approach every day in search of what I can improve upon and learn… I guide people through supporting their horse's health in situations I don't always fully understand but I also know I can figure out what it is I need to when the time comes.

Since I focus on health, there are many conditions and labels given to the horses I work with, that I don't know and have to research to fully understand. I instead choose to focus on health and the proper function of the body… that is what I know and understand.

Through focusing on my strength, I learn and grow every day and achieve amazing things that would not be possible if I did not step out and do what I know how to do in spite of what I don't!

What have you been avoiding in your horsemanship and horse's health? Comment below or share it in our private Facebook group. We want to support you and help you stay accountable to take action!

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

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.

 

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How to Support the Anxious Horse without Chemicals or Sedatives

Understanding the Causes of a Stressed or Anxious Horse-

Have you ever experienced working with an anxious horse? How does it feel when your horse has left the planet and is in a nervous frenzy?

For me, this is something I have surface often with my horse Peppy. He is a performance bred horse, whose foundation training did not cover emotional fitness… and even going on 20 years old he struggles.

In other words, he is a hot rod who has an accelerator and no brakes (sometimes the accelerator sticks too). This is especially true if he encounters anything that he thinks is dangerous. Such as a free-roaming (halter but no human) donkey, leading his herd of trail riders down a trail, that Peppy and I often frequent.

What seemed like a funny and cute thing to me, was traumatic and horrific to Peppy. He had already expressed his engine was over-revved when I first got on and this event set him off. He traveled to another world, thankfully I came off as safe and comfortable as I could have hoped…  I then spent the next 2 hours continuing down the trail trying to get him to come back down to earth.

Speaking of Earth…

Peppy was so concerned about his near-death experience that he was afraid of our cow and goats when he got home. These are animals he encounters regularly and yet he was suddenly terrified of them. After another 45 minutes of working with him, I was able to put him back in his pen in a relatively calm state.

The next week, I headed back out to the same trail and decided we would take extra time to ground ourselves both Peppy and I. I chose to do this through the use of essential oils and a method called square breathing.

Now we can't make the horse square breath, but as we do the horse will naturally connect and often will pattern their breathing to a more relaxed state.

Something was missing.

Although Peppy was staying connected to me, he was still very emotional and was not grounded. I felt something was missing and I began to feel frustrated. Not at him, but myself as his leader… I began the square breathing and continued small partial disengagement exercises with Peppy. I began to change my focus to our beautiful surroundings on the trail. As I did Peppy's head dropped and he started blowing out!

In that moment I realized what I had missed. When learning to ground you will hear people say things like, think of yourself as a rooted tree, you need to be rooted and grounded to the earth. This is true, but there is a second piece that I personally miss or forget often (you can read another ah-ha moment that shows this in the previous post Horsemanship Bringing Awareness to the World Around You)…

Trees do not only have roots! They reach and expand out with their branches. I was too inward focused. It was only Peppy and I… his anxious behavior and me as his leader failing to aid him through managing it. But when I focused outside of us the answer was there. I was in charge of my body and emotions, Peppy was in charge of his, I was there to support him, and he (we) could release the energy growing between us, outward to our surroundings.

The rest of our ride was much better. He would have a rise in emotions, I would square breath, focus on my roots and expanding out, and he would relax and blow out.

Natural Solutions for the Anxious Horse-

The next time your horse struggles with anxiety be sure that you are both grounded. You can do this through a variety of ways…

  • Essential Oils
  • Patterned Breathing
  • Yoga (some will do yoga by the horse, as a way for the horse to connect to the grounded energy)
  • Meditation
  • Flower Essences
  • EFT Tapping (reader suggestion… Love it!)

If your horse regularly struggles with being anxious it would be a supportive precaution to ensure there is not a health concern that is causing it… There are common signs that horse owners miss, and that we are actually told by professionals and our peers are nothing to be concerned about.

The reality is my mare Pokey had been “telling” me for years that there was a concern, but sadly the vets and other equine professionals and mentors I had at the time told me the things I noticed were no big deal! So I created a free pdf guide that shares 10 Tell Tale Signs Your Horse May Be Suffering From Dangerous Digestive Problems. Click Here to download your copy today.

Pokey struggled with #3 on this list for years and yet I was told she was just lazy and it was a training/behavioral problem. Don't let others misguide you or silence what your horse wants you to know. Click Here and download the guide now.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons on the bottom of the post.

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.

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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 series sent to your inbox today!

How to Naturally Improve the Health of Your Horse

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

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


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.