How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 23, Number 9
In This Issue:
1. Trusting your Horse
2. Getting Your Horse Questions Answered
1. Trusting your Horse
Yesterday I decided to take a quite ride down the road. I got boots on both horses and set out riding my Fire/Water, mare Martini and ponying Tanq, our Earth/Metal gelding. When we started out we had a nice breeze but it picked up to a pretty gusty wind. Both horses were being good but I could tell they wanted to do more than walk. I usually trot a bit when I pony Tanq but I was a little nervous with the windy conditions and both horses wanting to run.
I kept walking for a while with both horses lobbying for trotting. Finally a voice in my head reminded me that all the relationship building and ground work is done for circumstances like this. I needed to trust that all my efforts were well received and I could trust my horses. Off we went at a trot. Martini took off like she was shot out of a cannon but, to her credit, she responded when I brought her back to the walk. It took 3 times for Martini to realize that I was not OK with her pulling on me with her head up and back hollow. On the 4th transition to the trot she stepped out nicely on a loose rein with her head down and relaxed.
We ended up have a great time trotting and Tanq stayed right by Martini’s side. If he did inch ahead, Martini backed her ears and let him know she was the leading horse. I was very proud of both horses and how well they behaved when both of them obviously wanted to be frisky.
Part of the relationship building with a horse involves basic care and good nutrition. Our horses have a nice turnout area, get quality grass hay and a forage based pellet called Wild Fed. Martini is still getting 1/2 scoop of the Fire Balance formula as I feel she has not fully settled into her new home. Tanq has a tendency to get some congestion, so he gets the Earth Balance formula as needed. Both horses get an algae/probiotic supplement. We make sure their feet are trimmed, their teeth floated and that their tack fits. They live on our property so they get lots of attention, although they would like even more.
As far as training goes, I have a wonderful trainer, Linda Hoover, who comes over from North Carolina to help me. During her last visit we worked on helping the horses connect the direction from the halter or bridle to where their feet moved. Sounds simple but Linda has some exercises that really test the horse and handler’s understanding of how critical it is to be precise. Sometimes the horses’ feet really get stuck and if they can’t find their way then the handler has to help them with very clear signals. The combination of the horse being allowed to search for answers and being helped by the person sure does build his trust and confidence. Linda helps me over the phone or with videos as well.
I am at the age where I don’t bounce anymore if I part company from my horse. This knowledge keeps me more hesitant than I ever was in my younger years. That being said, it is not fair for me to expect my horse to always be perfectly quiet and controlled. There will be times when the energy may rise up and I have to trust my horse to stay connected to me. I was very proud that trusting Martini and Tanq was the right call and they proved themselves to be worthy of that trust.
2. Getting Your Horse Questions Answered
The Holistic Horsekeeping website is indeed a wealth of holistic horse care information. If you have questions about issues with your horse, you can search through our extensive article library and blog articles for answers. You’ll also find other useful information such as suggested reading and holistic vets in other areas on our resource page. If you are looking for just more general information on holistic care or specifics on subjects such as hoofcare, temperament typing, vaccinations or nutrition, take a look at our many affordable ebooks, books, audios, DVDs and Kindle books.
We also have a very extensive listing of products that have proven themselves to be effective. By checking out the various product sections you may recognize the best choice for your horse.
If you are looking for a specific product that you know the name of, you can find an alphabetical listing of all the products we carry at http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com/product-list.html. Or if you can’t remember the name, but know the brand name try using the guide at http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com/brands.html
If you are not able to get the information you need from all these sources then a consult can be done to get individualized help for your horse.
Should you decide you want to deepen your understanding of nutrition or homeopathy, Madalyn offers mentoring for select individuals. You can find information on the Mentoring Program at http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com/mentoring.html.
Temperament typing is another area to gain a deeper understanding of your horse and what he needs from you. You will find lots of information about the temperament types including an online course available and help from trained temperament typists at http://horsetemperament.com.
With all these resources available to you 24/7, you will probably find the answer to your horse questions. If you still need more insight, message us on our Holistic Horsekeeping Facebook page or Horse Harmony Facebook page and we will post your question to the Facebook forum to ask others for input.
And finally, we offer a free weekly newsletter you can sign up for to keep up with the latest holistic horse care topics, learn more about your own health and see answers to clients that may be similar to your concerns with your horse. You can sign up for the free newsletter at http://blog.horseharmony.com/.
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