When I first started communicating with horses, one of my clients were devoted to Appendix racehorses (Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse cross). They bred, raised and trained them. They loved their wonderful horses, and poured their heart and soul into them.
One day they asked me to work with ‘Glow. She had just started training and was doing badly. She was depressed, irritable and sad. Her head hung low and she was deliberately laying in the muck in her stall which was highly unusual. Something was seriously off kilter with this young horse, it was sad to see.
She had been checked out by the vet several times, and nothing was found to be wrong with her. They had tried a number of things to help her, nothing worked. They were seriously afraid there was something wrong in her head which would mean they might have to put her down.
When I tuned in to communicate, I lovingly asked her what was wrong. And she poured her heart out.
Tearfully she told me how homesick she was, and how much she disliked what the trainer was asking her to do. The saddle hurt her shoulders and felt heavy on her back. The bridle hurt her mouth, and their actions sometimes scared her. It all made her very mad but nobody was listening to her complaints.
She couldn’t understand why she was here in the first place, and when her 2 year old body hurt with growing pains, nobody seemed to notice or care.
The trainer and groom were not friendly, she didn’t like them at all and they didn’t like her either. Even worse, the other horses in the stable laughed at her, and told her she was a sorry excuse for a racehorse, which hurt her feelings, a lot. She didn’t even know what a racehorse was.
As I felt the depth of her despair listening to her sweet voice, it brought tears to my eyes. I realized that no one had ever bothered to tell this amazing filly how incredible she really was.
They had not prepared her for the grueling, challenging life of a racehorse, or the thrill of a race well run. They hadn’t ever expressed to her the joy of being in the Winners Circle with the blanket of roses draped across her withers, and why that was important.
They’d not explained to her why she had been relocated to the trainer’s stable, or what they wanted her to learn, or that she’d be going home once she learned what she needed to know. She missed her family herd back home and hadn’t even been given time to say goodbye before she was hauled away.
So I told her everything she needed to know. I took my time, and I carefully explained things in a way she could understand. I answered all her questions, concerns and fears. I told her why she was here, and how to best use her time there so she could go home soon. And, I gave her insight into why the other horses were so mean and why the people seemed to be angry with her.
Together we discovered that one of her great joys in life was to run very fast, and in that extraordinary moment? Voila! Everything finally made sense to her.
She transformed before our eyes from a sad depressed young filly with her head hung low, with manure saturated into her beautiful mane, tail and chestnut coat, standing dejectedly in the back corner of her stall….
In the space of a few minutes, she became a spirited eager curious filly. Her head up, she came towards me and nuzzled me. She was happy again and full of questions about racing strategies and how the game worked.
From that day forward, she embraced her training because she finally understood the WHY behind it all. She stopped laying in her muck because she wasn’t depressed anymore! She even made friends with some of the other horses and started enjoying life again.
I’m delighted to report that we enjoyed many more fascinating
There’s more to Glow’s story! read part two of her story here…
I hope you’re enjoying your animals, and that you remember to take the time to discuss things with them so they can understand. That you take time to listen, carefully, to what they have to say. It makes ALL the difference in the world, for them and you too.
Much love to you and your furry, hairy, scaly and feathered babies!
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