A lovely and very busy summer, has now come to an end. That’s means I have time to write my block every week again.
This summer I’ve had many different horses in training at my farm. I´ve had Problem horses, horses in saddle training, horses who needed further educated or rehabilitation training. I´ve also been busy arranging clinics and teaching youngsters and children. Again this year, some of my talented students did a show at The Great Horseday In Roskilde.
During the summer experiences I´ve noticed the excessive number of the many horses showing signs of injuries that haven´t been discovered. This could be a tangible injury, or a stiff neck or pain somewhere. This ofcourse mostly applies to horses with resistance and / or limitations in specific exercises in riding, in daily handling, or the horses with direct behavioral problems.
Sad and in pain
It is surprising and sad how many horses that are in pain, or have an injury without us owners noticing. Sometimes we have an idea about it, but our wet can’t find the injury… On the other side, it´s quite logical, because our horses can´t tell us if they are in pain. If it`s not exactly a very visible injury, like if the horse is lame, it can be quite a hard thing to discover. Our horses are prey animals, who prefer not to show weakness.
Because I work with horses completely free of equipment,it quickly becomes clear where the horse’s resistance stems from. When the horse is completely free in the choice whether or not to cooperate with us, it suddenly becomes easy to distinguish between what the horse will and will not do for us and thereby easy to detect their pattern. There can be thousands of reasons why a horse develop behavioral problems. But often its worth thinking about if the underlying cause could be, because it hurts somewhere. My experience has shown me some indicators to be aware of.
Read your horse in the right way
It is an indicator if your horse has been working fine during specific exercises, and then suddenlyshow resistance. Or if your horse all of a sudden changes behavior from being calm into getting nervous, or changes behavior from being “cool” into angry or dominating. If our horses hurt somewhere they´ll in the painful situations get a little defensive and act either through fear or increased dominance – depending on their place in the hierarchy.
If your horse trusts you, is willing to cooperate, and still shows a lot of resistance in specific situations, like getting saddled, accept mount by rider, if it has a hard time getting around on one of the diagonals in riding or if its not able to lift one of the legs etc.. Then the alarm bells should ring. The faster we notice if our horses are having pains, the faster we can prevent a long lasting injury. And the sooner we discover if our horses hurt somewhere, the greater the likelihood that we avoid permanent damage.
Are you sitting there, thinking about a question or subject which could be exciting for me to block about. Then you are more than welcome to write it to me.