We’ve all heard of, had or have the perfect horse 99% of the time. Has this particular horse come to mind? Are you thinking about the reason the horse isn’t the perfect horse?
That 1% is a big problem isn’t it? That 1% is trauma.
Whether your horse reacts to the same thing each time or to something out of the blue, they have been triggered by a traumatic event which happened to them, really scaring them.
This applies to horses who are in good physical health, happy and comfortable in their tack. They have been assessed by therapists and the vet. Everything has been checked so these reactions don’t make sense do they? The reactions can be anything from bolting, rearing, needing to escape, freezing on the spot, stress episodes that seem to come from nowhere and any behaviour which isn’t your horse’s normal behaviour.
People can come up with all sorts of reasons for the horse’s behaviour. Firstly, let me tell you it is not naughtiness! This is never the case. Horses don’t randomly decide to be naughty in that moment in time. It’s not in their nature or physical makeup. Something has happened to cause this reaction in them. What can be a mystery to people is the fact they couldn’t see anything in eye view that would upset the horse, that’s why the episode always seem random.
Those in tune with their horse and who are energetically connected will feel the change in energy before the episode happens. This awareness will help owners help their horse’s more effectively. Understanding their horse has been triggered is the first step. They have been triggered by something, which then causes them to re-live the fear or upset which caused the trauma. They are back in that memory of the event, which is why the episode can be so explosive, depending on how bad and deep the trauma is.
Trauma is huge, every single horse has trauma – until it is released and your horse is supported working through it. Yes, it’s just like human therapy. If we have not worked through our trauma, it will still be their lying dormant until we are triggered and it is the same for the horse.
Can the horse be helped? Yes! Absolutely. Working with trauma is a deep process and can take time to work through. It always takes a few sessions but can take much longer, even months if it is deep rooted trauma and the horse is constantly being triggered. The triggers can be energetic, environmental, emotional or physical. Getting to the root cause of the trauma is key. You need to find out what trauma your horse went through, what emotions are connected to the event and what triggers your horse. When you have this information, you can really start to work through your horse’s trauma.
The majority of horses I work with have trauma from being weaned - the weaning process can be the root cause of separation anxiety. The way they were first handled by people also causes a lot of trauma. Horses remember. They will protect themselves when they are triggered because they believe harm is coming.
Horses will live with their trauma until it is released. Unfortunately, trauma is only dealt with when the horse can’t cope anymore and they are crying out for help. Their episodes are telling you they don’t feel safe, content or connected and are fearing the same negative events which caused the trauma.
The truth is, these horses may seem perfect 99% of the time, but crucial elements of their health are being missed. These are horses living with trauma. How often are they shutdown and how much of their lives are they living in a state of stress?
If your horse needs help releasing trauma, a stay at the Sabre Holistic Retreat will release the root cause of the trauma. Greatly reducing the severity and frequency of your horse’s episodes and eventually releasing them altogether with guidance once your horse is back home with you.
I always suggest a holistic day of treatment when you buy a new horse. Start your new relationship off by knowing the trauma your horse has been through and give yourselves the best chance by releasing it and connecting with each other on a mind, body & spirit level.
This is why the spiritual health care of your horse is so important – to find out how content and connected your horse really is. This level of care will help you understand your horse more and will help prevent accidents from happening. When an accident happens, you want your horse to listen to you and trust you implicitly to deal with the situation in a calm manner, ensuring everyone’s safety. You want to be able to trust your horse 100% of the time.
For more information about the spiritual health of your horse, take a look at my website, my article in the previous issue of the Horsemanship Journal and find out more information about my online course Holistic Horse Health & Harmony here: https://sabreholistics.kartra.com/page/SUi1 sign up to help your horse work through their trauma and build the connection you've always wanted.