Monday, December 3, 2012

Mind vs Feet

Mind Vs Feet
“Connect with the Mind and the Feet will Follow”
‘What do you mean by that Katherine?’ 
I will say this, I spend a lot of time listening and working with horses.  Experience allows me to answer with conviction.  Many so called ‘trainers’ can get a reaction or have a horse submit to demands.  Many ‘accomplish’ this by becoming the “dominant” leader.   
But what goes on inside their minds, I often ask myself, when we introduce implements such as a whip, sticks, ropes or even spurs?
I often give a description to this as follows, “This is no different than turn on your car, open the door, roll down the street, then proceed to run after it and jump in”. This can really never have a good outcome all the time, most often than not, the end result leaves us with injuries along with a bruise to our ego.
The Introduction from human to horse starts with a trusting partnership.  Certainly, both the mind and feet need to be addressed, but they need to be looked at as an entire entity.
A horse’s mindset, has been such, that they are prey to all the territorial pedators for hundreds of thousands of years, where life preservation is their first thought. The humans have tapped into this fear and now become the “dominant leader”. I would prefer to be the horses “nurturing leader”.  The reason being, I would be the one they would trust and mimicking as a herd member.
Connecting with the mind allows you to achieve what you are looking for, helping the horse set up for success. When I ask a horse for participation in a ride, they are more than willing to be an equal team member.
Not communicating with the mind can result in our partners voicing their displeasure. The lack of understanding, demonstrated as confusion and frustration, becomes the precursor to many behaviors such as biting, bucking, rearing and kicking.
Once communication is established, the feet can now follow direction with less resistance. Understanding   a horses movement components, allows us to direct them to follow in a dance like fluent motion. Even when eventing in the saddle, less pressure is needed more response is shown.
We should never forget, we have not created the method in which the horse’s feet move.  Horses in a natural herd are taught at an early stage of life. Unfortunately when we get involved, their balance, movement and timing are compromised.
 This process of working the horse’s feet, after you have connected with the horse’s mind, resolves and eliminates stress. Challenge of authority and resistance to perform, are now minimized. 
Allowing you and your equine partner, more time to enjoy each other, sharing the compassion of one living being to another. Discovering new journeys with your horse having the ability to ask instead of tell.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall is Upon Us

Wet season is here everyone. Don't forget to pick your horses hooves to prevent thrush. Brush the horses fur to help the sebaceous glands develop a thick winter coat and prevent rain rot.
Remember to clean out stalls and paddocks to help the ground dry, so your horses are not standing in wet mud all day long.
Connecting with your partner, so that both are on the same page. At last, ride to help all muscles and ligaments stay warm and flexible. Ride safe and be well.

Monday, July 30, 2012

                  Romeo's Day

Romeo my horse has been diagnosed after many months of off and on lameness, with a navicular cyst. It has been a “head scratching” episode because he has successfully over compensated his body so that he was able to mask it up till now. After bouts of false predictions of Lyme’s disease or even arthritis finally broke down and seriously asked my horse to help me and admit I needed help of his intelligence. He in response lifted his right foot repeatedly and kneeled. In response I had tears in my eyes, and called a lameness vet to come look. He took x rays of my horse’s right front hoof. It was then that I was reminded once again how a horse really does give everything to their partner and I was going to do the same back as usual. There are many procedures and medication available and I chose the natural way. I started natural pure calcium to see if we can encourage the bone to fill in and harden. For three months re x rayed and found no change to better or worse and was then approached to try Tilden injection. I did my homework and found no conclusive evidence that would say it works only that horses that were getting it were on a pain management series as well. Then of course there was nerving him and that in my eyes was not an option. Then I approached a farrier who would work with me because I trim naturally, to stay as much in that realm as possible. We decided to place conservatively, egg bar shoes on my horse’s fronts. We didn’t have to square the toe no pads just the shoe. Now I have him on a “Spring Training”to strengthen his ligaments, muscles and allowing time for Romeo to get used to the change of having a shoe for the first time. I will say for the first time in a long time he is walking and tracking well, trotting and cantering straight again!!
Most 'navicular cysts' have been with the horse since birth and are OCD (osteochondrosis dessicans) lesions that cannot be directly linked to unsoundness. Adding calcium to the diet or even using Tildren will not resolve OCD. The offending cartilage has to be surgically removed and the cavity filled with stem cells to resolve the situation. This is a very difficult procedure to do in this area and since this is not a common seat of lameness, would not be helpful for the horse.