"Bad behaviour" is a very very important issue ..... how do we as humans deal with it? Chronic pain is an epidemic in the horse world. I work with horses and humans......and aware, kind, knowledgeable humans who have no clue their horse is in pain. This is often a difficult edge to approach..... Most humans absolutely L O V E their horses! Most humans go to great lengths and expense....spend considerable time and effort to try and ensure the well being of their horses. What happens when we have missed something, and something as important as pain......???
How easy is it to accept our horse has been uncomfortable or in acute pain chronically?? I am often the bearer of the news a horse is in chronic pain and those behavior or training issues they have been working so hard to resolve before they call me in, are simply pain. That anxiety is simply pain.
Sometimes, people just want to get on with working it out, but one of the most common responses I see to this realization is deep shame. A shame that suggests something has been done wrong. As though, the lack of understanding of the horses true state was known all along and ignored. Sometimes people then shut down and can move no further with getting help for their horse. This nervous system response is called freeze......or learned helplessness. It is the same response we often see in horses who are in pain. The human can mirror the horse.
This is one of the points of change we need to achieve a holistic version of equine welfare. There has been little known about pain in horses to this point. Most of the issues do appear as behavior or look like training issues......and most trainers are not trained to identify pain....like most horse humans. I encourage everyone to start looking differently. To open to more awareness, understanding and information....even if it may mean seeing something uncomfortable. We have all been there....unfortunately. Being open to see accurately and honestly is the only way for this change to come around in the welfare of our equine friends.......
It is an honour to share with you my adventures with the herd, my own horsemanship journey and experiences of facilitating wholeness with these beautiful animals.