Someone hs asked me if I would be willing to go take a look at a throughbred who has had electric shock treatment to his legs to make him jump
Is this done!!!!!! I know I still consider myself new to horses even though I've had mine for 10 yrs, it's becuase I know so little of traditional methods.Some of it defies the imagination.
He needs his feet seeing to, but nobody can get near his legs, this may be a bit beyond me, I know I could help this horse if he were mine and we had all the time in the world to become trusting buddies, but just going to someones yard and doing miracles is something else. He's been very abused for sport but I'm told he's very well bred, how odd, nd he is scared of everything, why do these poor souls always find there way to me?
As to why they find their way to you? Because they must.
As for the problems with abused horses (I used to train jumpers. I would have horsewhipped anyone that used electro shock to train) this horse will need you to repeatedly, and likely for a very long time, or at least when you see he is anxious and afraid on occasion, reassure him of your intentions, your good intentions.
To accomplish this you will have to do what I did not for years in the horse business but finally learned: that is to be clear MYSELF what my intentions are.
I learned to be a "talker," and that is the "secret," of the successful "horse whisperers."
By talking, thereby externalizing your inner state of being, you stabilize and steady yourself and then, and only then, give off the clear communication to the horse what your intentions are.
When we remain silent the "monkey in our head," jabbers away and spends so much time sorting thoughts that intentions don't become clear to one's self. But externalizing by speaking helps to settle all that down, and we become, for the horse, congruent. More of our cues the horse reads match and support each other in a unified way for the horse.
We smell like we mean no harm, we sound like we mean no harm, we move like we mean no harm, our body posture communicates we mean no harm. All this is very important to a prey animal, and so much more so when they have experienced others of our genera (human omnivore and more often than not mean souled) bringing pain and fear to them.
I'm sure, since they keep coming to you, I need not even go into things like patience and tolerance for their sometimes difficult behaviors. They will learn new behaviors in time with you, obviously.
I am so glad for this horse that he's come into your life and you into his.
As for the congruent communication I've spoken of, nothing quite expresses good intentions than politeness. I frequently say "please," when I ask something of the horse, and "thank you," when she responds. I tell them out loud how very happy I am that they have done something I like, such as be independent and choose to stop watching me too carefully, and just go ahead and play about and do things they want to do with me present.
I don't, for instance, tell my horse to "move over," but "yield please," for lateral movement. I ask them to come and touch me, if they will. "Touch shoulder to hand, please," etc.
I've already established what my hand is, by naming it for them, and what their shoulder is by the same method, naming it.
When I began this I was quite surprised at how complex a request could be and yet the horse understood it. And oddly enough, how much more willing they were when I stopped saying things like, "hoof," and instead said, "Please give me your right front hoof."
In other words I don't think the horse understands the words so much as my whole body communication when I am polite, and clear in my request. They want to play with me then, not just comply.
Finally, admittedly I still struggle to remember to do this. It's too easy to be demanding and controlling. But the payoff for being kind and gentle and generous in ways that make me congruent to the horse is a horse that feels safer with me. And that is reward enough.
Donald, Nettlepatch Farm