The Sensitive Horse
If we want to understand sensitive horses, we have to explore two sides of the same being – through the balanced and unbalanced state of the nervous system
I get called out to see a lot of sensitive horses. Cause these are the horses who tend to struggle with life just a bit more. We can see it in strong behaviour and safety concerns within the relationship to the human.
Now here is what you need to know: a sensitive horse will always be a sensitive horse. There is no honest technique which will change that. By honest technique, I mean an approach which honours the essence of such a horse and not allowing it to shut down in order to cope with life. We want our horses to be awake and in their full power.
However there is a difference between an unbalanced nervous system and a balanced and grounded nervous system. And this is where the work is. How can we guide a stressed nervous system back into balance and calmness?
The below images show the (pink) sensitivity of such a horse – it is in fact always there. But if contained and held in its natural boundaries, it is actually a wonderful asset. Let’s explore that a bit further.
The Beauty of Sensitivity
The sensitive horses are the ones you can communicate with on thought level. You think something and they’ll know what you want.
Their antennas are so fine-tuned that nothing escapes their attention. At the same time, they have the ability to decide what needs their attention and what not. They make smart decisions and can be very safe and trustworthy partners. Some of my favourite characteristics of sensitive horses are:
– Confident & attentive
– Extremely fine to work with
– Excellent listening skills
– Ability to communicate via thoughts
– Ability to make smart decisions
– Safe & trustworthy
– Healthy behaviour with other horses
– Gentle & clear communication
– Has the ability to overcome addictive behaviour as soon as the nervous system settles
– Trustworthy partner
– Spirited and powerful beings on our life path
The other side of the coin
In an un-balanced state however, these horses have no differentiation between information they need to act upon and information which is not even for them. The antennas too are fine but over-sensitive because they are spread out too far. Instead of choosing to act, these horses tend to re-act without inner calmness.
These horses seem to attract trauma and drama and their behaviour and communication will just enhance more traumatic experiences for them and their guardians. Here is a list of behaviour and experiences you can encounter with such a horse:
– Extremely spooky & nervous
– Perceives & notices everything
– Has moments of panic
– Inability “to just calm down”
– Can be dangerous
– Mistrusting or hesitant
– Withdrawn with other horses or
– over-reactive with other horses
– Can show strong communication such as biting, kicking, rearing
– Can develop addictive behaviour such as wind sucking, cribbing, pacing
– Has the tendency to attract drama
– Pushes you beyond your capabilities often
So what can we do? Step 1: NATURE
Very simple way to start this: these horses need nature. All of them do, but if your horse shows excessive behaviour, step one is always to look at the three Fs: freedom, forage, friends. In other words, 24hours free movement (or as close to that as you can), 16-20 hours of roughage & herbs and friends in form of a stable, suitable herd.
It is not only that this will bring healing and balance to your horse. Quite frankly, these are birth rights and should always stand in front of our needs as humans and riders. Being in charge of another being’s life and having full control of all decisions requires a conscious and absolutely honest and self-less approach (Conscious Horsemanship). Not to say that this cannot co-exist with our needs as humans (for instance a lovely arena or outride area), luckily more and more stable yards and concepts are emerging and this is exciting.
Step 2: Healing
However, whilst this is a good start and the basis of all my work, some trauma and triggers in the nervous system will be locked away deeply and now appear as “normal”. This is where healing comes in and where we just need to be present to what is and tune into the deeper essence and potential of your horse. Sometimes the horse and you have forgotten (or maybe never explored) what that animal is really like. There is huge difference between behaviour, personality and soul essence. But more of that in another post.
Essentially, in a session we will work with your horse’s nervous system and its ability to return to trust & calmness. Healing & trauma release is part of this work too, as the nervous system will show what is allowed to be processed and leave so new behaviour can emerge.
So we are looking at the pink sensitivity, we honour it and allow it to float back into its natural container. Cause this is where it wants to be. The body is always seeking balance.
And with the ability to see life through calm and trusting eyes once again, life will suddenly look and feel different. For your horse and yourself. You’ll see, it is a very deep and beautiful journey.
There are also some fantastic tools I will teach you so you too have the power to enhance relaxation and calmness in your daily activities with your horse. And that is so important to me. Ultimately it will always be your relationship to your horse and your growth which will bring about not only safety and calmness, but joy and harmony.
If you need help with your sensitive animal, let’s work together. Be it through online sessions using animal communication and consultation or a bodywork and healing session in person at your stable yard.