Change The Feeling, Change the Reflection

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A brief look at how our feelings can affect the behaviour of the animals in our life

The behaviours of the animals that share our environment are, in all likelihood, a subconscious habit developed from a conscious reaction to something we feel or do subconsciously.

“What on earth does all that mean?” I hear you asking. I will try and explain.

The subconscious mind is where our habits are. We learn to drive with our conscious mind. Then we keep driving and after a while we drive subconsciously. We don’t think about changing gear anymore. It is automatic. It is a habitual response created from persistently doing the same thing in response to a given situation.

We can improve the way we drive by questioning our habit, changing the way we do it, and then continuing that until the new way becomes a subconscious habit. Maybe you buy a new car and it has 6 gears. All your previous cars have had 5 gears. So you change your habit consciously until using 6 gears becomes a subconscious habit. When you find you have automatically put the car in 6th gear as a response to your speed and environment and, you didn’t consciously think about it, you have created a subconscious habit.

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Limitations and Boundaries with Laminitis

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A look at limitations and boundaries with Querida. Part of my journey with laminitis.

Querida the pony and I have shared a lot of feelings over this hot summer. Feelings that emerged have included anger, frustration, annoyance, stubbornness, and feelings of being restricted. Querida has been breaking my fences and I have been repairing. She is getting into fields she shouldn’t be in, and this brings up her pulses and the laminitis flares up. 

At times I have got so cross with her seeming self-destructive mood that I have found myself dragging her back out of the field in annoyance. Querida then gets stubborn, ignoring me, and not moving, because I am not asking in a nice way and we just keep on spiralling. It is even worse when this all happens in the middle of the afternoon when it is scorching hot!

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Connecting with a Horse that Cribs

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A journey into understanding the feeling that can create a cribbing reaction.

Most of us are aware of the physical issues of cribbing and wind-sucking in horses including ulcers, colic, physical imbalances, and loss of teeth, to name a few. We could also spend some time debating all the environmental aspects that may cause cribbing such as early weaning, stabling and the like. But none of these debates or discussions has ever helped me find a way of connecting to Timmy at a level where I could help him help himself.

Timmy’s History with Cribbing

horse cribbing

Timmy has been with me since 2011. He cribs and wind-sucks on all available wooden posts, tyres, and even the steel posts that hold up the roof to the horse shelter. There has never seemed to be any reason for this. He cribs after eating a bucket of food, but then he will also stand in a pasture and crib for no apparent reason. He lives out 24/7. He will stand in the horse shelter with his herd companions and crib on the doorway. He has cribbed when I have sat on his back. He cribs on the mares instead of grooming. When I was looking for a ‘reason’ I couldn’t find one.

This led me to ask a number of questions.

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A Journey To Trust

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Communication and connection with our horses through understanding feelings and taking a leap of faith in ourselves

In spring of 2018 a young lady stood next to me in a field as we looked at my herd of five, listening to me rambling away about all the things I thought needed sorting out with them, and when I shut up she asked me a question. That young lady is now the editor of this magazine. I had asked her for some help as I had become completely lost regarding my horses and often wondered why I had them.

The question was this: How do you feel?

That question has stayed with me now through a journey of finding out who I am, who each of the herd members are, and discovering all the wonderful reasons why we are together. I start every day with that question. Why? Because how I feel affects everything around me.

Before I can talk to the horses I need to acknowledge my own feelings about the day, understand they are my feelings and then let them whisper away as I walk around to say good morning, completely in the present moment, without a thought in my mind.

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