Most people initially seek out animal communication services for one of two reasons: either for the novelty of “talking” to their horse, or as a last resort when they’ve exhausted all of their other options trying to solve a problem. The latter is generally more common; the trainer is stuck, the vet is puzzled, the riding buddies are stymied, the farrier is flummoxed, and the horse is still broken. Animal communication can certainly solve the mystery, and most people find the session so beneficial that they engage in regular follow up sessions to ensure their horse is properly restored to mental and physical health.
However, some of the long-term and preventative benefits of working with an animal communicator are lost in the shuffle of the emergency when urgent solutions are needed, so horse owners aren’t always able to recognize how this resource can assist them going forward. Generally, people only look to animal communication when they have a problem, which means the situation has gotten bad enough that they’ve devoted significant time and energy to solving it, but have come up empty-handed. In extreme cases, that means only calling every few years when disaster strikes and they are once again in a state of desperation.
Though the frequency and use of any equine professional is a highly personal choice, and animal communication is certainly not the answer to every buck or bruise, it would be far better (and less expensive!) for most riders to take a preventative approach for their horse and check-in with him or her on a regular basis than to use this service as a last resort. In this way, riders are able to head off issues that haven’t manifested as fully-blown lameness or health conditions, saving time, money, and even their show season – not to mention significant distress on the part of the horse, who has to suffer quite a bit in order for pain to be obvious enough for a human to spot. Even behavioral problems that don’t stem from pain sources can be positively shifted by regular check-ups, as riders are able to learn which activities and training techniques cause anxiety or frustration. This inside information helps keep horse and rider safe and preserves trust in the relationship, and allows the rider to use this knowledge to achieve better results under saddle.
Most equine athletes suffer from pain or limiting physical conditions, so these must first be addressed for the preventative benefits of animal communication to shine. In a perfect scenario, the horse would receive an initial session to identify and solve pain and environmental factors impacting his or her wellbeing, as well as several follow-ups to monitor progress and track any new or secondary issues that come to light. Depending on the circumstance, this on-boarding process may take a few months to sort out before the horse is restored to good health, as compensatory issues may have to be addressed in addition to the underlying roots of the horse’s challenges. Once the horse is at his or her best, quarterly maintenance animal communication sessions would be ideal to identify new sources of trouble, monitor chronic conditions, and evaluate the horse’s emotional state and stress level.
Of course, while this quarterly plan represents an ideal for most riders, finances or other factors may affect the feasibility of this scenario. For show horses at any level, twice-per-year sessions would be about the minimum amount needed to gain measurable preventative benefits from animal communication. That said, even an annual check up is better than emergencies-only care. It should go without saying that the more one asks of the horse, the more preventative maintenance must be done to assist him or her. Upper level competitors or professionals would be advised to look to monthly or even more frequent sessions during the competition season if there are high stakes around the horse’s performance, as the level of athleticism and pressure can quickly exacerbate even the smallest physical or mental issue in the horse.
Veterinarians, farriers, bodyworkers and coaches all play essential roles in the care of performance horses, too, of course, and should not be neglected as part of the preventative care of the animal. However, no outside source cannot definitively tell if and where a horse is in pain or stressed. Many, many horses are given clean bill of health from the vet, farrier, and bodyworker, yet in reality are suffering from a great deal of pain or serious medical condition that everyone on the team missed. Only the horse knows that he or she is in discomfort, no matter how experienced the eye watching him or her, which is why animal communication services can become such a valuable tool for sport and equine wellbeing. That said, just as successful riders take care when choosing a vet or farrier, they must also take care to choose a competent animal communicator, as each individual has a particular skill set and strength to offer.
In addition to preventative care benefits, here are a few other circumstances in which you may find an animal communicator useful:
- Buying a new horse. Get an inside look at the horse’s temperament and wellbeing, as well as a heads-up for pain or other issues to evaluate in your pre-purchase exam. Buying a horse is hard enough as it is, so set yourself up for success by at least “looking below the hood.” This service is particularly useful for buying a horse sight-unseen, when your evaluation time is limited, or the background of the horse is unknown or in question.
- Selling a horse. Are you wondering if the time is right to move on to a different partner? Learn how your horse feels, and what kind of new person she or he most desires. Though agonizing for us owners, often horses are quite happy to move on when the time is right, and this can be a great way to ensure that your horse is pleased with the new match.
- Mystery health problems or identifying veterinary options to explore. Even though it’s advisable to use animal communication as more than just solution for problems, don’t hesitate to check in on health concerns that arise with your horse. If the vet can’t find the answer on his or her first examination, or the investigation will require serious financial investment, an animal communicator with a strength in medical intuition can help identify what is going on so that you can make the best choices for confirming the diagnosis. This may be as simple as pinpointing which leg is the problem in phantom lameness cases, rather than doing radiographs on all of them, or directing you and your vet to explore hip pain instead of saddle fit when the horse is exhibiting signs of body soreness.
- Mystery behavioral problems. Get an answer the horseman’s conundrum: is it pain, or is he just being a pain-in-the-butt? If he’s not hurting, then you’ll find out where the behavior is coming from and what you can do to correct it. Hint: There’s always a reason behind everything a horse does, but it may not be related to you.
- Changing environments. Moving to a new barn or program can be hard on horses, and understanding their perspective and challenges can ease the transition. Additionally, consulting your horse about his environment may allow for insight on how to improve his or her performance at home or on the road.
- Career or work level changes. Is your dressage horse keen on jumping, or is your older horse ready for a step back in work load? Find out what would be beneficial to your horse’s mind and body when considering career or work level changes.
- New or different riders. Find out what Sally is REALLY doing when she says she’s just hacking your horse…. just kidding! If a new rider or trainer starts working with your horse, both of you may benefit from checking in to see if all is well with saddle fit, personality matches, and regimen changes to ensure a good match.
- Crossing over. It’s not always obvious whether we should make the humane decision to euthanize, and there are few things more gut-wrenching as a compassionate owner than trying to make this call. An animal communicator can help you assess the animal’s readiness for passing.
Now that you have a feel for some situations that might cause you to think outside the box and work with an animal communicator, here are a few good reminders for times when animal communication is not an appropriate answer. After all, animal communication should never replace proper care for the horse or become a crutch that impedes your horsemanship.
When NOT to call the animal communicator:
- Medical emergencies or potential emergencies. Go to the emergency vet, don’t drag your heels and wonder if it’s serious enough to warrant the ER fees or the farm call. Seriously, if it’s 2 AM, I’m not going to answer the phone.
- Straightforward health problems. Acute and obvious lameness, cuts and bruises, abscesses, colic, hives, etc. Call your vet! Animal communication is NEVER a substitute for qualified medical care, so don’t ask your friendly AC if your horse should get stitches for that cut. Now, if your horse is getting hives or abscesses on a regular basis with no explanation and no cure, that’s a different story and your horse may benefit from sharing his or her perspective.
- Temporary regressions. There’s no need to call every time your horse displays the slightest sign of malcontent, unless you really want to. You and your horse are bound to have good days and bad days together. Moreover, even if you’re working on an issue you’ve identified in your animal communication session, you may have an episode along the way that makes you feel like you’ve not made any progress. For these temporary regressions, it’s unlikely that the answer/explanation from the horse will change, so you may not gain any insight from an animal communicator. However, if you were improving and have a sudden setback that doesn’t improve in a day or two, it may be time to check in and see if anything has changed for the horse. Similarly, even a minor display of resistance in an otherwise tractable horse may be reason to search for an underlying problem, especially if the resistance recurs.
- Doing the same thing an expecting a different result. If your horse is bucking because his saddle doesn’t fit, but you aren’t willing to change the saddle, there’s not much an animal communicator can do to help. Same thing whether it’s your showing ambition, trainer, limited-turn out situation, or underlying physical condition that’s causing the problem. In order to enact change in the horse, we have to change how we relate to him or her. No amount of talking to the animal can overcome her instincts to do exactly what she’s doing! There are limits to every professional endeavor, and your success with animal communication as a supplementary component of care for your horse depends on your ability to enact positive changes to benefit your animal.
If you are interested in seeking an animal communication session for your horse or another animal in your life, check out the services page for a complete overview of your options.