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Deep Horse Connection

Why do I do what I do ? What is it that I do?



Studying to become an Animal Chiropractor took 3 years, plus an additional 2 years as a massage therapist, not to forget the other 25 years I've spent growing up around horses and dogs and riding horses in an array of different disciplines, and yet, I am still overwhelmed with the pure unconditional love and connection these four legged sentient beings give us. The connection I am allowing with horses during treatment is hard for me put into words, but I know with every cell in my body that is a deep addictive connection that is making me a better person in all aspects of my life. These moments are like nothing I have experienced between humans and far from what I was taught at University and vary from experiencing tingles down my hand or even in a completely different part of the body.




When I first meet any horse I am always captivated by their pure presence, I consciously try to get a sense them, their posture, stance, their eyes and their mind to help guide me into how I can approach and introduce myself. Horses do have emotions, they do have personalities and like all mammals are wired for connection. These moments happen during treatment, when there is no conversation between the owner and myself and the full focus, intention and energy is on the horse, there is this shift in awareness that captivates and takes over myself, the horse and sometime even the owner and at times the other horses around us. This new shift in perspective allows a deeper form of communication, which involves being completely present in the moment. Being present with no questions asked or with any expectations. I am consistently watching the horse's facial expressions and subtle changes in posture, with no thought going through the mind, these moments grow as I feel the horse start to completely let go and communicate openly and honestly. Or is it the other way round?


How come we spend whatever money and give so much of our time to our horses?

Do we do the same for our friends? Even our family? What is it about horses that is so captivating? I believe that there is something far greater than what we physically see between us and our horses and that they are here to help us connect, be present and to heal emotional and or physical traumas. I definitely do not have all of the answers and don't believe I ever will, but surely this creates meaning and purpose in life as it makes me continually question and remain curious. The more time I spend with horses creates a shift in my perspective that I can apply in other areas of my life. The most recent shift in perspective was recognising the unconscious expectation that I put on myself for the service I provide as an animal therapist. Despite me verbally saying that I have no expectations of people and experiences in life, the truth always comes out and 9 times out of 10 it is the horses that makes me recognise this truth. I will give you an example...

I recently went to a yard where I had two horses to treat. The first was a beautiful 18h warmblood gelding called Blue who was recently diagnosed with bilateral arthritic changes in front and due to his size and age the vets prognosis was not positive. Having listened to the owners concerns and watching Blue from outside the stable, I immediately recognised that the body language and energy from both the owner and horse were frantic and unsettled. Blue was reluctant to stand still for longer than 2 minutes before he would march around the stable and call for his friends. Similarly the owner who deeply cares about the future of her horse, had a sad energy around her and after asking her how she was doing, revealed other personal losses that she had recently gone through in her life. This situation created a subconscious expectation in my body as I felt a huge responsibility to improve the current situation of the owner and her horse. However, on reflection, why did I feel the need to take on this responsibility? I have labelled myself as an Animal Chiropractor and Massage therapist, but what does this mean? If you google these words, Animal Chiropractor is defined as "spinal manipulation and or manual therapy for animals, aimed at restoring and preserving normal joint function and body movement." So from this definition it is a physical process of creating change within the body, however how can you create change in the body if the mind and body are in a high anxious state of anxiety? This is where I made my second mistake (the first was putting the expectation on myself as a therapist trained at creating change and improving the body), I stepped into the stable and after introducing myself, quickly, I went into practitioner mode and relied on my training from University to highlight asymmetries and restrictions within the body. The ability to find misalignments within the body comes easily to me and this is where I made my third mistake, coupled with the other two mistakes, I started asking the owner questions about themselves. On reflection, this technique was a distraction to keep the owner busy, which would help give me time to try and keep the horse still during treatment. As you can imagine the opposite happened and as the owner spoke about her worries, her energy only heightened the current anxious energy in the stable and the horse became more restless. At this stage is when I stopped, I stepped away from the horse, stopped talking to the owner and started observing the situation infront of me with a different perspective. Instead of trying to fix the situation I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. In doing so, I realised that my chest felt tight and that my breath was short and restless, mirroring those around me. After about 5 minutes, something shifted, the horse stood still, facing away from me but had his left ear facing my direction and the owner stopped talking. My chest felt open and as though it was expanding with every deep conscious breath I took, I had no thought or intention. I continued to stay where I was stood, but this time opened my eyes, and focused on the Blue's body. At one point I decided to take a step forward towards Blue, but he moved his head away from me, despite having the left ear locked onto me and this time instead of continuing to move forwards (as I did when I first came into the stable about 20 minutes earlier), I took a step back, continued to keep a slow breath and just watched him. Within a couple of minutes he turned his whole head towards me and he's feet followed as he continued forwards and stopped with his head about a foot away from me. The whole energy around me changed and I noticed that he's head was lowered, he was stood still and the owner was watching the whole situation with no speech. I continued to slow my breath down and just watch him, again with no thought or intention. Another couple of minutes passed by and I felt this urge to reach my left hand out and place it very gently palm down between his eyes. Blue just stood there, body completely still and I noticed his blinking had slowed down. When I turned to looked at the owner, still speechless, her eyes were brighter and this time her breathe was mirroring mine. I now felt a collective connection between the three of us that I'm struggling to put into words, but can only describe as being completely present, present with no thoughts or expectations. The next 20 minutes was life changing as I continued to focus on the subtle changes in Blue's body language every time I decided to move. If Blue took the slightest step away from me I stopped and returned to where I stepped from and I applied the same process with a change in his ear positioning, lip movements or even contraction of a muscle. This language or form of communication allowed me to experience a shift in my perspective and ability to connect with both the horse and the owner and for that I am eternally grateful to Blue.


This is the magic that horses teach us. Being present, out of of heads with no thoughts and intentions, opens up a doorway of opportunities which makes me a kinder, more compassion and empathic person. For now I tend to label myself as a helper/ healer as I get a real sense of fulfilment and purpose when I see the joy on people's face after treating their horses and seeing their horse's improve, however the danger of this is seeking that need to constantly enhance someone else's state of being and even though I am coming from a place of kindness and empathy, there is a predictable expectation that develops and subconsciously feeds my ego. The beauty of working with any animal is that they are unique, they have emotions and personalities, so why treat them as one? Being able to let recognise, accept and let go of this need to please and enhance an animal's and their owner's state might just open a new doorway of opportunity to connect with each animal individually.


Thank you for reading.







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