Daddy Dearest

Work: PM heat therapy/EVE groom.
Report: walked mare immediately after heat session. Rodney went into the barn for 1/2 a lap, came out, ate hay, went back in, & when we were done went back out to graze with her. I have no idea what, if anything, all of this means.

Ramblings: Yesterday, Sara Light-Waller of Sacred Touch Healing, suggested that emotional issues might be a contributing cause to Rodney’s biological gas attacks. Plus, “holding of some memory trauma in his intestinal pathway” would explain why he reacts to gastric medicine as if he has ulcers but does not display the standard ulcer symptoms of colic (thankfully) or weight loss (no way!). I had not thought about an emotional component. Not surprising, as I mostly try to reason my way through life.

If you want trauma, I can’t think of much worse than being attacked by one’s father. I don’t mean in a cutesy, anthropomorphic, I-am-Rodney’s-mommy fashion (which, BTW, I reject utterly). I mean literally. Rodney’s breeders ran the horses in a herd. When Rodney and his half-brother were about a year old, the stallion decided they were excess to requirements. He savaged both of them along their backs and withers. As I understand the timeline, the two yearlings were swept up by the folks from whom I bought Rodney 10 years later. They developed raging infections to the point of almost losing one or both of them. Imagine going all at once from contented, rambunctious foal at momma’s side to searing pain, separation, weaning, and a new barn.

Time will tell if releasing the scars has any effect on Rodney’s way of going or on his attitude. I am too hyper-rational to believe any of this emotional trauma, energy pathway nonsense. However, I have seen it work. Do as you will with that contradiction.

New Age horse techniques, yeah or nay?

Categories: Barn Life, Horse Behavior, Horses, Physiology

7 replies »

  1. Definitely Yea! Mind-body isn’t a connection, it’s a single unit. The attention he’s getting from you is loosening the scars, no need to parse out whether they are either/or, this or that. Maybe he’s thinking that perhaps it is safe to relax…maybe…perhaps. Good work.

  2. I am frankly astounded by how well you yourself proved the point about Rodney’s emotional issues being tied to his GI disturbances. As horses are well-known for the length of their memories (the reason they are so trainable) is it any wonder that something as traumatic as being “savaged” to the point of death, might stay with them? In cases of extreme abuse by humans, horses develop serious behavioral problems including becoming delayed learners. I have seen this myself on numerous occasions. Why would this be any different from serious trauma created by other horses?

    So is critical, rational thinking at odds with the concept of emotional trauma arising from physical trauma? People exhibit both, don’t they? People and horses have similar nervous systems so why shouldn’t emotions, which are chemical triggers anyway, produce similar results in both species? A horse may not rationally think about the joy he feels when you pull off his halter and turn him loose in his pasture, but that doesn’t stop him from exhibiting emotional markers that we interpret as “happiness” as he runs off bucking.

    People exhibit feelings and emotions and, after much debate over many years, science has proven that animals do too. But we as animal owners already knew that. In this post Katherine describes Rodney as showing a preference for grazing with the mare. That is a choice based on emotion. He wanted to.

    I would love to continue this thread of discussion as I think we’re actually all embracing the same concepts, just doing so using different words. Ironically, that’s the most “New Agey” part of all. 😉

    • Sometimes I wonder if the issues that divide people will turn out to be arguments over the color of a triangle.

    • Now that I’ve thought about it more, I think my question is with the specificity. Why would a back injury show up in his gut? Muscles, yes. Organs, why? I had the same problem with TCM. That has some, um, hard-for-a-Westerner-to-grasp ideas about where things are “located.” OTOH, have you read Anatomy of the Spirit by Myss? It’s all about emotions being held in the body (so I hear). I do agree that if people do it, animals do also, probably more so b/c they aren’t creating an overrationalized division between mind & body. For that, I blame the ancient Greeks & Christianity’s idea of mortification of the flesh, but that’s a whole new c. of w.

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