5 Ways to Calm Your Horse...Holistically
Before I discuss the five ways to help calm your horse holistically, I’d like to give you two key characteristics to keep in mind that are necessary for raising kids, training animals or running a business--- Honesty and Consistency.   With these two qualities you will surely have success, especially with your horses.    Animals are honest…they know no other way.  It is one of the reasons they are so good for us.  They help us to become better for ourselves and for them.  The consistency part can be difficult for us.  It means doing the same thing, in sequence, repeatedly.    It also means offering the same (non-emotional) response to undesired behavior.  Horses learn patterns 7 times faster than humans.  So be sure to pay attention to what you are doing BEFORE, because they’re already 7 steps ahead!

Now let’s talk about the 5 ways to calm your horse, holistically…
1.  Get your horse out of the stall and moving!  Horses are herd animals who live in small bands that cover approximately 25 miles a day in their wild setting.  Their range revolves around the water hole.  There are also a variety of “events” within the range that keep the horses moving to the next one!  Knowing what these are and incorporating them into your horse’s environment will contribute to a more balanced emotional state.  There are “events” like the water hole, the bathing/grooming area, a resting area, a salt/minerals lick and more.  The “vices” that come into play with horses in stalls, become virtually non-existent when they are allowed to move as a herd.
2.  Play with your horse!  Get to know them on the ground and learn to have a conversation with them.  Allow them to have a choice and a say in what you are doing.  Remember you are developing a friendship/partnership where you each have responsibilities.   Can you imagine hanging out with a friend who is always telling you what to do and never asks what you like or want?! 
 Asking your horse to change directions gets them into their thinking (left) side of their brain instead of the emotional (right) side of the brain.   So if your horse is getting all wound up and excited, AVOID the lunging circle!  Get your back to a fence and get them changing direction.  They’ll soon come off their adrenaline high and begin thinking again.  Asking your horse to move backwards and sideways also requires using the thinking side of the brain.  These two movements are definitely a great thing to incorporate into your regular routine with your horse! 
3.  Feed your horse like a horse!  It’s so easy to want to give our horses all the things.  Admit it, it makes us feel better.   The fact is most grains and treats are loaded with sugars and can be deadly to our horses.  Horses are browsers.  Browsing for small amounts of plants while moving all-day-long.  Setting up the environment so they can eat this way will reduce many of the “problems” we see with traditional horse keeping.  It could be as simple as spreading the hay into many piles (instead of one or two) so that horses can push their herd mates to the next pile.  There should always be more piles than horses! 
Another key part of nutrition are the minerals.  This is often overlooked and one of the key pieces of their overall emotional wellness.   Magnesium plays a large role here too!   Get your hay tested to find out the minerals you will need to supplement.   For more information on providing a good foundation of nutrition for your horse, get this guide.
4.  Use essential oil blends and singles daily for your horse’s emotional fitness!   A few of my favorites are Peace and Calming, Valor and Stress Away.  They were instrumental in my hoof trimming business for helping to settle an unsettled horse (and owner too)!   I could offer a drop in my hand to the horse and depending upon their need; they may sniff it, lick it from my hand or sometimes they’d grab the whole bottle!   That seemed to happen a lot with Stress Away.   There are a few other oils used in protocols that I have found to offer incredible emotional releases and help to balance the horse’s energy.  These are the Feelings Kit, Freedom Sleep and Freedom Release Collection.
5.  Lastly, incorporating Healing Touch for Animals has forever changed my animal care for the better.  I can help my animals to be calm and release experiences that are causing them to feel or behave in unwanted ways.  Learning the techniques from the Level 1 online course have allowed me to not only help my horses (dogs and cats too) live better… I have been able to help other people’s horses to feel relief from traumatic events, to release traumas they have carried and to get their energy open and flowing again.   If you have horses (or any animal) the Level 1 is a wonderful addition to your holistic care tool box.  Click here for more information about the Healing Touch for Animals Level 1 online course.
Having a calm horse is something virtually anyone can achieve.  By taking the time to understand the things that motivate a horse (and are innate in them), you can begin to put each facet in place in their environment as you care for and interact with them.  For me, each of these has contributed to the emotional balance of my horses as, over the years, I learned and incorporated them into my life with horses.  I am forever grateful to have learned these holistic care ways.  I hope you take the opportunity to incorporate some of them too!

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