Patches knew all these things …once, and then his life changed. When he came to us he didn’t want to do much that meant he had to “perform.” He had been a ribbon-winning show horse and then a therapeutic riding horse. At first he was on good behavior with us. He loved children so it was easy for him to carry a child. It was one thing he truly enjoyed.
Recently I had a client in my office who had a swollen ankle. She has had a swollen ankle before so I mentioned to her: rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the leg for self-care.
Self-care is a big part of my practice. I said, “okay, if your horse’s fetlock looked like this, what would you be doing?”
If horses could actually speak words, I am sure they would ask, “got carrots?” Or whatever their favorite snack is. Have you ever noticed how if you have a carrot or cooky, they can barely contain themselves, their focus is entirely on that treat until they find it or get to eat it?
Recently I had a client horse who broke his jaw. This is how it happened: he was clenching his teeth around a bar of his stall door, while his forefeet were on a ledge of that same door. He dropped one foot down and neglected to release his teeth from the bar of the stall. This action broke his jaw on the side of the mandible.
I really like this expression and it fits so many experiences I’ve had with horses, where they see their human not taking appropriate charge and so they feel they must take charge!