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The memory of pain.

This is a discussion on The memory of pain. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        12-14-2009, 01:01 PM
      #21
    Foal
    the older horse

    I read with intrest the first post here.
    I waited many years to buy my own horse... and when he arrived I promptly treat him like a big puppy... lots of kisses and cuddles . He responded in the way that many an older wiser horse would and he walked right on over me. I had to toughen up real quick and after a spell of prenteding to be very confident I became more confident t... the boundries shifted in my favour and we settled down quite nicely.. I can remember in those early days being incredibly frustrated that I couldnt discuss issues with himn to me it was like having a new man in my life who couldnt explain why he reacted in certain ways in certain situations. I came to a descision to start again from the ground and resolve each issue as it cropped up.. I don't know why he kicked out when tacked up but after a week of just slowly and carefully tacking him up this issue was resolved..and every issue that came after it in the same way. He is a horse that tries it on with every one and his remaining I think permanant issue is with big rocks.. he will walk right past any huge loud vehicle and stand like a statue as a fighter jet flys right over.. but big rocks are enough to reduce him to a quivering wreck. In a nut shell I reckon there are some memories which go away or can be tuned out but some that remain.. wouldnt you just love to meet their past owners?
         
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        12-14-2009, 02:01 PM
      #22
    Yearling
    It is a tough issue and I think that the sensitivity of an individual animal will dictate the level of memory or rather the emotion retained. Having said that of course there are some levels of abuse that are so heinous it makes you wonder if the horse should be made to live with the memories of it. (what the hell is wrong with some people!? What kind of sick f#*k hits a horse in the mouth with a rock!?)

    The subject of dealing with painful memories is a very difficult one, my husband suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, an everlasting reminder of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Even though we have the 'term' for what is wrong with him and he is able to rationalise it and understand where it stems from all that he can do is manage the condition. As his wife I find it is a very fine line between either being supportive and helpful or enabling and unhelpful. So transfer that to a horse who can't rationalise it's condition, how do you deal with it?

    I think that problems arise when people can't let go of their expectations of their horse. You know, we buy a horse with dreams of galloping down the beach with the wind in our hair or competing in the olympics, National Rodeo or be a ponyclub star. We buy the horse that we hope is going to help our dreams come to fruition. We don't want to accept limitations put on us by an animal. I think as people we have to realise that some animals may not ever be the horse we want, the question is how many of us are willing to commit to a horse then adapt our wants around said horse and give up on some ambitions.

    I don't know - it's too hard a question!
         
        12-14-2009, 02:29 PM
      #23
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kiwigirl    
    , the question is how many of us are willing to commit to a horse
    Boy, does this hit home for me.

    Hubby runs our hauling business, a lot of the horse's we move come from rescues, such as New Strides, which is a OTTB and Greener Pastures, which are OTSB.

    These horse's are put through a pretty extensive retraining process before they're put up for adoption, so they're ready for new owners and new job.

    I can't count how many times he's been phoned up two or three days after the horse has been delivered and the people want to return it. 2 or 3 DAYS. How can anyone except a horse to "fit in" in a couple of days.
         
        12-14-2009, 02:44 PM
      #24
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
    I can't count how many times he's been phoned up two or three days after the horse has been delivered and the people want to return it. 2 or 3 DAYS. How can anyone except a horse to "fit in" in a couple of days.
    That happened all the time in the barn I used to try new horses out. Well, SOME reasons to return were pretty valid (like that horse which hated kids no matter what ). More often though people just didn't like something, or were commented by someone on horse, or change the mind, or....
         
        12-14-2009, 11:06 PM
      #25
    Foal
    This topic is fantastic. You don't see a lot of them out there.
    A friend of mines horse was terribly abused, she has plad feet because for the first three years of her life had no farrier care, and was mercilessly beaten by the people who had her, with a rake. She is terrified of rakes now of course and it doesn't matter who you are, if you have a rake she doesnt want to be near you.

    My boy was thrown into a stall for three months with very little food and water (he was 600 lbs under weight when we got him) but he refused to give up on life and he must have known that we were trying to help him, he put his trust in us. He was spooky about barns for a few weeks but once he realized that he got to have good hay and grain and clean water he felt safe enought to lay down at night.
    Its easy not to think about bad things that have happend to animals and then get frustrated when they act strange during certain things.
         
        12-14-2009, 11:11 PM
      #26
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
    I would love to see some scientific data that backs this up.........??????
    Horses remember in pictures - I have read this too. Temple Grandin is an animal researcher from the University of Colorado. She writes about animal behavior and I am sure she says this - how she proves it is something I can't explain. But, I bet you could search it out.
         
        12-14-2009, 11:23 PM
      #27
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FlitterBug    
    Its not about sympathy, but about offering something solid. Its not sheltering, but teaching how to accept and enjoy the world. The mental health of a horse is something often ignored by imposing our idea of safety on them.

    Horses are also specific with their memories. One horse that I had come in for training came in with a laundry list of mental issues, not entirely strong physically, and his owners couldn't figure out why he kept throwing them. He had connected the owners nervous energy around her children, and he became nervous around children. He had been mistreated in the past, and one of the first things to teach him was how to handle corrections without overreacting. I never sheltered him, nor did I baby him, but I did lead him. That was what he needed.

    On another note, I do think that we tend to overlook some of the reasons behind the defensive behaviors. A horses behavioral issues won't only be seen as what we see as mistreatment through a heavy hand. I have seen people think that defending their personal space as abusive, but not seeing their horses insecurity, a poor fitting saddle, or a poor riding style as being harmful to the horse. A physically healthy horse is much easier to acclimate to change than a physically damaged horse. I think something sometimes looked at as "poor conformation" is often overlooked as poor posture that is affecting the way that the horse is going to react to stressful situations due to the strain on the fight or flight reflex. Many horses I work with are a combination of fixing physically at the same time as mentally.

    So, to answer the question, yes, I pay attention to everything that my horses are showing, as well as every other horse that I work with. Its not about avoiding the memory of pain, but instead recreating it, and figuring out just what kind of pain it was, be it emotional or physical. Is it something they are hiding because they still see me as the preadator? I consider it my job to learn as much about their body as I can so that I can recognize what lies between the lines. Often times, only working on the mind can cause the horse to harm itself more as it only learns to escape any kind of pressure applied by the leader. When a horse comes to my barn, they are not my pet, they are not my friend, they are not some poor soul that I need to take care of, they are my family. They will need to rise up to a certain level of expectation, but I have no problem showing them how to get there, regardless of their past.
    You make some really great points here! Kudos...I am with you on this!
         
        12-15-2009, 12:17 AM
      #28
    Weanling
    Quote:
    I think that the older that a person gets,well they can become set and unyielding to the world and just get a bit sour about things.
    Wow, I really disagree with this. As I've gotten older I've also learned patience, trust, commitment. I have not lost the wonder and love of all things animal and in nature. When I was younger I was brash, rushed, and never thought things through.

    I think age make us able to deal with things better in all ways.
         
        12-15-2009, 12:54 AM
      #29
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 7Ponies    
    Wow, I really disagree with this. As I've gotten older I've also learned patience, trust, commitment. I have not lost the wonder and love of all things animal and in nature. When I was younger I was brash, rushed, and never thought things through.

    I think age make us able to deal with things better in all ways.

    7 ponies,
    I find you guilty of quoting out of context and sentence you to read the whole post from beginning to end and read for the tone of the post.

    I have also learned the things that you speak of,But many have not as this is a "GENERAL" reference.
         
        12-15-2009, 11:44 AM
      #30
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aynelson    
    Horses remember in pictures - I have read this too. Temple Grandin is an animal researcher from the University of Colorado. She writes about animal behavior and I am sure she says this - how she proves it is something I can't explain. But, I bet you could search it out.
    She is making assumptions based on her medical condition, autism. She tries to draw a parallel between the way she thinks and the way animals think. It's interesting but base on assumptions.
         

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