Farrier Phobic Horse

I was contacted by the owners of a horse who had been twitched by a farrier during a trimming session.  The owners had never seen this done before and didn't realise what was happening.  Their horse panicked, high on adrenalin and fear and got away from the farrier, bolted from the yard back to his field and the twitch eventually fell off along the way.


They then began to go into more detail on how during each trimming session the problems had escalated culminating in the above.  The owners then told me that due to this their horse had become difficult to handle and they were now nervous and anxious around him due to his increasingly unpredictable behaviour.


They asked me if I could take him on to trim, but I really didn't think this was going to be realistic and suggested a naturally inspired trainer who could build up a relationship of trust again, and in the meantime, I would hold a Zoopharmacognosy session wearing my apron and trimming tools to try and change his mindset on the farrier image.


On the day of the session I sat on my trimming box, dressed to trim and in a position I could easily get out the way if he panicked!  I began to waft            Rose Otto          Violet Leaf          Frankincense          Wild Yarrow








in the air waiting for him to arrive.   I felt quite a degree of trepidation I have to say when he appeared, having been half driven/led onto the yard.  His adrenaline up on high flight alert, his eyes wide and very frightened, his movement jerky and body posture like a coiled spring.  I wasn't hopeful I was going to be able to do much to help at all, and now he was about 6 feet away from me!




All of a sudden he froze - he'd picked up an aroma inhaled deeply and carefully made his way over and stretched his nose out towards the oils I was holding - at the same time, his owners moved to the other side of the barrier surrounding the yard.  He moved quickly over each one and settled on Violet Leaf. To my amazement within seconds, he lowered his head and began to yawn and yawn, each time getting closer to me! Until he eventually opened his jaws so close to I had to literally lean back against the fencing pole as he gave another massive jaw crossing yawn right in front my face.  He then settled on Wild Yarrow inhaling deeply and lowered his head as his eyes began to close. We stayed like that for several minutes, then he moved to Rose Otto and Frankincense.  


It was then I felt it was right to touch his forehead and as I did, I felt a huge surge of energy/empathy which was deeply moving.  I gently took the top off the Rose Otto and put a little oil on my hand and stroked his head, poll and each ear.  He was very relaxed.  As I looked over my shoulder both his owners were silent and in tears.  Apparently they found it was virtually impossible to touch his ears - I didn't know this.


After a few more minutes I put all the oils on my hands, stood up and began to stroke him all over, including each leg, and offered the Wild Yarrow to his owner to hold for the horse to inhale.  After another couple of minutes I lifted each hoof and lightly ran the rasp around and decided to stop there. I asked if I could lead him back to the field as that would be the ideal ending, but his owners were very nervous about it, so we all walked together and I led him offering him the oils along the way.  If there as any tension from him we stopped and not only did the horse but his owners inhale the oils too!  He lowered his head and stayed calm, composed and relaxed.  


As we entered his field and I took his headcollar off, he walked away then stopped, turned his head to look at me.  It was a very special moment.  


A week later I went back with the same oils and completed a full trim without any issue at all.  A month later he actually dozed as I left the oils on my trimming box for him to select if he needed them.  From then we have never looked back, both his and his owner's confidence has grown and been restored and a year on I trim him regularly and it's a complete joy to be with him.