Case Study – Smokey.

This is a 7-year-old, Welsh Section D pony. Owned by his present owner for 2 years, he was bought from a man who apparently did not have much horse knowledge but had bought him from the breeder in Wales as a 3-year-old. He is a very impressive looking pony that the owner said but for his behaviour would have done well in the show ring. He showed all the attributes of having been cut very late and would hardly have been taken to be a gelding at all, apart from the missing bits! A strange quirk that the owner had noticed was that he seemed to like being in a very small box best.

The main problems that he required help with were; -

  1. Behaviour at shows- Described as a ticking bomb
  2. Aggression towards other horses in the field and while passing his box
  3. Dislike of strange people around him
  4. Nipping – very colty
  5. Sweet Itch.

As I did the initial scan around the body, most of the energy seemed to run up the neck between the withers and poll and the around the pelvic area. I needed to take things quite carefully, as this was an incredible intrusion for a horse that distrusted strangers, to have some wafty woman putting her hands all over him. Although physically he shifted about uncomfortably, he did draw the energy and after a while settled down. As the treatment progressed I got the strong impression that he was very angry about the way he was/having been gelded. He took a lot of energy into the pelvic area. At this point I warned the owner because very often when you treat anger it is released like any other emotion but it can be a bit explosive. The next few days could prove interesting! After finishing off the treatment he seemed quite calm and more relaxed than at first.

The owner was supposed to be taking him to a show just over a week after the first treatment. So I was not surprised when I got a phone call after a few days asking me to go back as the expected tantrum happened in spectacular style. “The show was looming and could I please calm him down again!” The tantrum had taken the form of an absolute fit on the lunge. Fortunately the owner had decided to lunge as a prelude to doing some schoolwork in preparation for the show. He had been bucking, kicking and rearing. Once he had got it out of his system she did get on and do a few minutes work.

This time Smokey was much more willing to work with me. Despite, or more likely because of, the tantrum progress had been made. He was being more tolerant of horses being near him in the field, where as he would previously chased them off. He was not nipping so much and seemed more secure in himself. His mane at this point seemed to have much more scurf in it, which was also an indication of release. He was open to a very much deeper healing on this occasion and we made a lot of progress. Again most of the energy was taken by the pelvic area and through the crest of the neck. One significant thing was that he quite vigorously defended the heart area and was determined not to let me work with it. As he was obviously not ready to release what was there at this point I left it. I did, however, get the impression that he needed a big cuddle and the owner gratefully obliged.

On my third visit I was told that the show had gone very well and he had behaved very much better than usual. The vet had also been to rasp his teeth and he had only worn a head collar where he would normally have been bridled and sedated. There was also a very different expression on his face, which the owner pointed out enthusiastically. When I had first seen Smokey his eyes were “out on stalks” and he looked quite charged up. Now the eyes were all together softer and calmer. His behaviour had continued to improve and the owner was feeling much more confident with him and a lot closer. The scurf in the mane had also calmed down and in general his skin seemed a lot less sensitive. The yard owner came up at this point to say “I don’t know what you’ve done to this pony but I’ve never seem Smokey this laid back”

I treated him for the third time and the energy through both the neck and the pelvic area had calmed right down. This time he was prepared to let me work around the heart area and although there was not a big disturbance in the energy here it seemed to round things off nicely.

Conclusion. Smokey definitely had some outstanding issues around is early life and most concerned being gelded. Being able to release the anger and come to terms with it helped him to adjust to his life and environment, he no longer needed to dominate and bully others around him. He has gained the confidence to allow other people and horses to be both physically and emotionally close to him. As for the sweet itch, very often, skin disorders can be an indication of suppressed anger and so hopefully this condition should settle down as well.

Now that his owner is gaining confidence this will in turn help Smokey to feel more secure and their relationship will improve.

This article is kindly provided by Alison Hastie MGCP. MAR. PCR. TATh.
For further information please click here to visit Alison at Sandford Therapies.
Alison will be very happy to answer any questions you may have

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Updated: October 2005.