Communicating With Horses

Right. So, some people are going to think I’m a bit crazy. Off my rocker, so to speak. And I’ll probably lose any respect from the logical, scientific, and fact-loving readers. But last week Otis saw a Horse Communicator. 

Sort of like a psychic. Or a median. 

“What rubbish!” I can hear the cynics cry. Well, put it this way; as much as I love knowing the facts, figures, explanations, I still believe in fairies because if I said I didn’t, and one died, then I’d feel ever so guilty. It reminds me of when I asked a science teacher at school how was it possible to be religious and a scientist when the theories clash so frequently. Her answer, was that when you saw the amazing chemistry, evolution, and the way the world interlinks, it is impossible not to believe that one greater being is behind all of it. I’m starting to understand this perspective now. Maybe, I’m finally a grown up?

Back to Otis.  

There is a renowned Horse Communicator, who I’ve heard of many times, and he travels all over the country to see people and their horses. Friends of mine have had him and he’s told them things that the horses tell him that there is absolutely no way he could deduce it from standing opposite a horse. Such as, “she never wants to travel in a red lorry” when the mare in question was in an accident in a red lorry several years earlier.

So part of me believes that there is something in it. My parents have a Gypsy Woman (probably not a politically correct term now) who visits regularly and tells them things from their past that are correct, says things about the near future which seem to be scarily accurate (yes, I know you can influence the future…). One time she told my parents I had something to tell them. They asked me, and I denied it. My pride wouldn’t let me admit that I was desperately unhappy in my job and thinking of leaving. It took another six months for me to come clean. But that was a little freaky. Then she’s told things about their past, which no one could have told her. Mum always buys one of her wares in return, and she told Mum to give me the lace. I’m not sure why, but it’s quite happy on the guest bedside table!

I’m going off track. Let me tell you about Otis’s conversation.

This man arrived, looking slightly like Mr Magorium in Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Google it! Otis was in his stable, a bit stressed that it was a lovely spring day and Matt was in the field without him. The Communicator asked Otis’s name, age, and how long I’d owned him. Then he stood facing Otis, about three foot away from the door, looking.

Otis did a couple more circuits of the stable and then stood at the door, looking back. Every so often during their conversation, he would turn to snatch his hay. But he also gave huge yawns, of which Otis is not renowned for, and did the licking and chewing response of releasing tension.

The Communicator relayed everything that Otis said. And he had a lot to say! In brief, here are a few comments and my take on them.

There is soreness in his right shoulder, going halfway up, for over six months, on and off. It feels uncomfortable. Otis has been off work for six months with the left foot. Did the left foot cause the right shoulder to hurt by compensating? Something to investigate though, because if he is now compensating for the right shoulder, it won’t help the left foot situation.

There were a couple of other little areas of soreness so I’ll get them checked out with his next McTimoney session in April.

He does not want to go hunting. He thinks he will die. This is pretty dramatic, and I don’t think he’s well suited to hunting because he likes being at the front and doesn’t like big companies. But at least I know I’m not depriving him of the experience now!

He’s sensitive about deep mud after having an issue when he was 5 or 6 years old. This is weird because I can’t think of him having an issues, and I’m not a great lover of deep going. I can only think that at this time it was a wet winter and I was doing more hacking.

He doesn’t like travelling alone, and has a fear of hitting his head in the trailer. Unfortunately, due to his size, our car can only tow him on his own, so until that changes Otis is going to have to lump it. There’s plenty of head room in this trailer and he doesn’t have his head high whilst travelling, so the comment about hitting his head is a bit weird, but maybe the old trailer had less room, or a lorry he’s been in has been a bit lower?

He likes the smaller, grey mare. I know who that is, and she likes him too as she always takes herself over to his stable to see him, and they groom each other.

He was interested to know what my jumping expectations of him in the future were. He was pleased that I said whatever he was comfortable with because he worries about his hocks. Last year, I was struggling with jumping him as he just seemed to not want to go over the metre mark. I thought it was me having a psychological barrier, but now I would be happy to do any jumping with him at all! 

The noises behind his stable concern him. That’s the storage area, where people keep feed, rugs, and all their paraphernalia so can often be rustly and noisy. The Communicator didn’t go there, so wouldn’t have known what was behind, and without taking Otis for a walk back there I’m not sure how to solve the problem for him!

He gets concerned if his food doesn’t arrive on time. He doesn’t like it being late. He has an active digestive system. The majority of the time, and especially when he’s stabled, food is always on time, but when he’s out 24/7 I am later on weekends because I need some beauty sleep. So I’m afraid Otis, you will have to wait, just like the cats do, and have brunch instead of breakfast! It’s worth bearing in mind though, that his digestive system gets active when he’s anticipating food.

He does not like llamas or donkeys, they have a strange smell and he doesn’t understand them. Otis usually isn’t phased by anything out hacking, but I can remember when we met llamas once he was very freaked by them. I can’t remember meeting a donkey, but there is one who lives on the opposite hill to Otis, so perhaps that’s it.

The dark coloured horse winds Otis up. He makes Otis doubt himself, and is not a good influence. Here I asked if the dark horse had come back into Otis’s life, and the answer was yes – Matt! When Otis was younger, this dark horse put “the fear of God” into Otis. Which possibly explains why Otis is more jumpy and less well behaved when Matt is here.

He has very good hearing and doesn’t like people singing around him. Well I can’t sing and won’t sing, but I can’t think of anyone who regularly sings around the yard. Here, The Communicator put in his own explanation. He said that the shape of Otis’s ears means that his hearing is probably 20% better than other horses, and in the herd environment Otis would have been a lookout. I’ve just always thought Otis’s ears were large, but since this I’ve compared them to other horses, and they are big, but also more dished in shape – like a satellite. So good hearing actually makes logical sense. Another thing I realised since then, is that Otis’s ears are always flicking around, working hard and listening to everything.

When he was around six there was an issue with his saddle putting pressure at the back of the saddle area, which still worries him in case it comes back. He prefers lightweight riders and can hold himself quite tight in fear of the saddle hurting. This is one of my biggest nuances with Otis. Yes, the saddle didn’t fit and no, I’ve never used or recommmended that saddler since. It caused quite a lot of problems, and it’s a shame he still remembers it. But I will make sure I pay close attention to that area in regard to the fit of his saddle.

The smaller dark bay pony is very bossy towards him, with a grumpy, feisty character. At the time I didn’t know who it was, but now I’ve realised it’s his stable neighbour, who’s always got her ears back at him and squeals frequently!

Would like to do more dressage, but not too advanced. He doesn’t understand the need for flying changes, and is not confident doing them. I’m glad about this as I think I’m preferring the dressage route. Certainly at the moment, anyway. Anyone who knows Otis, knows that he just doesn’t do flying changes. He’s never done it in the field, he gets very stressed when trying to do them in the school, so I think it is just a concept he doesn’t like. Strange!

He has no idea why there is a need to see a vet. He worries that he does not know what they are going to do. He prefers lady vets. I wish he’d told me that before the last visit! But at least now I feel more confident in my decision to ignore vets for the moment and see how he copes with the workload and go from there. I hope by his preference to lady vets, he includes my vet friend!

Sugar isn’t good in his diet, they don’t help his brain to function. The sugar in the spring grass makes him feel acidic. Thankfully Otis’s diet is sugar free. Or at least, as sugar free as I can make it. Now we’re going into spring though, it’s worth investigating his complaint about feeling acidic.

His green checked rug is his favourite as it’s most comfortable, and the orange sheet is embarrassing. The horse in the corner takes the mickey out of him for wearing it. The green checked rug is my favourite because it reminds me of mint chocolate ice cream, but Otis has had it since he was 3! I often look at it and wonder if it should move on, but then again, it’s too nice for that. When Otis was being walked out and wearing his hi-vid sheet, we did go out with the horse he identified as teasing him. Again, strange how The Communicator identified the only horse who would have spent any time with Otis and the orange sheet.

He sometimes feels anxious and alarmed at where you have gone and would like you to reassure him by telling him when you’ll be back.  I guess this is when I bring him in and leave him in for a couple of hours until the farrier comes, or after I’ve taught a lesson.

Wants to go to the small grey car and get in it. I used to have a silver car, two silver cars actually, and I passed it between Otis’s stable and field, so often I would take Otis to the car and put my coat in, or get my tack out, or anything else, which I guess is where this statement has come from.

He would like to help mend things in the field. Otis is one of those horses who likes to be involved. He supervises poo picking and adjusting the electric fencing, so again this statement isn’t unbelievable when you consider his character.

The lady with curly hair and an orange coat is lovely. I think the coat is more yellow, but I know who she is and she always makes a fuss of Otis!

He finds fireworks alarming. In Wales there were very few fireworks, but the first year in Berkshire there were fireworks going off over the yard for weeks in November, and Otis hated it! I guess it doesn’t help having super sensitive hearing!

At this point, Otis decided he wanted to be asked questions. So I immediately asked about his left foreleg!

The ligament on the outside heel area pulls upwards, crosses over fetlock, up to the back of the knee, giving a tingling feeling. When he puts his foot down on the left side he feels it but doesn’t otherwise. The issue on his right side is causing him to put additional pressure on his left. This is interesting, but doesn’t really solve the problem of how to manage it, but I am now doing some research into tingling nerves, such as magnetic therapy.

He is happier with his shoes now, but when the heel spreads out more it will be better. The stable door was closed, so there’s no way The Communicator could have seen Otis’s shoes, or known that we are trying to give his heels as much support as possible and to encourage them to grow out more.

Otis said a lot more things than I’ve put here, but I fear you may get bored! Ultimately, The Communicator said some stuff that I didn’t expect, and I think I need to forget a no about his left foot, get his straightened out, build up his muscle and go from there. I think the other statements Otis said relate largely to me being aware of future situations, and treat him accordingly (such as the acidity during springtime), adjusting his routine or diet.

The Communicator did start talking about various herbs that you can buy so horses self-cleanse, but that’s another topic, and I think my best bet it to take the knowledge I have and give it to the relevant experts (such as the farrier) and go from there. I was however, surprised that my stoic little horse had so many gripes! I must learn to listen to his subtle hints… 

Do you believe? I wouldn’t say Otis was the most convincing case, but I think there are too many things that fit for it to be a con. Plus, with social media, the world is a lot smaller place which means word (good or bad) travels faster than ever, and the fact The Horse Communicator has a successful business and has had for many years, keeps my mind open to the paranormal.