I heard this from my mentor…then I heard it again from the guys who started the Nokota horse conservancy.
It’s become a slogan of ours.
I have seen so much evidence to prove it and so much that proves the other side of it that restriction is not the way to go.
I posted recently about Kiko’s progress after his devastating (to me) injury. A typical injury to the tendon in the leg which usually takes about 6 months to heal enough to ride. He was able to ride in 2 months because I kept him mobile thorough the whole process which at times KILLED me inside but I had to trust him, trust the healing process and trust that he would be able to judge what was too much just as well as humans can. Knowing what I know of my horse, I can’t assume he’s not as intelligent as I am..in fact, in certain circumstances he’s actually smarter. So logically, there was no reason besides my own human emotions of superiority that could sway me from trusting that he knows his limits and when it hurts too much and that yes, a horse can heal without our intervention because I have seen so much intervention that has become hindrance and I couldn’t do that to my boy.
Long story short, he’s pretty much fully healed. Yes, he does seem to have a bit of scar tissue around the area but I’m told that will probably go away with regular work.
The great news is he’s sound, he’s strong and hasn’t re injured himself since the accident 4 months ago. He can walk, trot and canter without pain either on the ground or with a rider.
The other day I had the Osteopath out, after watching his movements for a while, she did acupuncture on his leg first….to which he responded by getting relaxed, licking and chewing for about 20 minutes and then sleeping. He was way more relaxed about the needles than I was…but he doesn’t have the irrational fear of needles I do apparently.
Then she adjusted him, she was able to crack his hip and both knees! She said he was stuck in his left hip which corresponded with the left front injury.
Then she massaged him….again, sleep was the final result.
It was time to move after all this. It was like watching him on his best day! He was so lose and lively and let us know he was super happy by cantering around on his own accord after we were done watching his movement.
He looked awesome and he felt like he was having fun with it all. Two days later he got his feet trimmed and he responded by playing with Blue at a canter in the indoor arena and rolling like a maniac only to get up again, canter around with Blue then come over to get kisses and treats before doing it all again.
It’s really rewarding to see the more freedom and trust I can give him the more he seems to reciprocate.
He’s not just my horse, he’s a soul I am lucky enough to share my life with that I may not understand but in asking him to teach me, he does. The connection is not something I can explain or even rationalize like a dog or even a cat. I do nothing for him but offer him partnership to the best of my novice ability and offer him logical care to my novice ability and I’m rewarded with having a true soul mate. I can’t say how this is fair to him, but I will say I’m sure as hell happy I have him in my life, both as partner and friend and I only hope I can someway fulfill his inner, unexpected needs as much as he’s fulfilled the ones in my life I didn’t even know I had.