health is a four-legged stool
One of the most pivotal teachers in my holistic training taught me that health is a three-legged stool: physical, chemical, and emotional. When one of the legs isn’t balanced, the stool tips over. I added a fourth leg to my stool: the spiritual leg. I say it all the time, “The barn is my church, and horses are my spiritual practice.” I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about that true, deep, energetic connection we have with these amazing sentient beings on a soul level. So, it doesn’t matter if my horses are detoxed, free of chemicals, and physically and emotionally balanced–unless my spiritual leg is intact, something is still missing.
The Spiritual Leg
What is my spiritual connection to my horses? It’s my spirit and the spirit of my horse and the energy that flows between us. It’s that feeling of the perfect canter departure, a flawless transition, or when you nail a lead change. It’s not just great timing–it's a connection of spirits. It’s the spirit and energy that I show up with when I’m in the presence of my horses. Some may think of it as our chi or prana; our life-force energy. It is that and so much more on a deeper level.
The Physical Leg
The physical leg on the stool can trump the other legs of the stool. For example, if your horse breaks a leg, it’s going to have emotional stress, and spiritual stress, and detoxing isn’t going to fix the break. Structure controls function. It’s about muscle integrity; the withers, stifles, hocks, etc. Are the hips even? Are the hoof angles and hairline balanced? That’s why teeth, hooves, and vitamin and mineral balance are imperative. Everything needs to be in balance for optimal health and well-being.
The Chemical Leg
I believe that people are unaware of how many chemicals and toxins their horses are being exposed to through chemical fly sprays, fly spray systems, and spraying chemicals around the barn. Agriculture chemicals end up in our horse’s feed including grains, hay cubes, and pellets. Chemical dewormers can stress a horse’s health. Even crappy plastic buckets or rubber feed pans can leach chemicals into our horse’s food. Synthetic ingredients in grains and supplements are not uncommon. Sweet feeds have toxic mold inhibitors and city water has chlorine. All of these chemicals build up in your horse’s system and create physical stress for your horse including a congested liver.
The Emotional Leg
Emotional well-being is the cherry on the cheesecake and is often overlooked. Emotional health is what brings it all together. Does your animal get enough play time? Turnout? Pasture? Grazing? Rubbing, grooming, and positive interactions? When emotions aren't addressed, healing can't exist! When I do a Bio-Energy Analysis on a horse, I test if the emotions belong to the horse or if they have taken on the owner’s emotions. We know horses mirror our emotions, so why wouldn’t they take on our stress and store it in their bodies? What about when you have a bad day at work and you take it out on your horse when he or she doesn’t do something the way you thought it should be done. We’ve all experienced it! If something goes wrong, a person takes it out on the horse–they whip it, jerk it, smack it, and yell a few choice words. But at the heart of our hearts, we know deep down it isn’t the horse’s fault.
Horses (and people too) are going to have health crises. But when we go into a health crisis healthy, we have a better chance of coming out of it quicker, better, and alive. Stress is stress. Sometimes you won’t even notice anything wrong until after the fact. And then we are like, “This weird flaky skin patch showed up on my horse out of the blue.” Or, “My horse just popped up lame overnight.” We never consider what happened two weeks ago, six months ago, or in the past five years. Chemicals build up in the system and the body can process them for a while, but eventually, the chemicals will manifest into allergies, an abscess, or even respiratory problems. The emotional stress from the horse not getting turned out enough or being in a herd with no stability can manifest into physical issues. And the saddle that doesn’t fit took six months before the horse showed signs of a sore back and/or suddenly exhibited lameness.
Health doesn’t happen overnight. It used to. Thirty years ago, health was created quicker by totally switching the feed, balancing the feet, and adding all of the right nutrition by clearing the nutritional reflex points. It used to be a lot easier to clear the liver. But it’s getting more difficult with electromagnetics, more GMO feed products are coming through, and more chemicals are being put in our environment.
There are a lot of feed supplements out there, but they use the allopathic diagnostic system to create a vitamin or herbal supplement. All this approach does is chase symptomatology. It is not about creating health. Not to mention that herbs are only as good as the soil they were grown in.
Creating health might take a couple of weeks. It could take a month, or six months, or it might take a year. I’ve observed horses taking years to detox because they aren’t just detoxing–they are constantly being re-exposed while trying to detox. However, when it happens, it is always a miracle–especially after a lifetime of improper nutrition, power tools to the teeth, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, imbalanced hooves, vaccine injuries, chemical toxicity, and the list goes on and on. A lot of the creating health process is believing in yourself and believing in your horse. Have faith in yourself to facilitate the proper horse care to support your horse in his or her process and faith that your horse can heal, can get better, and will improve. But if you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen. And if you don’t have faith in yourself, find someone to help you because your horse doesn’t have the luxury to wait for you to figure it out on your own. Until next time, enjoy your horse!
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