This is Heroe. He is ten years old. His person contacted me because he spooks when bay-colored horses are in the arena.
Heroe explains, “When I see them, I see myself falling underneath them. I am feeling myself getting stuck underneath the other horse and then stomped on. When it happened, it was slippery out, and I fell. All the horses spooked that day. The horse trampled me by accident. He got stuck on my rider’s stirrup, so he was stomping his leg to get untangled. Every time I see a bay horse, I am there again.”
Heroe has post-traumatic stress. He explained to his person that there are ways to ride him that help him feel more present. Animals in a post-traumatic stress response can be hazardous because they are not thinking of their rider or handler. It is up to us to teach these animals ways to feel grounded in their bodies. We can do this by having a routine to do every time the situation comes up so that the solution becomes muscle memory.
Would you please take a moment to see Heroe free from his past and living his best self?