Because of his explosive reactions to people just climbing on him bareback we decided to bring it back to just getting him to accept human touch. We have approached this by trying to desensitize him to our touch, pressure, movement and weight all over his body.
We quickly learned that just draping ourselves on his back or hugging his neck was too much pressure. He mostly freezes --- stops breathing, tenses all his muscles, and his eyes get either hard or wide.... If you let that build he will explode. It's really hard to predict when he will pop when which pretty common of horses that go into an introverted state. He is especially distrusts feet. He gives them this weird look when he can see my leg/foot over him. Its like a mix of I want run from it and attack it. Its not a nice look.
The plan for the last three months has been to have my trainer work with him once a week and me as many times as I can, on accepting and relaxing. This entails standing on the mounting block and draping various body parts over him until we see some sort of release of tension (blinking, licking and chewing, breathing normally). Then we take a break, release him, give him scratches and praise him. Then repeat....
|I also do weird stuff to him like drape polo wraps around him to change things up...|
He has been my primary focus since October and I am starting to feel a bit stagnant. What I am trying to practice is its the journey over the destination but its hard when the journey is just slapping against this giant barrier.
Ok now for the tarot part...this is where it gets a bit woo. My significant other went to a poker night and I was left by myself, so I decided to pull out my horse themed tarot deck (there was wine involved). I am a woman of science I swear!
I try to keep an open mind, but I'm also aware of the fact that a deck of cards probably does not have the ability to predict the future. I have always liked tarot cards though because of the art, and when a friend gave me this beautiful set of horse specific cards how could I say no? I decided to do a reading for each horse for funsies.
The process: I am totally oversimplifying but you draw 5 cards. card 1 is your central issue, card 2 is the most conscious and obvious thing about the situation (can also mean your default). Card 3 what's on the horizon, card 4 refers to a subconscious factor or overall mood, and card 5 is what's happening at the deeper unconscious level.
Here is Oak's "reading"
Card 1: Fear aggression, competition and moving beyond survival. I could see that our central issue could be moving beyond survival mode. So point one goes to magic cards.
Card 2: Physical collection, balance and agility. The description mentions honoring the horse's efforts and not asking the horse for too much physical effort wise. I am not really sure how to interpret this one as the most obvious thing about our situation. I am not really asking him to physically exert himself right now. Maybe it means he is reacting to us throwing off his balance? Not sure...
Card 3: Knowledge that defies logic, exploring what society suppresses and treasure in hidden darkness. So this is what's on my horizon? Oh geeze. Another quote: "learning to ride the energy of what can't be explained involves courage, creativity, and well-honed instincts." So I can't explain Oak (true story) and I need to develop more courage, creativity, and well-honed instincts to ride him? I would agree with that. Not sure how to go about all that honing of my instincts though....
Card 4: I pulled the vigilance card for my "subconscious factor or overall mood." It stands for anxiety associated with change and fear or vulnerability. I think Oak is very vigilant so this card is fitting.
Card 5: For my final card I got the lightening horse which represents a flash of inspiration, a glimpse of the next level, and manifested possibility. This is what is supposedly happening at a deeper conscious level. So it is saying he/we are getting glimpses of the next level, so it just looks like we are going nowhere? Got it.