By Katherine Drenski
Horse and handler relationship is of key importance to any successful equine discipline. Even in the most recreational horse/rider team, there is work to be done and lessons to be learned, and all of this happens in the unavoidable context of emotions. The horse and rider each experiences emotions, and these can either enhance the working relationship or contribute to the problems that are so commonly experienced.
Dr. Edward Bach created his flower essences to heal and support the emotional body. The emotions of the rider and/or horse can be at the root of many behavioral, training, or performance issues. Negative emotions can block communication, and thus the ability to achieve the goals that have been set. The flower essences provide gentle clearing and work to bring out the positive potential of any situation while encouraging the release of limitations and weaknesses. The Bach essences can be administered to both horses and riders to enhance emotional harmony and address common issues such as fear, impatience, and lack of focus or confidence. There are 38 different essences in the Bach system, each with unique healing properties. They can be used singly, or combined to offer a personalized mixture to address individual needs.
My training through the Bach International Education Program primarily focused on people, but as I saw the amazing results, I began using the essences for my animals. Shortly after, it dawned on me how much potential there was to help horse and rider teams. For example, from my own experience – when my 3 year old filly was ready to be started under saddle I decided to place her with a professional trainer. I was worried about leaving her in a strange place, and I was afraid to ride her for the first time. I knew that she would be very distracted and stressed by the environment and the difficult new learning process. So, I chose remedies for each of us. I treated myself with Red Chestnut and Mimulus for my worry/concern for her and my fear of the first ride. I treated my filly with Walnut to help her adjust to her new surroundings and cope with learning to carry a rider. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. I was very proud of her; she settled in well and was an excellent student. I was able to ride her (and enjoy it!) on only her third day under saddle, so I was proud of myself as well.
Emotionally speaking, there is so much potential for the remedies to help harmonize in the realm of equine sports and recreation. Riders and horses experience fears, pressure, stress, nerves, stubbornness, extreme drives, reactivity, just to name a few. Both individuals also bring their history to the table which can include neglect, abuse, accidents, trauma, all of which can bring old emotions into the present. Regular activities also present challenges. I have experienced discouragement off and on in my life with horses. Sometimes due to my horse having a recurring small injury that prevents us from our usual activity, or a block in training that I can’t seem to conquer. The bach flower remedies can offer help for all of these issues, often at the root of the problem.
The essences are also intended to support physical well being. They can be used in conjunction with medical treatments without conflicts or side effects. Remedies can be used to help with exhaustion, resignation due to illness, to cope with the frustration of stall rest and to generally promote wellness. Rescue Remedy is a wonderful thing to provide for a horse that is under stress of travel or performance/competition to help with resilience and immunity. The essences gently and quietly support healing and energetic strength.
Since the overall success of any equine venture is dependent upon the spirit of the relationship, the Bach flower essences will help to create the harmony that is so essential.
For more information or a consultation please feel free to visit my website at www.luckyaugustequinesolutions.com
Lucky August Farm