Learn how personality and state of mind come into play when choosing a homeopathic remedy for your horse.
I often get questions like: “My horse has this problem or engages in this behavior. Is there a remedy you can recommend for him?” The expectation is that I can offer an exact remedy for a vaguely described condition. It’s likely the person has had some experience with homeopathic first aid, because first aid remedies can create the misperception that homeopathic prescribing is similar to choosing OTC drugs.
Choosing “first aid” remedies works well for the layperson because they address “acute” situations. The body provides a strong, clear response that is relatively similar from individual to individual, and therefore one can get by with a minimum of information. For instance, we all know and recognize reactions to bee stings (Apis) and tissue trauma (Arnica).
For issues that are chronic, long-standing, or reveal new or unusual behaviors, much more information is needed to find an appropriate remedy. More specifically, state of mind or character/personality must “fit in” with the physical symptoms, and plays a large role.
Here are examples that demonstrate the role of personality or state of mind in choosing a remedy:
Cuts and lacerations that are slow to heal or prone to reopening bring this remedy to mind. But there are at least 45 other remedies that list this same symptom. I would use the horse’s personality to understand the bigger picture – how does he usually behave, what is different about his behavior now, and what other things do we notice about him (habits, etc.)? The Staphysagria candidate has hidden resentment or a tendency to suppress normal responses. On the outside, the horse appears to be extremely compliant, but illness or injury may reveal an unhealthy habit of excessive restraint (“festering wounds” are a physical display of resentment).
A horse I worked on looked like he needed Phosphorous, a remedy we have highlighted in a past article. Some signs we have mentioned are large, child-like eyes, being easy to handle, an overall willingness and desire to connect, long delicate legs on a strong body. This horse was hyper-vigilant, but not in all contexts. I would have chosen Phosphorous, except that his energy was subdued by comparison to a typical Phosphorous personality, which reaches out for love and attention rather than merely accepting it easily. Kali (potassium) has the characteristic of turning down the energy. Where you might be expecting a big response (that seems warranted), you get a puzzling, low-key response. A few subtle differences in personality from a typical Phosphorous were enough to indicate that a different remedy should be considered.
If you are going beyond first aid to treat your horse with homeopathy, you can consult a homeopath who is willing to share his/her process with you. This will help you learn more about what to pay attention to. As you go along, you will develop a better and better “feel” for different remedies and the role that personality/mind symptoms play. This is all part of what makes homeopathy fun, as well as effective!