All horses have issues with fear, but some are more persistently fearful than others. How can we help them? Most homeopathic remedies have the potential to address some type of fear. In this article, I’d like to address fear that is unrelenting; panic that arises too easily in known or ordinary situations that do not present a threat, or that the horse should be used to; and fear that overrides curiosity and interferes with the horse’s ability to assess a situation.
Three Little Known Remedies For Fear
The following three remedies have been used successfully for certain forms of fear:
1.CUPRUM METALLICUM (COPPER) addresses fear accompanied by mild restlessness and immunity to reassurance. The horse looks as if he expects to be ambushed and may try to avoid previously-known situations as if they were completely new. He may dart or freeze when he hears noises. He is not a fan of too much touch, but will tolerate it. The horse will at times be stubborn or resistant to things that he once accepted with ease. One nearby “event” (such as a broom falling on the floor) may send him into a state of hyper-vigilance for days on end. The cycle of Cuprum Metallicum includes fearfulness, suppression, closing up, worry, mania and impulse, and periods of dullness. The overall sense is that the animal is a “chronic worrier”.
2.COFFEA CRUDA (COFFEE) is used for extreme restlessness. The horse dances and moves, driven by an internally unsettled state that over-sensitizes her to the environment. Often, it is difficult to determine what the horse is reacting to; it’s as if there is something there that only she can see or hear. The Materia Medica refers to this as “unusual activity of mind and body”. This horse is irritable and resents having to conform to expectations. She needs to be lunged before every ride, but remains unpredictably reactionary even in a state of exhaustion. The feeling one gets around this animal is that she has been drinking too much coffee!
3.CROCUS SATIVUS (SAFFRON) is reflected in the eyes of the horse as a sort of pleading and innocence – he wants to feel safe and reassured, and wants to connect. He can be alternately restless and alert, or still and quiet. He emits a softness and vulnerability when approached, reaching out for attention and safety. Normal movements may make him shudder or duck, but slow movements will relax him. This animal is somewhat changeable in his relationship to fear, and seems sad. He has periods of calm, is affectionate and even timid at times. The sense is that this horse fears for his own safety and wants help.
A remedy cannot cancel out the effects of past abuse – such as in a case where the horse was pushed too far beyond what she could manage or was ready for. Only kind and consistent training can rehabilitate the animal. But these remedies can turn down the volume on reactionary behavior so the horse is able to think and respond rather than continually overreact.