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Why we value our services

A recent post by Charlotte Moore - CM Training spoke eloquently about the impact of human stress on dogs and horses, and it's something we are both deeply aware of and passionate about.

Squirrel receiving Reiki at our recent Reiki training course

Charlotte explains:


Both horses and dogs have the ability to smell something you can't...


Glucocorticoids (cortisol) and adrenaline.


These are hormones and neurohormones that are produced when the mind experiences stress/trauma.


Cortisol in particular is a hormone that, when released in high levels, can be sustained at high levels, unlike adrenaline that is fast acting but also fast to deplete.


Cortisol is an essential hormone for consciousness and alertness, but when secreted in prolonged high amounts has some negative mental, emotional and physical effects.


When you experience compounding stress you won't necessarily notice it because it is slowly compounding (like building blocks of lego).


What you may eventually notice is:

🧨 you become a little less tolerant to things you would normally tolerate

🧨 you may become a little more over sensitive mentally and emotionally

🧨 you may experience memory loss

🧨 you may struggle with a lack impulse control

🧨you may have problems with reasoning and risk assessment

🧨 you might find you struggle with attention and focus

🧨 you may develop problems getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia)

🧨 you may find you might develop some anxiety and/or depression

🧨 you may have difficulties regulating your emotions

🧨 you may experience sensory overload problems

🧨 you may find you do things that help you feel distracted from your emotions and stay stimulated as much as possible


These things slowly creep in without you knowing it.


In the meantime, your dog is smelling the little fluctuations and surges in your cortisol levels as the baseline rises to new levels, your horse is smelling it to!


You can't smell cortisol so you aren't even aware that your dog or horse is responding to the information you are unknowingly and unconsciously giving them.


⚠️ This scent is a warning system to your dogs and horses ⚠️


This scent says "I feel under threat, be alert and vigilant of me and around me".


When you release this scent, you will display corresponding microexpressions in your body language to. So now your body smells like danger and your body looks like danger. This is a lot of information for your dog and horse. It speaks VOLUMES and 100% trumps ANYTHING you say verbally to your animal. They'll believe EVERYTHING your smell and body says over what your words say.


And we wonder why our dogs and horses don't want to partner up when we want them to!

 

Here at HorseSense UK, my clients and I may not think we are particularly stressed but often to the herd we are. I have learnt to read their feedback to know when I need to remove human stress from their world and provide mitigation measures to address it.


The pandemic was enormously stressful for the herd, they were so sick from how stressed everyone was in the village. All the worry and fear felt like it ran down the hill to us. I don't ever want to go through that again!


This is why I do things such as:


⚖️ Limit the herd's work hours to 2hrs a day

⚖️ Teach clients how to regulate their emotions as one of the first things we do

⚖️ Giving the horse's holidays

⚖️ Give the herd #Reiki at least once a week

⚖️ Balance out their workload with fun sessions of their choosing

⚖️ Operate on a challenge by choice basis

⚖️ Give the best diet I can

⚖️ Make sure the herd lives an enriched life

⚖️ Advocate they are fairly paid so they can afford health treatments.


And many other things too.


Monitoring our own stress levels as people I feel is part of our essential commitment to our community, human and horse.

Jim having one of his regular osteopathy treatments

If you have ever thought our services were great but expensive, this why we value the herd so much. We know our horses and are aware of what is happening when you are with the herd, the cost to them of our often unacknowledged human stress and the cost of the measures required to fairly mitigate that.


In short, we value very highly their services and advocate they are fairly recompensed - which is why we charge what we do!

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