I found a chapter in Whole Heart, Whole Horse that I don't entirely agree with, the Chapter on dealing with equine trauma. Interestingly enough, it was what I most looked forward to because of my work with Jasmine.
Where I agree.
Mark Rashid, the author, believes (and I agree) that horses need to be able to move, in order to feel better. I've seen this time and time again and I often mention it in blog posts. If you don't want a "fight" with your horse--you need to give them the perception of "flight"--movement. I never corner, drag, wrestle or manhandle my horses.
While I agree with Rashid about movement and would also agree that it's the best way to capture a hard to catch horse--I don't think it really addresses the truly traumatized horse who just plain doesn't like to be with people. The horse that he let's run free eventually comes to him, but I was wondering--did the horse have food? I suppose if you didn't feed the horse in the turnout, pretty soon it would come to you to be able to go back to eat, or to get back with its buddies. But in my situation, this hasn't helped with Jasmine.
It was this chapter that got me thinking last week about how trauma is stored in the human body. Rashid writes, "He explained that animals in the wild suffer very little from the effects of trauma, yet many domesticated animals, especially humans, suffer a great deal from it. ....When an indivual is traumatized in any way, energy from the trauma is stored in the body. Animals in the wild are very good at expending the energy of trauma, often by doing little more than running or standing and shaking." Humans however, don't expend the energy, so it's stored in the body and comes out in physical problems--migraines, ulcers, disease, and we "live in a permanent state of panic."
Though I don't believe this chapter gives me the "answer" to my work with Jasmine, since I don't "chase" her and she still doesn't come until she wants to eat, it has broadened my understanding of how essential movement is to horses. It could be that this insight will aid me in achieving my goal with her, but at this point, I'm not sure how. Already, I never trap or bribe her because, from day one, I decided against any manipulation or force. What I want is for this little pony to like being with me and seek out my company.
Today it's raining. I'm a little sad about that because my husband built me an awesome jump this weekend and brought in some barrels for my arena. I was looking forward to a playday out there. Instead, I cleaned house all day. The bright side is that now I get to relax and enjoy it--candles burning--music playing--and a good book. But still....