THE EF­FECTS OF A MORE NAT­U­RAL LIFE­STYLE

Lau­ren tells us about two horses who’ve both ben­e­fited from liv­ing as na­ture in­tended

Your Horse (UK) - - Horsecare -

Case study one: Fig IS­SUE: Se­vere sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety and ag­gres­sion to­wards other horses

“Fig came to us orig­i­nally look­ing for a more nat­u­ral home af­ter he’d strug­gled to adapt to life in var­i­ous liv­ery yards,” ex­plains Lau­ren. “He had a his­tory of jump­ing out of his sta­ble and fields, be­ing ag­gres­sive to­wards other horses and gen­er­ally be­ing on edge. He was anx­ious about leav­ing oth­ers to the point that he’d se­ri­ously in­jured him­self try­ing to get back to other horses. “When I first met Fig, he was no­tice­ably ag­i­tated — nip­ping at any­one close and fid­get­ing while tied up. Al­though he had a good ed­u­ca­tion from his owner in ground­work and un­der sad­dle, he was on edge, look­ing for oth­ers and call­ing out to them. “On ar­rival at ours, Fig was up­set at be­ing on his own and our pri­or­ity was to get him out with other horses as soon as pos­si­ble. Our biggest ob­sta­cle was the ag­gres­sion he’d show to other horses and we de­cided a much slower in­tro­duc­tion was needed. “Fig spent a cou­ple of months liv­ing on the out­side of our track sys­tem, al­low­ing him to spend time with the herd but un­able to phys­i­cally in­ter­act with them, so we didn’t have to worry about in­juries while he tran­si­tioned. “Even­tu­ally, he was calm enough to be with the group and af­ter a few months was much more set­tled. He’s been with us for two years now and has gone from ag­gres­sive and anx­ious to be­ing one of the most play­ful mem­bers of the group. He’s also much more set­tled away from the herd, and happy to go out with his owner in a re­laxed man­ner. “Be­ing part of a herd where he feels con­fi­dent has al­lowed his true per­son­al­ity to come out.”

It took some­time,b ut Fig (on the right) n owl ives hap­pily as part of a herd

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