Helping our horse to relax for the vet or the dentist or to relax them even through the pain of a colic attack is a wonderful thing to be able to do. See the Keys to Success below the video for a tip that will help you to relax in an emergency too! 🙂
I am smiling watching the video below, a year or so later. Rapunzel is not relaxed but she does have the edge off her. She is much calmer even though she knows that I have an another injection in my pocket.
One of my reasons for doing these videos and blogs is to help spread around our non-force approach to horses that uses the connection to their heart, mind and spirit instead. If you haven’t seen our FREE introductory lesson The Key to the Kingdom of Horses, then:
Keys to success in relaxing your horse with this acupressure point:
1. Ideally, start the relaxation point before the vet or dentist arrives. In fact, practice it today so that you already know what you’re doing before you need it – see how fast you can help your horse relax with their head down.
2. If there’s an emergency, put a pencil or pen or stick between your OWN teeth – it pulls your mouth up into a fake smile, which works on the same point, releasing YOUR OWN endorphins, YOUR OWN feel good hormones – which will help you to calm down too. Try it now while you’re reading this – grab a pen and hold it between your teeth (sideways, we don’t want an accident!), bite a little and feel the changes that will start happening to your body – you can’t help but feel better!
3. Use two fingers or your thumb for the pressure point.
4. You can work from the inside of the horse’s mouth, where you know you are in exactly the right place where the lip meets the gum in exactly the centre line of their head – or if your horse isn’t completely comfortable with a hand in their mouth, then work from the outside like you saw in the video, in a circular motion to cover more area and make sure that you hit the right spot.
5. Start the pressure lightly and increase a little when you feel that’s OK.
6. When the horse’s head is up, they tend to run adrenaline and when their head is down they tend to run endorphins more easily, so very gently keep asking your horse to drop their head. DO NOT force their head down, that will bring the adrenaline up and give you an uptight, upset horse. You’ll see in the video the tiny squeezes of my fingers on the lead rope as I encourage her to bring her head down.
7. The biggest Key to Success in anything we do with our horse is knowing how we experience our connection with them and using that connection deliberately to help them and us.
If your horse ever needs an injection
If your horse ever needs an injection, then ask the vet to warm up the contents of the syringe to blood temperature before they give it – it makes SUCH a big difference and doesn’t hurt the way a cold injection hurts. See this video on the subject of giving a good needle and re-training a needle shy horse.
And of course Feel is the key to EVERYthing that is beautiful in horses and THAT folks is what we are sooo good at teaching here!