As a firm believer in utilizing all modalities available to us to better understand and care for our horses, I have added an Animal Communicator to the list of specialists I employ for The Mare. Over the few years I’ve used this particular Communicator – Dawn Allen – we have had several lovely conversations; my own family now uses her for all our pets, and I’ve referred dozens of people – mostly other equestrians, but some general pet owners – to her as well, all with equally positive and accurate experiences.
If you’re here to tell me I’ve fallen victim to “the woo”, are not a believer, or want to spout any other negativity, feel free to take it somewhere else. I remain a healthy skeptic, but have been shown over and over again the accuracy of my Communicator. (I am not saying all Animal Communicators are equal; I have seen some bad ones in actions – just like any other profession – but this one is the real deal, folks.)
After a rough year of illness and injury, I wanted to check in with The Mare and see how she was doing, as well as address a few behavioral issues. I scheduled a 20-minute session; although I don’t know if I’ll do a short session again – The Mare had more to share with me than we had time for, and I had more questions I would’ve asked had we had time.
Initially, I just wanted to see how she was doing, so Dawn inquired about her general environment, her work, etc.
She came back and said that generally speaking, she’s doing well and is pretty happy. But she did want to relay to me specifically that she gets upset when I don’t go to see her. According to Dawn, it isn’t overly traumatizing, but it does upset her. I tried to relay to The Mare through Dawn that I try my best to get out as often as possible, and if I’m not there on a particular day, I’ll most likely be out the next day. The Mare has always had high expectations for my schedule, so this wasn’t a total surprise.
Dawn also asked if The Mare goes outside with something on her face; she initially thought it was a fly mask because The Mare’s complaint was that she doesn’t like it because it covers up too much of her face. Dawn had asked if it was uncomfortable or ill-fitting, and The Mare said, no, it just covered up too much of her face. When she told me this, I said she doesn’t wear a fly mask, but she has a grazing muzzle (she has a Greenguard Grazing Muzzle, which while lighter than most muzzles, definitely is bulkier and does cover much more of her face than a normal grazing muzzle would).
The Mare brought up a little soreness in her right hock, but she wasn’t overly concerned about it. I’ve been putting her Back On Track hock boots on, and I have felt a noticeable difference in her canter since then!
Another item I found super intriguing was that Dawn said The Mare said she was feeling good; much better than she was at the beginning of the summer. Those words specifically caught my attention; I had not disclosed to Dawn that The Mare spent most of the first part of this year isolated with strangles, and that we only started back into work at the start of the summer. To specifically say she felt better now than at the beginning of the summer…a bit uncanny.
She also requested more hay (something she has done every time I communicate with her; she’s always been very food-motivated).
At this point, I brought up the fact that she will kick at feeding time, and while I’m pretty sure I understand why, I ask Dawn to reiterate to The Mare that his behavior is not appropriate. Dawn came back and startled me, “OH! She just gets SO MAD!!”, she chuckled, and continued to tell The Mare that she needed to be more patient. (One of the stable hands said she noticed The Mare waiting patiently, rather than kicking the week following our conversation).
I also asked about The Mare’s relationship with other mares at the barn. As we head into winter, the field groups are going to be consolidated so that they are out only during the day – which means all the mares need to be combined to one group. Currently The Mare goes out alone, because she was unable to mesh well with the one mare we tried her with. The Mare came back and said that she was hopeful she would make friends, and felt I was being unfair to her because she hadn’t had the chance to meet all the mares that she would be going out with (this is true, she’s only been turned out with 2 of the 5 other mares).
In the last few minutes of our conversation, I asked about a problem we’d been having in the indoor arena. Any time we had ridden in the indoor and I asked The Mare to canter, she would get frantic, distracted, discombobulated, and pretty much just run around the arena, and would have a hard time relaxing at other gaits after that. Since the weather has been great, we’ve hardly had to utilize the indoor, so it hasn’t been a big issue; but as the weather starts to turn colder, I knew I would need to address it. I asked Dawn to see what The Mare was experiencing and the potential reason behind the behavior. She came back and said there was something triggering the action, like a panic attack, that was causing the reaction, but it wasn’t anything with the arena itself or a stimuli in the present causing her behavior. She told me she worked on some meditation, but that it might require some re-training or re-association. I still am unsure why The Mare was panicking about cantering in the indoor (had I done too harsh a correction at some point? had she been spooked by something in there? I really can’t put my finger on anything).
Regardless, I was unsure how much this ‘meditation’ would’ve done; but due to some lovely rainy and windy weather, we’ve been relegated to the indoor a lot in the last few weeks. And wouldn’t you know it; we’re cantering normally again, and have been every time since her conversation.
I always look forward to gaining more insight on The Mare through Dawn; it’s always a unique and interesting experience. Despite my scientific background and path to vet med, I think if it works, why not utilize it? We don’t fully understand a lot of modalities (acupuncture, for instance, and their notion of chi, cannot be well-explained, but it is a widely-accepted form of alternative medicine). If you are at all curious about what your horse might have to say, I highly, highly recommend Dawn Allen.
You can check out more about Dawn, or schedule an appointment through her website: https://dawnallen.org/