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Equine Enrichment.

Welcome to our wellbeing page.

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The more an equines needs are met, the better his physical and mental 
health will be.

No matter how good and compliant our equines become at groundwork practice, asking for their attention and keeping their focus, can be really hard to achieve

There can be many reasons why an equine doesn't want to engage with us and each and everyone will be individual and different.

Our competition requirements are such, that the equine agility partnership should appear equal in terms of participation from both the handler and equine

We are looking for a constant communication exchange, a to-ing and fro-ing of asking and responding.


Finding a way to connect

In any relationship we all feel the need to be seen and heard by our partners.

When this fails to happen, it can lead to frustration, making us feel we need to shout louder to make ourselves heard.

Overtime if our needs are not met, it can lead to a turning away from trying to communicate and ultimately to a complete shut down.

Our equines are no different.

Touch is one of the most basic ways to communicate, actions speak a thousand words.

Using touch we can really get to know our equines and offer something back to them in the form of connection through our hands.

Making it a daily practice to "feel" his body we can locate areas of resistance and tension and help break them down and induce relaxation and promote the "feel" good factor. 

By finding his "that's the place" spot, we can use it when want to bring his attention back to us and reconnect with us.

Using all of, or part of this simple routine will help you connect and communicate with your equine in a physical and energetic way.

Connect 2 Connect.

Take a moment to first think about how you are feeling, to offer relaxation we must first be relaxed ourselves, offer "softness" through your body.

Check in on your breathing, deep slow in and out breaths, try synchronizing with your equine, this really does help.

Flat hand massage.

Using both hands explore your equines body, allow your hands to "feel" notice areas of temperature change, does his skin feel warm or cold, does he move into or away from the pressure.

Let your hands "sink" into his body.

Any areas where you think you get a real "ouch" may need further investigation by an appropriate body worker.

In your mind, "map" your equines body for further reference next time.

Be aware all the time of his facial expressions , what is he trying to tell you ?

Find his "that's the place" spot and let him enjoy a really good scratch there.

This is the place you are going to come back to time and time again, whenever you need his attention and focus, this is the "Connect spot", take your time to really investigate and find it.

The tail.

Your equines tail is part of his spinal column and so should be treated respectively.

Gently lift his tail, how much resistance and tension do you feel ?

Using slow soft movements, move his tail from side to side.

Keeping your hands separated, rhythmically stroke down the dock, towards you. You should feel the equine begin to relax, they may even start to "lean" forward, providing a back and spine stretch.

Allow this to happen and hold it, but don't "pull" back. Go slow when you release the tail.

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The ears.

For an accepting equine, an ear massage/stroke can be extremely relaxing and can have an indirect effect on his entire body.

This makes the ears an ideal communication and connection tool.

The ears and the poll area can hold a lot of tension and may be very sensitive to touch.

Caution therefore should always be taken when attempting to massage this area, ruling out or investigating any pain.

Gently cup each ear in turn, in the palm of your hand, don't squeeze.

Mobilize the ear gently from side to side and then sliding your hand up until you reach the tip, massage carefully just inside the ear, remove your hand and repeat.

At the tip of the ear is a very important acupressure point and when activated can help in cases of trauma and shock, it can also help to relieve stress.

If your equine shows defensive behaviour try gradually building up the time touching his ears, until he is comfortable and relaxed, don't fight with him about it !

The nose and mouth.

Don't miss out this important area, massaging the muzzle, helps to release endorphins, which relax and calm the equine.

This may be your equines "connect spot"

To finish the session, repeat the all over stroking,
 let him stand quietly, 
give thanks for
 the communication you have both just shared.
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