Monday, 24 September 2018

“Bad mood “?…or maybe an ulcer.

Equine vets are filling up on the latest, smartest research this week at the British Equine Vet Congress.  We all benefit , don’t we?... as new evidence trickles into our barns, it changes our treatments and traditions. It often changes our minds.
Here’s just one of  the top seminar tweets…”Based on Dr. M. Hewetson’s ongoing study of owner-reported signs, most frequent clinical signs of equine glandular gastric disease are temperament changes, decreased appetite, unexpected weight loss, poor performance, and skin sensitivity.”
While a physical discomfort isn’t always the source of behavioural issues, it sure doesn’t hurt to consider!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Halt at X.

Credit: Dana's Doodles

Like bookends to the dressage pattern’s rhythm and brilliance, the halt is a moment to compose beforehand and reflect afterwards. This week Jill Irving reflected on her FEI WEG performance regarding the challenge of the halt. She was so proud that her horse stood quietly, despite outside distractions and internal adrenaline. “It’s hard when you fire them up to do other movements, then say, ‘Oh, by the way, you have to stand still.’”
 Do you ever feel you’re running on adrenaline? Overwhelmed? Overscheduled?   I’m becoming convinced that humans were designed to halt at X – to pause, turn off work and turn off the phone. 
I multitasked my way through a 10 year stretch I call the running on adrenaline years.  I felt like there were not enough hours in the day. I’d opt for a full-service gas station, efficiently using the unscheduled five minutes to make a call or write a cheque.  Every time I stopped I'd start to doze off.  So I tried not to stop.
I noted, while judging and teaching riding clinics in Israel, that everything shuts down for the Sabbath. Activities, businesses, even horse shows! The directives from God in the Scriptures to work hard, then carve out a day to rest, reflect and recharge are still observed – religious or not. Psychologists confirm that people and families seem to thrive on a regular rhythm of work and rest.
Any ideas to take “mini-Sabbaths” within the week or at regular intervals through the day? Turning off tech, going for a walk, sitting down to eat, praying, opting for a look in the eyes conversation with a friend instead of a text.
“Do not be conformed to the standards of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  From the book of Romans, the Bible.