Brain or Pain?
By Sue Palmer, Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist ACPAT Cat A, BHSAI and Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate
Keep Calm and have a Calm Horse
A recent talking engagement for BHS Derbyshire reminded me of the importance of keeping calm.  I was giving an evening talk in front of around 60 people.  Given that my job, my passion and my skill is in treating horses rather than standing in front of an audience, I was pretty nervous.

To add to that my eight month old son Philip was with me due to a last minute change of plans.  As part of the talk I asked people what they thought of as 'problem behaviours', and one response was 'my horse over reacting when I get nervous'.  That struck a chord with me while I was standing there with Philip in a sling and my heart racing!  

It's well proven that your horse's heart rate synchronises with your own, and so it's important to find ways of keeping your own heart rate low to help your horse to stay calm in stressful situations.

Sue Palmer_image_June
I was grateful that I'd put a video slide into the talk of a horse showing extreme relaxation, as they often do when I've treated them.  This acted as a reminder to me to slow down my movements and to breathe more deeply, especially concentrating on breathing out.  Try this next time you feel yourself starting to get nervous, and see how much difference it can make concentrating on your breathing for even just a minute.  Your horse will appreciate your efforts.

Sue Palmer
Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist and Equine Behavioural Consultant
Tel: 07976 413488 Web:
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Knowing that a horse is physically in good health is essential before working with any behavioural issues, and I fully support Sue in her mission to increase awareness of this.
Sue's in-depth knowledge of both Equine Behavioural work and Physiotherapy can only be beneficial for the horses and handlers that she works with. 
Kelly Mark