Maisie Wake

Equine Therapist


The balancing act of successful training.

Posted on 30 November, 2015 at 0:10

After passing my final exams, I am now a fully qualified Holistic Equine Massage Therapist. I have that wonderful feeling of having crossed the finish line. This is not a finishing line at all though really, it is more a key to allow me onto the 'next level'.

This course was a real challenge due to juggling work, animals, studying time, and a constantly tight budget. Due to the course being home-study but with practical days, much self discipline was needed on my part, and sometimes it was tricky to stoke up the fire of motivation and get going with more studying, more case studies, more practice, and keep up with the self belief. 

This truly was a fragile balancing act which required alterations at times and the space to be allowed to admire my own efforts!


It reminds me greatly of working through challenges with other animals. Sometimes the animal in question might seem like he or she may never come to understand what you are asking of them, but if put into the right context, and with the addition of patience, understanding and knowledge, the goal will be achieved in the end.


The art is in the balancing of these things, and understanding the signs in which one must remain at the level that you are on together, progress further, or retreat to more comfortable ground. This is something that can be applied to many situations between human interactions with other animals. We need to look clearly at the input from that animal and what that input is really telling us about our own actions. Here is where the stone tower you have built will either gain more structure, or sadly become more likely to topple over.


We can always begin with solid foundations, but after that it may sometimes take on a more unique form in the real world. If each stone was likened to an equine learning a new skill, there may be times when right in the middle a fairly large stone is placed on top of many medium sized ones. The thing is, if we have applied the right foundations initally, this should not prove a problem. Put the stone on top of small, uneven pebbles with not foundations however, and you will barely have a chance of a hint at success.


Another combination will never work - the 'upside down tower' - this is where the stones chosen - or demands upon the equine - simply get bigger and bigger. A structure like that may look impressive initially, but will end soon in a crumpled heap (although this could take years to become visible, while the psychological stresses begin to manifest unnoticed). Far better to add some nice easy steps in that equines career, perhaps adding simple 'bonding exercises' between the two of you, such as going over old lessons, or simply some walks out in hand or some groundwork or extra grooming sessions. These small stones become the real glue between the bigger stones.


So I suppose to make this analogy complete, I would describe the construction of my stone tower as one which is perhaps not showy, perhaps not much to look at, but built with consideration and deliberation. Through this process something magical can happen and the tower grows and develops into something yes, humble, but a thing of lasting beauty.


This is what I believe more people could strive for in their human-equine relationships.

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