Have you ever wondered why/how some of us get that real connection with animals? But then there are others that shy away or totally have a fear of them? Why?? As an animal lover, I find it very hard to understand.
I was born into a loving stable family, two younger sisters, and a much younger brother. All with the same parents and the same upbringing. Yet my youngest sister hasn’t got that same connection with animals as me and my other sister does.
Here at Trex Andalucia, over the years we have had many children coming to our Sunday club, aged 6 and over. I’ve found it fascinating and learned so much myself, just watching how the animals react to them in so many different ways. I would say out of 50 children only 6 had that real connection, and once witnessed, it’s like looking at myself, at that young age.
With it comes to connection with animals, horses are a good example of this. That’s because they behave differently towards a wide range of senses! When children or adults act loud, forceful, angry, or show anxiety, being scared around horses, the horses themselves show that they are not comfortable around these emotions!! They will look fearful and agitated, moving away from whoever is making them feel like this.
The horse .. Prey or Predator?
The horse, a prey animal, depends on flight as its primary means of survival. Its natural predators are those out there that would kill to eat them! As humans, we need to understand their natural flightiness. It’s only then will you fully understand horses.
Horses are one of the most perceptive of all domestic animals. As prey animals, they must be able to detect predators. A stimulus unnoticed by humans is often caused for alarm for horses; as riders and trainers, we commonly mistake this reaction for “spookiness” or bad behavior. The horse has a very fast response time and as a prey animal must react instantly to survive.
Horses forgive but do not forget. They especially remember bad situations! This is why it is critical to make the horse’s first training experience a positive one.
Horses are easily dominated, and this can be done through kindness. The horse is a herd animal where a dominance hierarchy is always established. If done correctly, human dominance can easily be established during training without causing the horse to become fearful.
The body language of a horse is unique to the equine species. As a highly social animal, the horse communicates its emotions and intents to its herd mates through both vocalization and body language. A person handling horses needs to be able to read the horse’s body language to fully understand them. It’s just that connection, that in some of us comes naturally, that’s not saying, that through education it can be taught.
The equine eye is one of the largest of any land mammal. Its visual abilities are directly related to the horse’s behavior. For example, it is active during both day and night. Understanding the horse’s eye can help to discover why the animal behaves the way it does in various situations. Our Indy has a very kind eye!
The horse is a precocial species, meaning that newborn foals are neurologically mature at birth. How amazing is nature? Once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, we will be holding a number of horsey events including Natural Horsemanship, horse wash, horse groom, and many more. Get in touch if you would like more details or follow our Facebook page to stay in the loop.
Now at my grand age of 50 something !! Ok, late 50’s haha! I can look back at the privileged childhood I had around horses, thanks to my loving, hardworking parents.
For me personally, the awards of being around horses have been so beneficial over the years. They have given me, Confidence, self-esteem, patience, responsibility, commitment, trust, timekeeping, good sportsmanship, the value of money, a great social life, and being physically active which all benefit your mental health.
Going onto health, pets are often said to provide distinct health benefits to those with mental, social, or physical problems, as therapy animals, assistants to people who are blind or disabled, and companions to those who are socially isolated.
At Trex Andalucia Sanctuary we can offer time spent around the animals, all you have to do is become a volunteer and pay us a visit!