The horse didn’t know he was moving that day, let alone why. He didn’t know what awaited him at the end of that trailer ride.
With each attempt to coax him down the ramp, he panicked more. Once the humans finally got him off the trailer and into a pen, he ran back and forth, stopping every so often to whinny.
The change may be for the best. It may even save his life. The horse still deserves to know what’s happening.
Some self-care and animal communication techniques can help both you and your horse through change. Here are two things to consider if you are moving, re-homing, selling, or rescuing a horse:
1. You set the tone.
Your horse already knows something’s up. Your handling it with kindness, and honesty matters more than you think.
Tell the animals you’re all moving to a great new home. Let the horse know she’s going to live with someone who can care for her better than you can right now, or where you think she’ll be happier. Picture the trailer ride, the new home, the new owner and friends, even the temporary safe space. Tell the animals who will stay behind what’s happening, too.
If you are moving a horse for rescue or evacuation, stay as calm as possible. Let him know his safety is your priority and he can help by trusting you … even just a tiny bit.
2. Help is available. Please ask.
Fellow horse owners can be great sources of support. If you need to borrow something or you’re dealing with some major manure (literal or otherwise), help is probably closer than you think.
I can help by communicating the situation to your horse and listening to what he needs. I can support him, you, and the other animals with Reiki, a wonderful stress reduction modality. Both of these also work from a distance and can bring greater peace of mind to even the hardest transitions.
Most importantly: If you are having trouble caring for your animals, please reach out to your vet or a reputable rescue or animal welfare agency. They’d rather help you now than deal with a more serious situation down the road.