Science-based horsemanship comes to Fort Wayne

Mustang science based horsemanship animal Reiki animal communication
Geronimo, a mustang I’ve worked with for several years, was the star of the show in a science-based horsemanship demo with West Taylor in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I caught a snippet of West Taylor’s science-based horsemanship seminar this weekend at Summit Equestrian Center here in Fort Wayne. Geronimo, a formerly wild mustang who trained at West’s Utah ranch last winter, was the star of the show for a Saturday demo.

Geronimo, with whom I’ve worked in my animal Reiki and animal communication practice, did a great job! Over the last few years, we’ve shared many a Reiki session — often while he was in horse time-out — and some good talks. Moment to moment, he’s had to decide that connecting and learning were worth the risk.

So I especially loved hearing from West about teaching horses to find and keep their center despite “trash-talking Tweety birds” and other threats. It’s about responding rather than reacting, which of course is something I have to work on myself.

I hear more trash talk from squirrels than birds, actually … but the point remains.

Ease anxiety of travel without your pet

Anxious dog lying on top of suitcase
Where do you think you’re going? Use simple animal communication techniques to relay important details to your pets.

Friends of mine used to check their rescue cockapoo, Holly, into the kennel a day or two early so she wouldn’t see them packing. Holly, of course, knew they were going away long before the suitcases came out.

Many folks are traveling again, perhaps with some anxiety. That’s on top of the usual anxiety over leaving pets behind if you are doing so. I have fought back tears when pulling out of the driveway or dropping somebody off at the vet clinic for boarding. Even when you trust those caring for your precious family member, when the moment comes, there may be pleading looks, trembling, and whining. The animal may not take it well, either.

However, you don’t have to deceive your cat or dog (you probably can’t anyway). Anyone can use basic animal communication techniques anyone can use to make travel more tolerable:

Give it to ’em straight. With pictures.

Tell the animal what you’re going to do, who will care for him or her and where, and when you will be back. As you speak, calmly hold the corresponding images in your mind, because these — just as much as or more than your words — will get the message across.

For example, you could tell your dog: “We are going to visit Grandma next week, and Susan is going to come stay here and take care of you. Remember how much fun you had last time she was here? We’ll be back in four days.”

While you’re saying these things, picture Grandma … then Susan … then the dog playing with Susan last time … then the sun rising and setting four times … and finally, you coming back in the door with your suitcases.

Acknowledge any challenges.

“I know you got upset the last time you went to the kennel, and that was hard for me, too. We’re going to try it again. I’ll try to be braver and hope you will, too.” Again, picture it.

This respects both of you and sets the intention for a better outcome. It also affirms you as the decision maker. Again, get in charge of your own state of mind first; if you are angry or anxious, that will drown out whatever you’re trying to communicate.

Check in while you’re away.

While you’re gone, you can call and have someone hold the phone out to Fluffy while you talk to her. Then you can listen as the human comes back on the line and tells you Fluffy twitched her ear and stalked off. Or you can skip this potential awkwardness and touch base telepathically. Yes, you can; there’s a reason some dogs (and cats, and birds, and horses, etc.) know when their people are on their way.

Find a (relatively) quiet moment, bring your animal companion to mind, and just say hello. Tell her you’re thinking of her, that you love her, and remind her when you will be home. You can leave it at that, or you can ask a question and listen for a response. Either way, she will appreciate you checking in.

Try one or more of these next time you travel, and please be safe. For more help communicating with your animal friend, or for supporting both of you with Reiki, visit me at www.njcrowe.com.

Talk with your dog before a walk

Happy dog going for a walk
Communicate with your dog about the behavior you want on walks. (Image by MAKY_OREL from Pixabay)

Dog walks and dog park visits get more frequent and fun in spring, and now we are getting out with fewer COVID restrictions. Yet frustration still seems to flare up everywhere, including over dog (and owner) behavior in public spaces. 

Here are a few ways you can get the season — and each walk — off on the right foot with some simple animal communication techniques.

Before you grab the leash or even spell the W word, calmly sit or stand with your dog. In your mind, picture what the two of you are going to do — putting on the leash/halter, going to the dog park, walking down the sidewalk in your neighborhood — and how you expect her to behave. 

You can tell her in words, too, but say and picture what you DO want (keeping her attention on you, for example) instead of any behavior you don’t want. You’d be surprised at how readily all of this can be understood by an animal … especially if it’s consistent. 

Keep checking in with your dog during your walk or dog park visit, holding these same images of what you DO want in mind as you enjoy your time together outdoors. Keep your phone in your pocket unless there’s an urgent reason not to. This outing may be a tiny or obligatory part of your day, but it means the world to your dog. 

To keep yourself, your dog, and others safe, check out these good-citizen tips. You probably know the basics: Carry bags and pick up your dog’s poop. Keep him leashed and close to you (with a trainer-approved leash, not a retractable one). Prevent him from injuring himself, other animals, or people. 

If you do experience problems, even and especially if someone else brings them to your attention, please don’t hesitate to work with a trainer. There’s no shame or judgment, only a desire to improve the quality of life for your dog, you, and anyone you may encounter. A good trainer can help you work wonders, especially if you get a referral from someone you trust. It’s really never too late, in your dog’s life or yours, to develop better habits. 

I’m happy to help, too! Both Reiki and animal communication can be very useful in resolving behavioral issues, easing transitions, and giving animals and their people a “reset” during stressful times.