By guest blogger Sue Palmer
Recently I received an email from a lovely lady asking for help with her horse. She bought him just a month ago, and everything was going great, but over the past week he’s misbehaving in his ridden work. The lady suffers from anxiety, and she’s really worried that she’s going to ruin her lovely pony. I reassured her that actually, it’s very difficult to do that.
There’s so much advice on the internet and on the yard that it can be difficult to decide who or what to listen to. Science says one thing, the book you just read says another, your coach says something different, and the person who owns the horse in the next stable says another thing altogether. Where do you start? One suggestion is to start by avoiding analysis paralysis 🙂 If you’re like me, you’ll know someone who has literally given up and sold or retired their horse because they just don’t know what to do.
“Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” Wikipedia July 2018
Here are a couple of articles, if you like reading around a subject (one of my favourite things to do!), please note I have no links with any of these sites and am not specifically recommending them, I just picked them from a google search:
Sometimes I find the best thing is just to get going. Feel the fear and do it anyway. But when it comes to my horses (or my child, or my work, for that matter), I often feel as though I’ve only got one chance, and I’ve got to get it right. It seems like ‘right now’ is the only time this opportunity will ever come up, or if I don’t make the correct decision ‘this time’, then it’ll be a downwards spiral from then on. This feeling is rarely accurate, and looking back, it seems that we usually have a second and third shot at things if needed. If it takes so long to train a horse to do something we do want him to do, why do we think he will learn something we don’t want him to do so quickly?!
My latest project is to familiarise myself with the science that already exists on pain related performance and behaviour in horses, and to share that knowledge with you as I learn through my blog at www.patreon.com/thehorsephysio. I struggle with always being able to see ‘both sides of the fence’, and having some science to support a decision definitely helps me. The science I’ll be sharing is from peer reviewed published papers, but I’ll also be sharing anecdotal evidence through blogs and case studies. I’d love for you to come on over to the site and take a look, plus of course feel free to share if you know others who might be interested 🙂
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