We all know it: We worry about our horses – a lot. The kind of worries where the well-being of the horse takes up all of your time. If the horse does not seem tip top, then comes along a sea of worries. “Does it have a stomachache?” “Maybe I pushed it too hard?” “Does it get the right feed?” And the list goes on. The most important thing for most horse owners is that their horses are happy and healthy. But maybe you can worry so much, that you forget to enjoy the time with the horse? Here you will find some inspiration as to how to deal with the many concerns.
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DO YOU HAVE HORSE OWNER DETEMINISM?
And what is it then – horse determinism? Actually, the word is one we have constructed with a strong inspiration from an article published by the Danish online media Zetland. They wrote a few years back on the subject of parental determinism. A concept that involves trying to predict scenarios for your children. How many of us with children have not said to the child standing and balancing on a chair: “Now make sure you do not tip over”. We foresee a potentially dangerous situation, try to ward it off before the child falls down and hurts itself. BUT maybe the child, even without our intervention, would catch the slightly daring action before a fall and ward it off – if we allowed it?
What has that got to do with horses?
And what does all this have to do with your worry about your horse? Well, maybe you have tried calling a veterinarian even though there really was not anything wrong with your horse? Or maybe you have bought a bunch of different supplements to prevent possible challenges with your horse. That is, challenges it does not have yet. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. It can be nice to study supplements and what good they can do. BUT for some horse owners (including yours truly), various google searches as soon as the horse coughs a single time can create a major cause for concern.
WE ARE CREATED TO WORRY
Although we love our horses very much, it can be an advantage to take a step back before bringing out the big guns over a slightly abnormal road apple. Maybe it actually is just a fluke. Yet some of us are so good at reacting precisely like that. There is actually a reason for that. According to the company Mindhelper, who has specialized in guiding young people, we humans are designed to be concerned. We are the only animal able to look to the future and assess potential dangers to come. Therefore, as a horse owner, you can also quickly create a blind spot when it comes to seeing the way you worry about your horse.
WHAT CAN YOU DO YOURSELF?
1. Set aside a certain number of minutes to worry
It can be a stress factor if you constantly hit yourself over the head with worry. Once we do, we might as well embrace it. However, for a limited time so that it does take off in the wrong direction. For example, set aside 10 minutes each day to write down all your concerns. That way, you get it out of your head. However, you have to promise yourself that when the ten minutes are up, you will but a needle in it until the next day.
2. Think of something else
Perhaps the most annoying piece of advice, but nonetheless, it may well work anyway. Thinking of something else, means that you have to do something else to get your mind off the worries. It could be that you benefit from a good, long walk. Maybe cake baking works well for you, or a training session with the horse, where you have success together, is what is needed.
3. Talk to others about your worries
Share your frustrations with the others in the stable. Maybe they have tried something similar. So, they can give you good inputs on your concerns. It might not be as serious as you have made it up to be.
More advice on how not to worry about your horse
4. Try to be curious instead of nervous
There is an ocean of articles, horse media, professionals and the like, which are guaranteed to have expressed their concerns. Research on your issue knowing that it should not create any further concerns. Often, foreign media and studies have different angles that may be useful to you. It is just a matter of looking a little for the answers.
5. Act with determination and move on
It can be very frustrating if all your unrest just ends up in a big pile without an actual perspective or solution proposal. Make a priority list of your concerns with the most important first and then below. Then you can take one at a time and make an action plan for just that concern. Once done, move on to the next.
6.One day at a time makes sense
One can rarely solve all problems at once. Therefore, it may be a good idea to settle for one thing a time. Maybe your horse has a difficult canter, and the stable is not being kept well. Basically, it’s smart to keep the two issues separate, and concentrate on solving one thing before embarking on to the next. Alternatively, you can see the difficult canter more as an exciting workout you need to get started on instead of an actual problem.