Finding a New Agistment Centre & Staying True To Lucy

Earlier this year, I had to move my mare, Lucy, to a new agistment centre. This is NOT a decision I made lightly. A horse’s herd is their family, and their environment is their home. Changes within the herd or a move to a new environment can create a sense of loss and sadness. Unfortunately, Lucy’s herd had experienced many changes over the last year. There were only two other horses left, and Lucy was not thriving.

In August 2021, the agistment centre moved Lucy and her two herd mates to a new paddock with way too much grass. Sure enough, Lucy started gaining weight quickly, and I was concerned about her developing laminitis.

After less than two weeks of being in their new paddock, Lucy presented with heat in her hooves and a digital pulse. I contacted the vet, but they couldn’t attend until later that afternoon. In the meantime, I provided Lucy with Photopuncture. This is Photonic Light Therapy on specific acupressure points to help support the body overall.

When I returned that afternoon, I was ecstatic to find that both the heat and the digital pulse had gone. I spoke to my vet. They agreed that it was safe for me to monitor Lucy and call if her symptoms returned.

The Decision was made to find a New Agistment Centre

At this point, I knew I had to make the call to find a new agistment. In the meantime, I placed Lucy on a laminitis herbal mix and continued to provide her with Photonic Light Therapy every day. I started visiting agistment centres that weekend and was fortunate enough to find something that met our needs.

My list of requirements included:

  • A stable herd environment with as few changes as possible
  • A track system to promote movement (this was not a requirement, but I REALLY wanted it)
  • Non-judgemental management (I use Reward-Based Training, I support Lucy with wholistic management, and sometimes I just know things intuitively, and I act on my intuition. I needed to be somewhere where my somewhat unusual way of doing things would be respected)

Track systems are still very new here in Western Australia. On top of that, not many people use or are even aware of positive reinforcement training. Often, herd environments at agistment centres are mainly for horses for a spell, not a year-round environment. I felt so lucky when I found somewhere that met our needs.

Time to Move

It was time to move Lucy and fast, but I was about to face a huge test. I had a new float that Lucy had never seen. It was a very different layout from any float she had previously been in, with a front offloading ramp. Plus, she had not been off the property in two years.

I knew I had to spend time introducing the new float before we moved. Unfortunately, Lucy picked up on my anxiety around making it happen quickly and became anxious as well. I could get her on the float, but she would panic and quickly shoot off backward.

During this time, my personal life began to fall apart. My Nan passed away suddenly, and that same week my Dad was rushed into hospital with a leak in his heart valve and fluid on his lungs. My family is in the UK, and travel restrictions prevented me from attending my Nan’s funeral or being with my Dad.

I was absolutely devastated. There was nothing I could do for my family. The doctors told me that my dad needed an operation, but he may not be strong enough to survive it. It seemed likely that he would die in the hospital and I would never see him again (thankfully, 17 weeks later, he was well enough to return home). I felt completely out of control and was an emotional mess. Fear was with me constantly – was my horse going to become extremely ill with laminitis? Simply because I couldn’t move her?

Here’s To a Series of DISASTERS

Lucy felt all of my emotions. I was beginning to panic. As my anxieties grew, I started considering my options and made the mistake of posting on my Facebook feed. Messages around what I should do (mostly saying I needed to just make her do it) started pouring in. I almost listened. I considered sedating her and even thought about hiring a trainer to use more traditional methods to “just get her on.”

I was so terrified that my horse could become laminitic on that green grass that I almost undid all the work I have done over the last 3+ years to give her a voice.

My gut was screaming against these ideas, but fear was screaming just as loud and I didn’t know what to do. Thankfully, my gut won over the fear. My life was spinning out of control, and I felt like this was the only area where I could do something about it!

Lucy was not used to travelling and she hadn’t been anywhere other than a 5 minute trip once on her own. So I asked a friend with a horse Lucy used to agist with us to transport her, thinking Lucy would be less scared with another horse for company.

However, I didn’t know my friend’s horse was terrified of trains!! Our agistment has a train track running by it. Had I known this, I would not have asked! In the perfect storm, a train went by right as Lucy was starting to get on. Her companion panicked, and of course, she shot back off.

We unloaded the terrified horse, gave everyone time to decompress, and tried again. Unfortunately, Lucy was not about to forget what had happened. No way was she getting in that trailer with her nervous companion!

Here’s To Lessons Learned

I had a light bulb moment during this disastrous session. Despite Lucy’s fear, she kept trying. She could have walked away, become aggressive, or shut down. She didn’t, she was really struggling to stay in the float for long periods of time, but she kept coming back to try again simply because I asked her to.

That day I vowed I would get her on that float on her terms. If she was willing to try that hard for me, I was going to try that hard for her. So I continued spending time with her getting her accustomed to the new float and tried again the following weekend.

After about an hour of gently trying and tons of encouragement, she loaded. We made it to our new agistment without breaking her trust or turning to methods I don’t believe in. Thankfully with red light therapy, herbs, and her new track system, she is no longer showing signs of laminitis.

I truly believe that this experience was a test from the Universe. I told everyone that I was completely committed to giving my horse a voice, only using positive reinforcement, and sticking to this strict code that I’ve developed for us. The thing is, all that was fairly easy when we didn’t HAVE to get anything done with Lucy.

This move had to happen for her health and well-being. I couldn’t let her say no, but I couldn’t force a yes either. I had to turn her no into a yes. The move was an awful ordeal and not something I would wish on anyone! But, it gave me the confidence that I can stick to my values as her caregiver no matter what happens in the future.

I’ll never consider returning to traditional training to get something done with Lucy again.

Here’s To You Making the Rules

This is your reminder that your journey as an equine caregiver will be imperfect. There will be bumps in the road that will make you question your methods, and sometimes you will feel helpless.

These situations do not make you unworthy of your horse, they don’t make you a bad caregiver, and they don’t mean you are doing anything wrong. They are simply part of the experience! Sometimes the Universe tests us to make sure we mean what we say or do. These tests intend to solidify our reasoning and provide confidence in our actions.

Don’t let anything shake your determination to care for your horse your way. Only you and your horse know what is best.

If you or your horse are experiencing emotional distress due to a recent move or uncertainties around your care or training routine, please take advantage of my free grounding meditation. It will help you calm your thoughts which may give you the clarity you need to move forwards with confidence.

Three Diamonds Meditation

This is a magical practice for you to do in the presence of your horse – designed to bring your three energy centres, Earth, Heaven, and Heart Ki, into balance. Your horse will enjoy the feeling of you becoming centred in their presence.

As always, any questions, ask away.

Have a Happy Day
Amanda 💜

Let's work together to design your very own custom-made WholistiBEADS!

A $30 deposit is required at the time of submitting your custom-made WholistiBEADS order form. Once your WholistiBEADS are complete, an invoice will be sent for the remainder of the cost and payment must be received before your WholistiBEADS will be posted.

Here’s How it Works
Complete our custom-made WholsitBEADS order form by following this link.

From the information you have provided, I will design your custom-made WholistiBEADS
When the final design is agreed upon, Amanda will make your custom-made set and post it to you within 5 business days.

Rest assured no two sets are the same when made specifically for you and your horse.

Interested in incorporating gemstones into your set but unsure which ones to use?
I offer energetic readings with your horse. I use my intuition and crystal pendulum to connect to your horse via a photo and enable them to share with me which gemstones they will benefit from.

You can see how I do these sessions on my YouTube channel.

These sessions include distance energetic cleansing with smoke from either sage or incense.

Costs
Custom-made sets range from $90 to $140. Each set will be priced individually to reflect your chosen design.

Postage fees apply.
A flat rate shipping fee of $9.95 Australia Wide.
International shipping is a flat rate of $26.95

We can’t wait to see your horse in their WholistiBEADS!
If you have any questions please contact me.

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