When the horse is in pain, things are difficult. The best thing about this job is being able to help horses and horse people.
It’s not always easy, because people don’t always believe me or the horse that tries to tell about the pain. Here’s a different story. One where I could be involved and where the horse got help. The kind of story that encourages me to keep going and puts me in a good mood. The story of Suvi and Poju.
Suvi says this:”We are really grateful for your advice and dedication to the matter. It’s easy to see that you really do this work with heart and passion for animals.
You are certainly a great pioneer in horse pain issues and you are doing very meaningful work, when you share information about pain and change people’s attitudes from those old ideas about how a horse is just screwing us, to the idea that they actually have a reason for their behavior. That job must certainly not always be easy.
Poju’s story went like this.
In the middle of riding, the horse started kicking under his belly and stopped, he clearly looked like he was hurting. The riding had to be left unfinished and start thinking about where reason for this behaviour was.The following days, the horse was very irritated and already when approaching the stomach, the hind leg started to rise and the horse became nervous. He tried to nibble people all the time. This behavior suprised me.
In addition to Mervi’s ground work courses, we had taken Mervi’s pain behaviour online course and that’s why we ended up turning to Mervi to ask for help. With the instructions by Mervi and Mervi’s course, the horse was scanned by hand and a strong pain reactions were evidend. Scan videos were sent to Mervi and based on the videos and our conversations together we started to suspect sand as the cause.
We started psyllium as treatment, which increased the pain behaviour, so we turned to Mervi again to ask for advice. She suspected that the gut was irritated by the start of the psyllium when the sand has started to move in the gut. Since the horse was clearly in pain, we went to the clinic, where the cause was found to be sand as we suspected.
The horse was medicated at the clinic and now we continue the psyllium treatment at home.
The situation today is that the horse is just like another horse. He has never been so kind and cheerful even when it came to us!”
– Suvi and Poju
This story had a wonderfully happy ending.
I want to share pain stories so that pain recognition improves and horses get help faster. I am saddened by the resistance I sometimes get, even though I can clearly see that the horse is in pain. Luckily this wasn’t the case here, but Suvi took my concernes seriously, when I told that behaviour she told me sounds like pain. Then we could think, where to look for the pain and what to do.
Horses always have a reason to their behaviour. Horse knows how to be a horse. It’s us that need to learn what they are telling us.