These are the words of Justine Harrison (Equine Behaviourist). See her website for more great info about how you can improve your horse's life!
ARE YOU OR YOUR HORSE BEING BULLIED?
One of the toughest pressures to deal with in the horse world is 'other people'. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what is best for your horse – telling you what you should do and where you are going wrong in your horse's management and training. This can often lead to horses being bullied and abused both mentally and physically.
Mental heath awareness has been raised in the press this week and I wanted to draw attention to both horse and human mental health in the equine world.
My clients whose horses have behaviour problems often endure months of extreme pressure – bullying – from people on their yard who think they know best: fellow horse owners, grooms, yard owners or riding instructors, many of whom do not have the correct knowledge, experience or ethics to make good judgments about behavioural issues.
Many horse owners are terrified of doing what they think is right for their horse as they know they will be criticised, pulled up or embarrassed by others on their yard.
Some owners understandably do give in, against their better judgement, and they may end up watching their horse being forced to do something they have been unable to do either because they have undiagnosed pain or fear. Both human and horse then end up in a far worse situation.
If your horse’s behaviour changes, they are reluctant to do something or appear to be struggling in training or their daily life, please call a vet out for a thorough physical check up. If they are given a physical all clear then contact a qualified behaviourist to look at all areas of your horses life, work out where the problems are occurring and help you form a plan of action.
Please support other horse owners. If you are struggling yourself talk to your own trusted support network and don't let the situation continue.
Bullying should not be tolerated, to humans or horses!
See IAABC.org for qualified UK horse behaviour consultants.
To have a look at Justine's Facebook page (with lots of other great articles!) click here.