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Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 Flower Remedies: To Your Animal's Emotional Health (Horses) - The Column Dedicated to Restoring Your Animal's Emotional Well Being 
Penny Case ©

Q: To get to the places where I can ride my horse we have to go by an old pump house at the side of our road. Every time we go by there, Bucky jumps sideways and spins around, then goes on. I've fallen off twice when he's done it, and even though I hang on extra tight, I'm afraid I'll fall off again. He doesn't act this way at any other place. How can I make him quit?

A: What a frustrating situation! Did something once startle Bucky at or near the pump house? Was there a sudden loud noise? Did the door fly open? Did a person unexpectedly appear? Perhaps the problem comes from how Bucky sees the building. Horses' vision is very different from ours, and he may perceive the pump house as something quite threatening. It's also possible that it looks like (or smells like!) something from his past that did scare him. No matter what caused his behavior originally, it sounds like Bucky's jump and spin routine has now become a habit.

The flower remedies, as discussed above in this column, can help Bucky let go of this annoying and potentially dangerous behavior. In order to assist in releasing any past traumas Bucky may have experienced concerning this or other pump houses, give the flower remedy STAR OF BETHLEHEM. The remedies ASPEN and MIMULUS can be given for both Bucky's unknown and known fears, respectively. To assist in breaking his habit of reacting at this one place, you can give the remedy CHESTNUT BUD. The flower remedy WALNUT can, by acting synergistically with the remedy CHESTNUT BUD, help Bucky in letting go of his old behavior patterns and adapting to new, saner ways of being.

Because you've had this experience with your horse so many times, you now expect it to happen. Since you've fallen off a couple of times, you probably have some fear, too. It's very likely that your fear and expectations increase as you approach the pump house. When you "hang on extra tight" you create more tension in your body and mind. It's also likely that, the closer you get to the place, the more you hold your breath. Bucky senses your tension and anxiety, which gives added momentum to his undesirable behavior.

You can help yourself and your horse, too, with a couple of simple techniques. First, it's important to replace your mental picture of Bucky's jump and spin with a picture of Bucky walking calmly and quietly past the pump house. Practice imagining his new behavior a few times before you ride him. If the old picture keeps coming back, distract yourself. How? Count backwards from 100. Sing a song. Recite a poem. Count the number of hairs in his mane. Whatever you choose to do, start doing it when you get on, and don't stop until you're past the pump. And remember to breathe! Slow, deep breaths will help you relax, and help your horse relax, too. If you begin slow deep breathing before you mount, then continue as you ride, Bucky's breathing may even start to mirror yours, helping him to relax. Combine these techniques with the flower remedies, and your problem could be history soon!

The information in this column is not intended to replace veterinary care. For all conditions requiring medical attention, see your vet immediately.

Products in this column are included for the reader's convenience. However, inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by either the author or this publication.

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