Nashville came to the Equine Healing Collaborative as a training partner. Prior to coming to us, he was not used on a daily basis and it showed! Covered in large splotches of stark white and dark bay, he is impressive. When we began working with him, his frustration and anger came out; occasional bites with side kicks here and there, we were concerned he was not going to be a safe horse.
After working with us for months though, Nashville has come around. He is affectionate, begrudgingly agrees to requests and will stand still, if the activity is right.
All of the Equine Healing Collaborative’s Therapy Herd has a psychological profile provided by Parelli’s Horsenality assessment. This gives us indications regarding a horses personality and whether or not a particular therapeutic intervention would be appropriate for this particular horse or not. The Horsenality is made up of four core concepts; Innate Characteristics (what he was born with), Learned Behavior (the good and undesirable experiences in his past), Environment (the herd, training, demands, sights and sounds), and Spirit (the level of intensity in which he expresses himself: mild, moderate, and extreme).
Nashville is considered a “Left-Brain Introvert”. In summary, Nashville won’t do anything unless he finds out how it might benefit him. He appears bored and in fact, may be, but usually he presents that way so he doesn’t have to work because his favorite things to do are stand and eat! He needs time to think and if he decides he wants to do something he will. He loves to be out on the trail and to experience new things. He responds better to a lot of love and rubs rather than treats because if he has just one treat, he will start demanding more. He views his rubs and love as his reward for agreeing to do things he doesn’t necessarily want to do, but his favorite part of the day includes an equine massage. We know it is his favorite because he tells us, with soft eyes, deep cleansing breathes, and relaxed haunches, Nashville knows where it hurts and just where he needs some extra attention. He becomes so relaxed, there are times, we have to gently wake him from his slumber to go back to his stall. In fact, out of all the interventions Nashville cooperates with, this is by far his favorite. When Nashville doesn’t know is that as he stands and releases tension; tension is released from the person massaging him. He also doesn’t know that the texture of his hair, the smell of his body, and the sight of his beauty also has healing powers used to help people concentrate, become grounded, and release stress.