BY: Katie Dixon ~ Renegade Equine
In the fall of 2015, I was connected with a small but mighty rescue group called the Warm Springs Horse Rescue Network, who at the time had helped place over 500 foals in homes. This August, I was fortunate enough to coordinate and host the ROTH Foals Clinic in Sisters, Oregon. I was thrilled to bring the ROTH team of students and people who were interested together in central Oregon, as finding holistic and like-minded horsemanship had been a challenge.
The auditors, students, healers, rescue network, foals, and Anna (of course), contributed to a wonderful week of strong team building and brought awareness to holistic horsemanship in central Oregon, as well as connecting like-minded professionals living in the area .
Although we may be able to create positive change for our horses and clients on our own, it truly takes a whole-horse approach to be successful in rehabilitation of horses, or even if its not a rehabilitation case, to take them to the next level of physical health and performance.
It has taken a little over a year of stepping out of my introvert comfort zone and pushing myself to network with equine professionals to find and build my “dream team” here in Oregon.
The results of this year of work building connections and then hosting the clinic are multidimensional. This is the amazing holistic-minded equine team we have here in Oregon :
- A barefoot trimmer who sees the whole horse and how to help them move better
- Several body workers who can help the horse’s body release restrictions and move more fluidly, and also provide feedback as to how our physical conditioning plan is working from the body’s perspective
- A few different veterinarians who are open to a holistic perspective or are practicing holistic medicine
- Several saddle fitters who work to keep the horse and human comfortable to achieve their goals
- A Nutrition expert to guide us through basic supplementation and feeding practices specific to our area
- Quality hay providers
- Local feed companies
- A team of holistic trainers working together to better horse’s lives around us
Without permission from the horse and their human, the team isn’t able to get much done. It its inspiring to me, each day, when we give the horses we work with the ability to communicate and have an opinion about each aspect of their life how much information we are able to obtain.
You see, in order for harmony in your horse, you have to create harmony in your team. Some team members may have expertise in multiple areas, and each member of your team needs to be able to respectfully communicate and work together to help you accomplish your goals with your horse.
What I appreciate most about building a great team is having a community to discuss new cases with, and also having a group of people I can refer to that can be trusted and will be working for the good of the horse in their area of expertise.
It is our due diligence as equine professionals, to look at the information from our trusted team with open eyes and ears. We need to be willing to shift how we are approaching different aspects of our horse’s unique experience in the world. The balance of a horses psychological and physiological help depend on us being open to look at all areas of our horses lives: what we feed our horses, their living environment, what we ask them to do physically (and emotionally), how we balance their bodies, how we engage their minds, and how we support their growth.
When we utilize a multi-faceted approach, examined with a lens of honesty and integrity it is amazing how much we are able to help horses find balance and happiness in their lives. When we are willing to communicate for the good of the horse with other professionals instead of pointing the finger of blame, we are able to solve the puzzle with that horse and help them to live a comfortable and happy life.
Although it takes some effort in networking, a little shedding of ego, a bit of rallying the troops so to speak to get “your team” built, I would encourage you to do so! ROTH as an approach to horsemanship encourages us to look at the whole horse when we are training, and there are some really great equine professionals out there who can help boost your team and ultimately help magnify the great work you are all already doing. We can only benefit from like-minded collaboration, and grow into more skilled and knowledgeable equine guardians.
You can’t go wrong having ROTH on your team!