Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shedding a Layer: Bach Flowers for Animals

It doesn't really feel much like spring today with a cold front moving in and predictions of wind, rain, ice and snow. It our paddock though there is a definite sign of spring- horse hair everywhere. Only one horse is shedding. Those two never agree on when it is the right time to let go of winter it seems.

The horse that is shedding hasn't really been that happy so far during the process.  She seems a bit irritated, and sort of confused and worried.  She's been jumping around and bucking a bit, but not really in the "Yahoo, it's spring sort of way", more in a "get whatever that weird thing is off my back!" way.  In my typical human approach I was sure I knew the fix. I figured she'd love nothing better than for me to help that shedding process along by brushing and brushing and brushing. If I could get all the old hair out and speed up the process she'd feel and look much better.  For anyone that's ever started brushing a shedding horse, you know this can go on for a long time and you can get pretty obsessed with getting it all out. That's why so many shedding brushes and rakes and bricks and curry brushes are on the market.  This horse usually loves the attention of a good brushing.  This time- not so much.  She was fidgety and anxious and kept thinking there was maybe a better brush in the bucket or a way I could do it better.  We couldn't find the right one- and believe me, I have all types!, so we decided it wasn't the helpful thing to do.  She walked away still looking confused and I called my friend that's an animal communicator.

I thought shedding was a natural process and therefore made the huge assumption that it's "no big deal" for a horse, or any animal for that matter. Turns out for some animals, only part of that statement is correct. It is natural. But that doesn't make it comfortable, welcomed or accepted with ease.

My animal communicator friend tells me that shedding can feel very weird.  It can feel like your skin in crawling, like there is something all over you, and for sure it's itchy. And even if you've gone through this multiple times in your life, it can still sort of "take you by surprise" and give an animal some concern that it might not be natural or healthy.  It seems some animals worry about all that hair floating off them and piling up on the ground.  What if they loose it all? And if you're shedding and your brother isn't loosing a hair, maybe that's cause for concern as well.  Maybe this is only happening to you! That can't be good! Suddenly those brushes that feel so loving and nice at other times of the year really start to "creep you out". When you skin is crawling anyway, I guess for some animals that extra manipulation just doesn't feel good. They'd rather just roll in the sand and shake it out.  Ohhh... now I get it!

So I left the brushes in the box and I mixed up some Bach Flower essences. I gave the horse Beech, Chestnut Bud, Aspen, Crab Apple and Walnut.

Beech is for the irritation of the whole shedding thing. It helps soothe that itchy, scratchy crawling sensation that  you just can't stand.  And when you're dealing with shedding issues and pretty focused on that, other things that normally don't bother you can really make you nuts- like that other guy in the pasture that isn't loosing a hair. Who does he think he is anyway!  Beech can help soothe the irritation.

This horse also got Chestnut Bud in the mixture.  She's been here before. We've been here before. In fact, probably every year around this time, she goes through this process including  the irritation and concern. Chestnut Bud will help this horse (and her people) learn from the past.  It will help her remember that she did this same thing for the past 7 years and ended up with a beautiful new shiny coat each time. 

I gave this horse Aspen as well.  Aspen is for unknown fears. It will help address those "heepy jeepies" and that feeling that there is something very fearful about the process. It seems when your skin is kind of crawling anyway, you are in a "heightened alert" phase and the slightest shadow or a weird looking tree can really set you off. Aspen will help calm her, helping her connect with her sense of peace and security. For similar reasons, I'm also giving her ETS Plus for animals before any storms or wind events.

Although it's not her name, we often call this horse "Pretty Girl".  She is beautiful and most of the time she knows it. Perhaps that why she's particularly concerned to be having some pretty dramatic "bad hair days"! Crab Apple can help with that.  Crab Apple can help her accept the imperfections of shedding and let go of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or dirty during the process. Crab Apple can help Pretty Girl relax about the way she looks and realize she's beautiful on the inside.

I also gave this horse Walnut. Walnut helps protect people and animals from change and outside influences. It seems that annual shedding for animals can sometimes be a bit like teething, puberty or menopause for humans.  It's natural, it happens, but it isn't always easy to deal with! Walnut can help Pretty Girl move forward and adjust to that new shinny undercoat, as she truly releases the old heavy layer.

Animals experience the same emotions as people and that's why Bach Flower essences can work for both species. my opinion, we can learn a lot from the animals around us if we open our hearts, let go of some thoughts, and take the time to listen.

I've learned a lot from this.  Just because an experience is natural and inevitable doesn't mean we always have the tools to deal with it well.  Just because we've "been there before" doesn't mean we have developed perfect coping skills.  Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends. We always need our friends to listen to us rather than just act to rescue us. Sometimes a squirt or two of Bach Flowers can be more helpful that a brushing session.

Shedding a layer is a sign of good things to come. It means warmer temperatures, green grass, rolling around in the dirt, and basking in the sunlight. But sometimes we all need some help accepting that letting go of the heaviness and dealing with some uncomfortable itching  is part of the process of getting there!

May we never stop listening and learning!

No comments:

Post a Comment