Does my horse have hoof pain?

Why don’t horses tell animal communicators their feet hurt?

Remember the Pet Psychic, Sonya Fitzpatrick, on Animal Planet? I used to enjoy that show, especially when she talked to horses which are my passion. One thing I never understood, though, is why the horses didn’t complain about their feet.

At the time I was studying natural hoof care so was really tuned into it. I could see that many of the horses she talked to had issues with their feet of the sort that would normally be painful. So why didn’t they tell her so she could alert the owners?

That mystery was finally solved when I became an animal communicator and started talking to horses. Talk about an enlightening experience! What I have come to understand has been positively mind boggling.

• Many horses are very stoic and not given to complaining. Their desire to please their owner supersedes pain.

• Lameness is very common in a large percentage of horses. Often they are given pain killers or nerve blocks so that they can continue performing. With these remedies the pain is masked although they are still lame.

• Many horses believe that painful feet are a normal condition so it wouldn’t occur to them to complain.

Toro, a very stoic horse

Toro, a very stoic horse

Little wonder that horses weren’t volunteering comments about their feet when they considered themselves normal.

Animal communication can be a valuable tool in finding and/or confirming pain in our horses, but we have to ask the right questions. Sometimes with very stoic horses we have to really probe as they are extremely reluctant to complain. I’ve communicated with horses who denied pain because they were afraid of what might happen to them. Others denied it because they didn’t wish to burden their caretaker. It’s amazing the justifications they can come up with, to their own detriment.

Some horses are so convinced that pain (or a physical condition) is normal that they are resistant to healing treatments. More than once during a communication consultation I have found myself explaining to the horse that it certainly is not normal and it is safe and desirable that they allow themselves to heal. Once they understand this concept, they very often begin showing improvement in short order.

Sometimes it can take more than one consultation to help the horse accept truth and consequently healing. This is when animal communicators need to be part therapist. Horses have complicated psyches!

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9 Responses to “Does my horse have hoof pain?”

  1. Modulator says:

    Friday Ark #261…

    We’ll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….? Visit all the …

  2. […] Pet Chatter presents Does my horse have hoof pain? posted at Pet Chatter, asking, "Does my horse have hoof pain? Why are horses so […]

  3. gp says:

    yup… tb mare picken is quite stoic… ‘specially since i had her barefootin’ last winter and she was semi-okay with it… come spring… she was way more vocal about her owie feet… Had her again shod and she’s footloose , fancy free… and yes pleasant!!! :)

    happy trails

  4. Pet Psychic says:

    Barefoot transition is definitely easier when there’s snow on the ground. Not an easy path and not for everyone. Glad Picken is feeling better. Maybe you can pull the shoes every winter and give her feet a rest?

    Lots of happy trails to you and Picken!

  5. […] Pet Chatter presents Does my horse have hoof pain? posted at Pet Chatter, saying, “Why don’t horses tell animal communicators about their […]

  6. kim says:

    I believe this must be true. A more stoic animal there never was. Maybe if, when we treat them, we TELL them, clearly, that it’s going to help, and that it’s OK to allow it to feel better, because it’s important that they feel well?

  7. Pet Psychic says:

    Yes, Kim, you’re right. It’s always helpful to clearly explain what we are doing and why. They understand far more than most people think. But take it one step further and also explain to them that it’s ok to let us know when and where they hurt because we want to help them. Old habits die hard so it likely won’t work with all, but it’s worth it for the ones who will let us in.


  8. Jane says:

    One of the horses I work with, Tiny, has chronic hoof problems that are frequently painful. In the beginning, he wouldn’t “talk” about it. He is incredibly stoic. Once he felt safe in his new home, and he realized that while bucking is efficient communication, it doesn’t necessarily impart WHAT hurts him, he started to tell us directly. We now know if we lead him seemingly sound out of his stall, and he stops and lifts a hoof in an exaggerated way, that it hurts, and he wants us to treat him. Works every time. ;)

  9. Pet Psychic says:

    I’m so happy for Tiny that he found such a supportive, understanding environment. Kudos to you for hanging in there and helping him to feel safe enough to communicate his pain. Keep up the great work, the horses need you!