have problems with their horseís behaviour for a multitude of reasons.
Often problems stretch back to how the horse was handled as a foal, how
they were weaned and how they were backed and introduced to the riding
process. These problems can then be maintained by the way in which the
horse is handled and managed and the types of methods people employ to
cope with the problem behaviour.
approach focuses on understanding the root cause of the problem, rather
than tackling the symptoms (the problem behaviour) head on. This leads to
a longer lasting, more effective result.
might I want to organise a consultation?
your horse's behaviour has changed unexpectedly, or you might be
experiencing problems handling or riding your horse. Common problems can
relate to trailer loading, catching, hacking out, clipping, shoeing,
spookiness at home or at competition, barginess, refusal to stand
still.... the list is endless.
it might just be that rather than having a specific problem you would like
to improve your horse's general handling and responsiveness.
so I've got a problem- what happens next?
psychological problems are related to an underlying physical cause.
Therefore all behavioural consultations are seen on veterinary referral.
It may be necessary to have the horse's teeth, back and saddle fit checked
depending on the nature of the problem, before any behaviour modification
is vet referral? Do I have to do anything?
may be that your vet has referred you on to Dr Helen Spence, in which case
you don't need to do anything. However, if you have contacted Helen
directly yourself, she will obtain referral from your regular veterinary
surgeon. If the horse has not been seen recently and there is a
possibility that the problem has a physical root, the vet may wish to see
the animal before the behaviour consultation. If you have any doubts
please discuss this with your vet.
do I arrange a consultation?
Dr Helen Spence.
Following an initial telephone conversation, you will be sent a
pre-consultation questionnaire. A date will be set for the initial
consultation and assessment. This can last for 1-2 hours and will include
discussion of the history of the horse and the history of the problem, an
assessment of the horse's temperament, possible causes of the problem and
a discussion of various treatment options according to your needs. A
behaviour modification programme will be agreed with you, and a series of
short and long term goals will be set. Depending on the nature of the
problem, your experience and the time available to devote to the behaviour
modification programme, this initial assessment may be followed by a
series of follow up visits of approximately one hour duration.