I am proud to say that I have been able to help many of these horses and their people through their relationship and health issues.
I am very sympathetic to the average horse owner as they are often given much well meaning advice that is conflicting. I feel it is my job to clear the fog and create programs that are customized for the horse and their person as opposed to saying this is the method you have to use. This has allowed me to help my clients achieve harmony and connection with some difficult horses.
I have one particular mare I am working with currently who came to me with a long list of "issues" some health and some behavioral. Some of her issues were biting, bucking and kicking as well as charging. Her health issues were also part of the picture. She was sore and stiff and coming off a long period of rest.
They were not sure they wanted to keep her with good reason and I wasn't sure they were a good match either. In these cases I usually ask if the owners are willing to give the horse a trial period for me to start figuring out what program may help change the dynamics of the relationship between the horses and their people.
After the first 30 days, I was able to figure out what was the horses true nature, what was communicating discomfort, and what was missing with her FUN!damentals.
I found that she was quite a like-able mare and despite her dominant bravado, she quite liked people. I also looked at her completely differently then all the people who said she was "naughty" and difficult. I saw that she actually was quite willing under saddle as long as it was not an uncomfortable movement for her (In fact I switched her from her twisted snaffle to my bitless bridle because she was so nice). I learned that she bucked in the canter, because it hurt. I saw that once she understood that we didn't agree with her dominant behavior (that was separate from communicating discomfort) it disappeared almost completely. I explained to her (in my farah way that I do with horses) that I wanted to help her feel better and though we did not take her dominant behavior personally, we showed her how we'd like to be treated when we were around her in ways she understood. Carolyn Resnick inspired work helped her and her people alot.
Although we still have a long way to go with her health and physical rehab, I am happy that she and her people seem to be enjoying each other much more because we gave her a chance. I really enjoy helping a horse like this because I knew she was being misunderstood. I thank her people for giving her that chance too.