Intention, Attention, No Tension

I've had a few clients recently that have told me they've had other professionals (vets, saddle fitters, farriers, dentists, physios etc) that haven't been able to get near the horse that I've turned up to treat, yet I've been able to treat the horse in a relaxed manner and achieve that quite quickly. Now I'm not blowing my own trumpet but here are my thoughts behind what has happened with previous professionals and how I approach this with any animal I treat.

Intention - what is your intention? I never arrive with the mindset of 'I will treat this horse', it's more a mindset of lets see what we can achieve to make this horse a little more comfortable. If that means i just lay my hands on them for an hour, so be it. This can make a huge difference to the horses mindset, remember they read energy and body language.

Attention- pay attention to what the horse is saying. As you approach, does tension appear in their face, their eyes, their muzzle? Do they stop blinking? Do they go to move away? .... That is them telling you I'm not ok with how you're approaching me. You bulldoze past that, you've lost their trust. You wait until they soften, they see that you have seen their concern and are likely to trust you a little more.

Imagine you go to the doctors and somebody walks up to you with purpose and shoves a needle in your arm. No hello, no 'am i ok to do this?' , no consent.... How would you react? Would you be a little concerned next time you went that that may happen again? Would you be apprehensive everytime somebody walked towards you in the doctors for fear of that happening again? Imagine if you were then labelled naughty because you so happened to think those thoughts?

It's no different for our horses.

Think about that day your horse wont be caught when you've got somebody coming, but they're never naughty to catch normally.... is that because your Intention is 'they must be caught' and your Attention is somewhere else?
When the wormer comes and and your Intention is 'i must worm you' and your Attention is getting that wormer in their mouth.
When the vet comes and their intention is to get the jab in their neck and attention is solely on that task? Then the horse strikes out or becomes needle shy? There's a pattern here.

If you think about your intention and pay attention ... You will likely get NO tension in return. It's all about consent. Just because a horse doesn't verbally speak they're very good and providing consent, we just need to learn to listen to this. Anybody touching a horse should understand this