Welcome back, today I would like to explain how we are continually moving forward into the area of working with Horse’s Brain that up to this time, has been completely ignored; and that area is emotional stress management in horses.
But before we can even discuss emotional stress management and how it affects your horse we need to look at how your horse’s brain works and compare it to our own.
To start with Horse’s Brain do not think the same way that we do;
their brain structured in a totally different manner, and how your horse uses their brain along with your input becomes the causes of the various levels of stress that your horse may experience.
When we look at and compare the brain of the horse to that of our own, the most important area to consider is the area of the “frontal lobe”.
In our brain the frontal lobe is extremely large and well-developed,
for this is the part of our brain that allows us to be able to process all of the information that we receive daily and that adds to our personalities, as well as our ability to develop cognitively, or reasoning abilities.
The exact opposite is true for your horse when we compare the same area the frontal lobe of your horse’s brain is much more undeveloped and therefore does not give them anything close to the ability to reason through a problem even close to the ability that you or I have.
The majority of the other sections of your horse’s brain that provide movement and overall athleticism have developed in the way that our frontal brain has.
If you put your horse in a situation
where they need to reason their way out of it you will most likely end up with a horse in full flight mode which will result in your horse bolting away so that it might protect itself. Not to mention the high levels of stress that can created within that situation.
In case you might wondering how all this comes together and interacts; it accomplished through basically one very small area of the horse’s brain. In fact, the area I am referring to is about the size and shape of an almond. That part of the brain called the “Amygdala” which more or less involved with your horse’s emotion control area, which directly related to your horse’s emotional stress.
The emotion that referred to here,
when looking at the brain of the horse, is based in fear and rage; this emotion is not the feeling of sadness, being proud, or any other points that we might experience. It is an area of what known as primitive in nature as well as instinctive in how it reacts when stimulated; this where the “fight or flight” response originates.
This primitive part of the horse’s brain that includes the Amygdala part of the “limbic system” and it is this system of the brain that leads to many of your horse’s unresolved issues along with where these same issues tend to retained.
All of the factors that have affected them in the past,
the ones that they could not understand or relate to stored here and can brought forward from time to time.
The importance of this area is that it is one of the main and controlling areas of emotional stress-production and it is that same stress that produces fear and fear produces a “flight or fight” response; so being able to relate to the true problem helps to both understand the root of the problem and give us a path to follow that will help to maintain the problem created by their emotion area response.
It the size, development, and the way that your horse uses their frontal lobe that leads to the various levels of stress that can created within any given situation.