This week we have a song dating back to the 1960's, originally written for Nina Simone and been 'covered' by many others since, but it is most relevant to me as sung by the Newcastle band, The Animals' recorded back in 1965.
The connection for me is that my pony (Flick) had to undergo a tough surgical process following diagnosis for a tumour which turned out to be cancerous and as a result had to have a phallectomy, and is now only half the pony he was before!
Having thought that initially it was just a minor operation to remove a small growth - the major surgery came as a huge blow to me, and to Flick.
The operation was pretty brutal - leaving him in a lot of pain, traumatised and impacted hugely on his recovery. Most worrying of all was the change in his behaviour - my spirited but generally pleasant 'Welshie' - became unmanageable - even downright dangerous!
Les & Flick up at Glantlees Farm
It was time to call in the big guns to help him; herbs, essential oils and two sessions of physio to de-stress, all played their part in 'bringing him down off the ceiling'. A blend of lavender, fennel and sweet orange helped him to relax - he fell asleep within 5 minutes of a good sniff! Yarrow, helichrysum and bergamot gradually dealt with his angry outbursts - at this stage he hated humans - while a daily herbal mix of valerian, lemon balm and roman chamomile - helped him to calm down. His coat has been restored to its natural shine with a daily fix of nettles and linseed oil.
I have been so lucky to have help at the yard from Brenda, an experienced horsewoman, who has been generous and supportive and teaching me a great deal in her own quiet way. Flick is not a nasty horse, but with four previous owners, Brenda likened him to a teenage foster child who had problems with trust....and who had been misunderstood by his previous owners who had passed him on. Jackie "magic hands" Chapman, the equine physio who helped to realign his nervous system, (stress of being tense and hurting) also used the same phrase "being misunderstood".So, I started singing to Flick "Don't let me be misunderstood" without realising it was a song made popular by the Newcastle band 'The Animals'. It helped me to be quiet and patient with him while he healed physically, mentally and emotionally.
Flick and I have had to learn/re-learn mutual trust so that neither of us feels that we are being misunderstood and have each others well-being at heart. The words of the song are SO appropriate.
And - we've started riding out together once again.