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CALMING-CALVI

We present an inspiring case study of Calvi, an 8-year-old Malopolska breed mare, who underwent an extraordinary journey of adaptation and transformation. She started with adaptation difficulties, hyperactivity, and clear signs of stress, especially during attempts to separate her from the herd. Her reactions to daily activities, such as grooming or saddling, were challenging and introduced a risk element for everyone involved. The text below was submitted by the owner.

CALVI, MARE, 8 YEARS, MALOPOLSKA BREED, CALMING


STORY:

This description concerns a Malopolska mare named Calvi, born in 2016. From her third year of life, she resided in a home stable where horses were kept in a box system. In the summer, they spent most of the day on a pasture scant in grass, and in winter, they went out for a few hours a day to a muddy paddock next to the stable. Bulk feed was given to each horse in the amount of ¼ bale in the morning and evening throughout the year. The stable's residents were older horses or those worn out by recreational work, thus also less inclined to interact with each other. Calvi was trained by her owner as best she could at the time and over the years proved herself as a horse for riding both in the countryside and in the arena. She has always been an electric horse, one that “sees everything” and can react to environmental stimuli at an express pace. She has also always required a lot of movement and dedicated attention. In August last year, it was time for Calvi to change – she moved to a free-range stable. This decision was driven by the desire to improve her living conditions. In her new home, vast, rich pastures and a herd of lively, curious horses of various ages awaited her. From that moment, I officially started leasing her, although we had known each other much earlier. Initially, it seemed that Calvi was adapting well to the new conditions and did not cause major problems.


SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM:

It was only around October that situations began to occur where the mare panicked when trying to detach her from the herd to take her for a walk, lunge, or ride. She vented her emotions by charging into us, violently turning her head towards other horses, pulling away, and during attempts to keep her on a leash, she did not hesitate to kick. If we managed to lead her out of the pasture, it often ended with burnt hands or gloves from the leash and exhaustion caused by these struggles. While grooming or saddling, she remained alert, tense, and ready to flee at any moment. Often, it only took a moment for her to pull away, break the halter, and run off towards her new herd.


METHODS OF DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM:

Month after month passed, during which the owner and I did not cease in our search for solutions to our increasingly troubling problem. We visited our ward and spent time with her in the pasture. Unfortunately, it happened that we were treated with indifference, even reluctance. Briefly, an improvement was brought about by rewarding her with treats, but not quite skilled use of this method resulted in Calvi developing a habit of forcing and "searching pockets". Additionally, adverse weather conditions continually made it difficult for us to provide the mare with a sufficient dose of movement. Riding or lunging on slippery ground, especially with such a skittish horse, could end with an injury to one of the parties. Then I had to admit to myself that the deepening problem was beyond my skills. Fortunately, help came from the stable owner, who had more experience and knew how to handle such difficult cases. She successfully employs methods drawn from Monty Roberts' school. We started from the basics, i.e., building a relationship based on mutual respect and setting boundaries. Our joint work gradually began to bring the long-awaited effects, and growing frustration and tears were replaced by satisfaction and hope. However, Calvi's behavior remained quite unpredictable, and her reactions to stimuli seemed excessive. Even if she had been accustomed to an object many times, she would still startle at the least expected moment. This excitability continued to complicate daily activities such as tying to the railing, grooming, saddling, passing along the thujas planted next to the arena, and posed a danger to us. Such behaviors were markedly intensified during windy weather. I realize that windy weather generally causes some unease in horses, but in Calvi's case, this anxiety escalated to an unimaginable, unmanageable level. At this stage, there was a need to support our mare in calming her emotions, which she could not cope with on her own. Our attention was caught by the product Hepmqualizer. According to the description, this remedy seemed to 100% meet Calvi's needs, so I decided to test it in practice.


EFFECTS OF USING HEMPQUALIZER:

For the first trial, I chose a rather windy, cloudy day. According to the plan, I gave Calvi 3ml of Hempqualizer directly into her muzzle in the pasture, also in a place where she feels safe. At first, I encountered some resistance from her, but after getting used to the syringe, I managed to apply the oil correctly. She stayed in the pasture, and after about 40 minutes, I returned to assess her well-being. At first glance, one could notice her more peaceful look and looser than usual nostrils and lower lip. Further positive changes in her behavior I noted during lunging in the field next to the stable. Objects that had previously caused her panic (e.g., a car driving out from behind the thujas planted along the field) now only met with slight fear. Reactions were significantly less violent, and the mare quickly returned to relaxation (lowering her head, chewing). Groundwork was relaxing and enjoyable for both parties. Two days later, I repeated the application, which this time went a bit more smoothly. After waiting about an hour, I started cleaning and saddling Calvi in the riding arena. In the building next door, a renovation was ongoing, and the large disturbance associated with this renovation often made it impossible for me to calmly prepare the horse. Thanks to the use of Hempqualizer, no "strange" noises interfered with the preparations. Calvi was indeed alert, but also sensible. No nervous pacing on the spot, no pulling away, no escape. Emotions took over during the ride in the terrain, where she was very agitated and frolicking during the gallops, but I think that by providing her with more movement, this situation will also be controlled. On that day, the use of Hempqualizer definitely facilitated the preparation of the horse, allowing me to devote more time and energy to riding. The next day I planned a ride in the arena. Calvi is currently completely detrained, so I don't require anything more from her than moving freely in three gaits – just without tensions, startles, pulling away, etc. And this time, of course, after administering Hempqualizer to the mare, our cooperation was exceptionally satisfying. I don't remember the last time Calvi was so calmed and focused during a ride. In summary, the action of Hempqualizer positively influenced the behavior of the hyperactive Calvi. The remedy helps in calming and achieving focus, while not causing stupor.

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