Faraon and I met over five years ago when he was a seven year living in the South of England at a sales yard.... I can still remember seeing him in his stable for the first time completely ignoring me as he tucked into his hayledge. There was something sad about him and whilst they told me he was content in himself there was something that just felt distant and closed off to me. I was still at the start of my healing and communication career so to speak; not quite trusting my instincts fully and yet I knew there was something wrong with Faraon.
When I saw them riding him I could tell that something was physically wrong, he moved in a disjointed and painful fashion and when I asked them to ride him without some of the restrictive equipment his tongue was all over the place except in his mouth and under the bit!
I had a sit on him but didn't do a full assessment as I could feel that he was in pain and something was wrong; I suspected with his pelvis.
He was not what I was looking for at all but that day I knew that he had to come home with me. I felt a sense of responsibility for him that was overwhelming and knew that I had to push myself to take on a horse that I suspected had many issues.
The relationship with Faraon started out with him refusing to load onto the trailer and then eventually after managing to load him and arrive home, I discovered his method of coming off the trailer was to run, leap and land horribly whilst dragging you along for the ride. It was at this stage I was starting to question some of the information that had been given to me about his habits and behavior; being a good loader being on of the things I was told.
After announcing to any horse within a ten mile radius that he had arrived I finally managed to get him to his stable and started to settle him in.
Over the next few days I discovered that he did he not want anything to do with me or any other human being, apart from giving him food which he demanded rather than asked for. He was in a new place with a new person so I understood that we might not be madly in love with one another but he didn't even want me to look at him. In fact it seemed to make him very unsettled and angry if you tried to look at him especially in the face or to meet his eyes.
I tried to give him healing, tried singing to him, brushing him, just being near him so he could suss me out in his own time but he made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with me. He didn't even want me anywhere near him as if my very energy made him feel uncomfortable.
I had his teeth done, something that had not been done in the seven years of his life. I had his back checked and he was rotated at the pelvis and poll. He hated every moment of people being near him and touching him. He always thought he was starving and yet he refused to eat hay because he had been on hayledge before and the change was not welcomed. I had to transfer him over by mixing the hay and hayledge together till he got used to the different texture and taste. People may think if he was hungry he would eat but this wasn't the case with Faraon.
He was turning out to be more of a project than I realized.
He was not too bad to handle if he knew where he was going and what was expected of him but his co-ordination was terrible and his spacial awareness non existent. What made a lot of the problems worse is that he had clearly decided that people were not to be trusted and that he was not only to a conversation with me let alone a relationship.
Faraon still hated being looked at and he would show you a face that came to be known as his "F" off face. Ears back and a bearing of teeth not from touch but simply if you looked directly at him for too long. I mentioned that he did not like me healing him and bearing in mind that most of the healing I do is hands away from the body, he could not even bear me placing my hands over or near his body. He was so sensitive to my and other people's presence it was as if it was painful for him to be around people.
During this time I was continuing my studies into healing and was working with a psychic lady. I went for a session with her soon after having got Faraon and at this stage had not spoken to her at all about him. She turned to me whilst we were starting to tune in and said "you have a horse with special needs" I didn't know what to say but I knew exactly who she was talking about. My other two horses were very settled and happy and I knew she was talking about Faraon. She went on to tell me that he struggled to understand and to learn but once he did know something that he would be very set in that way. So he did not like change, struggled with learning and understanding relationships and connection, hated being looked at, seem overwhelmed with the world or shut down completely.
Everything she said and I felt about Faraon was similar to children who have autism. Eye contact, being over stimulated and so shutting down, struggling with relationships and with communicating their needs effectively.
I had never heard of a horse with autism and certainly never been around one. I searched for help or answers but it kept coming back to me; I had to find a way to help him myself and I didn't completely know where to start
Part Two will explain how Faraon started to connect to the world but the new issues this brought and how gradually we started to find ways to help him to find himself.
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