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Is My Horse Autistic? Faraon's Journey Part One
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Is My Horse Autistic? Faraon's Journey Part One

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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  1. julian johansen
    julian johansen
    hey, i think i know a video that may help. im on the path of the horse, and so i ask to please read what im here is telling ya from that video, and if you like, you and write to the mail i send ya futher down... a horse is like a 6 years old girl, ung, full og dreams, full of hope, and most of all full of need of undestanding. when around horses, the best way to be around them, is that you go back within yourself, and be that littel girl you once was as 6 years old, and then the horses will hear you, they will feal you fealings and awerenes. as i undestand on what you write on your post here, your allready awere and focus on what you can learn FROM the horses, not what you can learn the horses. and thats a good start. but you just need that littel thing here to made it complit. get rid of the need to lead. taik him out on a riding pen or fiald, and let him lose without halter or anything on him, let him run of, then try place yourself near him, but still on a dicstance his comfort with. then close your eyes, go back within yourself to the 6 years old girl, let lose of the stupid idea to the need to lead, you don't have to lead, allow yourself to be weak, to be soft, to be free, a ung girl full of dreams and humor and fun, then see yourself dance in the way you wuld as that 6 years old girl, on a grass field on a warm sunshine day, full of joy, full of happyness, full of life. then he will open to you, then he will come to you as to say, 'is this really you? you will not abuse me as oders did? you promiss this is who you are? look of weak you are! look how weak i am!' and then his there, and then he will be with you, and he will undestand that you allways will give him the choose whatever he whant to follow you or not. i promiss you, this will work. on a ridingschool only 200-300 meters from me, there is horses whos allways angry in there boxes. but to me, even they have become soft, and some even put there heads into my arms, and all i did was to be around once a day, and let the offer to have contact be there, that they culd stick out there head of the window to the floor and say hello to me and be social for a bit... now, my mail is julianj@live.dk and my name is julian johansen, a not educated horse trainer... og, let me corract that, a not educated horse FRIEND!!!
    1. Andreana Dorrs
      Andreana Dorrs
      Thank you for your point of view, it sounds very similar to an extract I saw of one of Hempfling's demonstrations where he encouraged a woman to dance in the round pen with her horse and regress to herself as a six year old. This is only part one of his story, a time from five years ago and is not a representation of where he is now. The next parts of the story you will understand the methods I found helped Faraon and how his story inspired not only me but the people around him. I very much take my lead from my horses and allow them to show me what they need as they, like us ultimately, know even if it is buried within them. Its a partnership and duality that allows the person and horse to grow; born of mutual respect and of love. Thanks again and hope you enjoy learning about the next parts of his story and how he developed and find the strength to start expressing himself.
      1. julian johansen
        julian johansen
        hey, it is indeed of hempfling's kind of bond. but alexander nezorow has a fine path to cumunicate with horses too. look him up on youtube if you wanna know more!!! personlig i only did fing the youtube film the path of the horse documentary myself just all most 2 month ago. but ever sins then, ive started to spread whats to learn from there as fare as i can, and i can even better help ppl solve there issues with there horse, and finaly find them self, and there horse as who they really are!!!
        1. Andreana Dorrs
          Andreana Dorrs
          I've seen the documentary and its very inspiring. I find for me that my own horses are my best teachers as its a very individual journey for them as it is for me but certainly the people in the documentary you mention have a beautiful way with the horses. I am a psychic so I can communicate with my horses and so I take what they tell me; from the horses mouth is for me the best way to learn from horses.
          1. julian johansen
            julian johansen
            no ague there friend. wuld wish everyone culd see the same, but hopefully if we all stand thugether, and spread this horse wisdom. mabie, just MABIE, there will come to an end where cruelty and abuse on the horses, likeways any oder animals is no more!

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