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Clocktower Stud

Ponies and Dogs

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EFT Case Study - the pony who didn't want to be caught


July 2009

Recently a Dutch student (Q) came over for one month’s work experience at my Stud, specifically to gain more skills and experience in natural horseman(woman)ship.  During the first two weeks she learnt quickly and made great progress with Lark – a very difficult pony that had been born on the moor in Dartmoor, used solely as a brood mare by her previous owners, and had minimal handling until I bought her almost two years ago.  Following the birth of her foal last year she had been left barren, with the intention of giving her body a rest, and to see if she could then be backed and turned into a riding pony.


Using natural methods Q gained the pony’s confidence and eventually was able to sit on her back.  However, Q still had difficulty catching the pony in the big field – the pony would turn on its heels and trot away whenever Q approached.  Q asked if she could use the ‘Join-up’ technique advocated by Monty Roberts with Lark, given that she had experience with this and felt confident that it would improve the situation.  Reluctantly (as I have misgivings about this technique) I agreed.  Unfortunately the exercise went badly wrong – the pony became frightened and jumped out of the pen over a high fence and then refused to let either Q or myself near her.  I then suggested that we use EFT to see if we could calm things down and regain the pony’s confidence.  


We sat at the opposite end of the paddock to where Lark was standing, focussed on her and began tapping:


Even though Lark doesn’t want to be caught sometimes we deeply and completely accept Lark.


Even though Lark doesn’t trust us we deeply and completely accept Lark.


Even though we want Lark to trust us but she feels she can’t especially after the incident in the pen we deeply and completely accept Lark.


Even though we want Lark to believe that she can trust us but she feels she can’t especially after the incident in the pen we deeply and completely accept Lark.


As we tapped on this last statement I experienced a huge wave of emotion and became very tearful.  I felt full of regret at what had just happened, and also guilty.  We then amended the set up statement to:


Even though we feel sorry for anything we’ve done to Lark, we really didn’t mean to cause any harm, we were only trying to help, and we deeply and completely accept ourselves.


Two rounds of this reduced the intensity of my emotion to 0.


I then asked Q to tune into Lark again and tell me if she felt anything. She replied that she had the feeling of a “hard, pointy thing” behind her eyes so we tapped a round on:


Even though I’ve got this hard, pointy thing behind my eyes . . .


I then asked Q what was happening to this ‘thing’, and she replied that is was dissolving but felt as if it was tearing at the back of her eye.  The set up then changed to:


Even though I’ve got this tearing thing at the back of my eye . . .


“It’s going”, Q said, “it’s only tiny now”.  So we tapped on:


Even though I’ve got this tiny tearing thing at the back of my eye . . .


Q then reported an intensity of 0.


At this moment we were both calm, so once more tuned into the pony, which had still not moved from her position at the gate, facing us.  I shut my eyes and suddenly had a very vivid vision of being chased by men with sticks, I felt terrified and had to work hard to tell Q what was happening:


Even though there’s men with sticks all around me, chasing me and I’m terrified, I’m okay, that was then and this is now, I deeply and completely accept myself


We tapped several rounds on this statement until I felt totally calm again.   Q reported that she had a nauseous feeling in her stomach, so we tapped on:


Even though I have this nausea feeling in my stomach . . .


I asked her if this feeling had a shape, and she replied “Yes, it’s round and it’s a pain feeling” so we tapped on:


Even though I’ve got this round pain in my stomach . . .


Q then became tearful and stated that the pain was now sticking in her, so we changed the statement to:


Even though I’ve got this stick pain in my stomach

For a few rounds until the emotion subsided. Q then said that she had a “little nausea” left, hence we tapped for:


Even though I’ve got this little nausea feeling left in my stomach . . .


This disappeared after one round, and then, as we were still sitting on the ground, Lark left her companion at the gate, calmly walked over to us, lowered her head and sniffed our feet, then walked to the other side of the paddock and went into a rest position (head lowered, hind leg resting).


We felt that we needed to do a few more rounds to finish off, so we tapped on:


Even though Lark has been frightened in the past, and sometimes she still gets frightened, we promise her we’ll look after her and she is safe with us.


I told Q that we needed to test if the EFT had worked, and that she should now approach Lark calmly and confidently and see if she could put a headcollar on.  She did as I suggested, and she was able to catch the pony straight away with no problem, and also every day after that until Lark came into season.  Still a bit of work left to do!




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