- This an outline of what a behavioural consultation needs to address, the behaviourist will take a full history of the horse, the owner/rider, how the horse is managed, how much turnout, what feed is used, what is the exercise regime, if you compete how often. This can be done beforehand via a questionnaire, if appropriate.
- Only after getting the permission of your veterinary surgeon will they attend for a consultation. This is so they can be sure there are no underlying health problems contributing to the behavioural problem.
- Most will not interact with your horse – as they may not be a trainer nor a riding instructor, however they can advise on choosing a suitably qualified one. The interactions between you and the horse will be observed, if possible to demonstrate the behavioural problem – if safe to do so. The safety of people is of paramount importance and a behaviourists first priority. If at any time they feel it unsafe to proceed the session can be halted.
- If there are any aspects of the horses behaviour beyond their expertise they can refer to a more experienced behaviourist plus inform your vet. If there appears to be an underlying health/pain problem they will refer back to the veterinary surgeon. The horse needs to be in a safe area – a stable or enclosed space. The time will depend on the problem, but as a rule the first consultation will be 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
- Upon completion of the initial assessment a letter will be sent to the vet to explain and outline the programme. This will include the physiological basis for the behaviour. You will receive a copy of the vet letter alongside the written Behavioural Modification Programme.
- You will be left with information to start on the plan with pre-printed advice sheets, any tailor made plans will be emailed as soon as possible.
- Please feel free to ask any questions not covered here. These the types of things a behaviourist will cover – there will be variations due to differences in experience and qualifications.
PS. I am currently not consulting hence the generic outline but if you wish to ask me a question please get in touch. I will be writing blogs about behaviour and basic learning theory so please pop back and take a look.
All programmes are copyrighted to the Natural Animal Centre.