Elizabeth’s first blog #TeamLikit

Hello there, Likit fans!

Here is me, Elizabeth, and my first blog. As you may already know I’m the brand ambassador for 2020 for the wonderful #TeamLikit.

It took me a while *laughing* to decide about what I will write…I think it will be useful to talk about some important topics of the equestrian world.

So, as I’m a dressage rider and working with dressage horses and a lot of young horses, I’m going to talk about mental health… about the horse’s mental health. Before writing this blog, I’ve tried to google ‘horses mental health’ and see what the world thinks about it…and you know what I found on the first page of this research? Such articles as: ‘How Horses Help With Mental Health Issues’, ‘Equine Therapy for Mental Health’, ‘How Horses Can Help Teens Overcome Mental Health Issues’ and ect. Everything about how horses help us. We all know that horses are wonderful, sensitive animals who make us better, when we see our horses playing in paddocks it makes us smile, they work their heart out for us at competitions, they bring us joy and happiness because as it well said by Winston Churchill: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” After all these benefits that horses give us, how can we say ‘thank you’ to our partners? We can try to fill their life with same joy as they give us. How? Let’s think…

Horses by nature are herd animals, they live in massive fields being wild and free. Sport horses usually do so until they are 3 y.o., then strangers (us, humans) come and start working with them (I don’t like word break), showing what a bridle, a saddle, a stable life is, what is correct and what is not and ect. Imagine how it feels after being wild and free together with you friends? Probably not the best feeling ever…. But knowing that we can make them happy, make them enjoy sport, enjoy to be ridden is making it all not so tragic. We can put them (if possible) in paddocks, spend as much time with them as possible, ride them well according to the training system to make their bodies strong and supple, we can hack and finally we can help them not be bored in their boxes. I find Likit toys very useful, as I have dressage horses. To be a dressage horse it’s not easy, they do a lot of monotony work every day, repeating elements again and again to make them perfect, so it makes me happy seeing my horses playing with Likit toys, that their brain also can relax. I ALWAYS reward my horses as according to Skinner’s operant learning theory (1938), by adding a rewarding stimulus (treats) after desired behaviour, that behaviour becomes reinforced and is thus more likely to occur again. Changes well done? Treat. Correct half-passes? Treat. Standing still while you mounting on? Treat!

So, at the end of everything by following simple rule ‘Happy horse – happy rider’ it will make everything much easier.

Hope this article will encourage you to think a bit more about wellbeing of our beloved horses😊

P.S. If you have any questions and/or any ideas what you would like to know my opinion about in next blog, please do not hesitate to drop me PM on Instagram or any other social media, I’m always there for you.