A good friend of mine named Kayla recently did a phone session with an animal communicator. I have always been intrigued by the idea, but not enough to actually pay for it to try it out. After hearing about Kayla’s session though, and how much fun she had, I decided it would be worth it for the entertainment value and blog fodder alone. $45 for a 30 minute session felt reasonable to me, so I made the appointment. Don’t get me wrong, I am a skeptic for sure. I don’t believe in ghosts/the supernatural/any of that stuff. But, I figured what the heck, it sounded fun!
I don’t know how any of this stuff works, but Kayla wrote a bit about the communicating process on her blog, as well as how she found this particular communicator (Anise Silvernail). I won’t re-type it here, but for those curious be sure to check it out!
I put some questions together leading up the session, but didn’t know how specific it would be so I didn’t list out a ton. I also didn’t know how much time I would really have. I started with about 5 questions, and came up with a few more as we went. The communicator is named Anise Silvernail and she was SO nice. She talks super fast, and never hesitates. The second I asked a question she was off with a long answer, and sometimes interrupted herself with something unrelated that Rio wanted to say.
So here is how it went!
Me: I guess that first of all, I want to know if Rio is in pain anywhere?
Anise: No. He knows you worry about this a lot. He would make it obvious if he was really in pain. He isn’t the type to try and hide it, he tries to show you if he needs help. He does have some stiffness in his SI/pelvis area but it doesn’t pain him. He also experiences some mild pain/pressure in his upper jaw/behind his eye. This could be something worth looking into concerning dental work, or it could just be sinus pressure. It isn’t really bothering him though. He does hate extreme heat though. He says it’s awful and just really doesn’t like it. He also really doesn’t like flies, and says that when it’s hot he really can’t stand flies touching him. They are gross and really irritate him. He would like more fly spray.
My thoughts: All of this made a lot of sense. He has a roach back and every chiro/body worker I’ve ever used says he is stiff through that region of his back, but doesn’t show any soreness there, and it x-rays clean. Not sure about the upper jaw pain/pressure. He gets regular dental work but I will try to mention it before his next session.
Sometimes I think Rio is really stoic (so the opposite of what she said about pain) but I’ve also joked about what a delicate flower he is before. When he had a colic scare this fall he made it pretty obvious he was not doing well, so maybe? I worry about him all the time because of his various past injuries but he never seems in pain or unwilling. He always seems happy to do his job, so maybe what she is saying is right? I really don’t know!
The heat comment came out of the blue and it is obviously spot on, with Rio’s history of anhidrosis. I will also make sure to use more flyspray- especially when he goes out at night.
Me: Does he like his job?
Anise: Yes, he loves his job. He loves what you do together. He hates to be drilled though. He gets bored easily when you do the same stuff and find things to distract himself. He sometimes checks out. He knows that you can tell, and that you will pick him up with the bit sometimes when this happens. He is not trying to be bad, he is just zoned out. He really loves you, and loves what you do together.
She then went on to say that he is very particular. He really likes having his face clean, and he likes to be pampered. He thinks he is very handsome and likes for everyone to be able to see how good looking he is. He also hates the color red, and hates when you put him in it. He says it doesn’t show him off well, and he would prefer a bright blue.
My thoughts: The drilling part makes sense. We do a LOT of poles and cavelettis and I can tell that sometimes he is over it a bit. He also can get really low and behind the vertical- maybe that’s in relation to the “picking him up with the reins” comment?
The red comment confused me for a bit, as I don’t use red saddle pads or anything. But then I realised that he got a new stable blanket this winter this is a reddish burgundy, so that could fit?
The vanity comments I agree with 100% . I have always suspected that he knows he is very good looking. He does seem to like to be meticulously groomed. I used to always wipe his face, nose, and eyes off with baby wipes, maybe I should start doing that again? He also loves having his face curried with a soft curry.
Me: What would he like more of?
Anise: Spend more quality time when getting tacked-up. He says he feels like the tracking process it’s rushed, a quick brush and the saddle thrown on. He would like more care to be taken. He says there is nothing wrong with the way it’s being done, he just thinks he deserves more attention and fawning. After your rides is good quality time together, and he wants that kind of attention before you ride as well.
She then went on to say that Rio feels like our relationship under saddle is improving, in that we are understanding each other more. He says that I am doing a better job communicating what I what, and he is understanding me more. Awhile ago we weren’t connecting and there was a mild blow-up. He said he could tell that I was unhappy, and that I might be thinking about selling him. He is happy that things are better now.
She changed course at this point and said that Rio is wondering why we aren’t “leveling up”. He feels we have been doing the same stuff for awhile, and that we are safe, confident, and competent. He is game to try more. He thinks that I am worried about his body and that is partially why we aren’t doing more, but that he feels fine.
My thoughts: The quality time before riding fits 100%. My program provides tack-up service, and therefore I typically don’t spend much time with him before riding, but a lot after (extra post ride grooming, hand grazing etc). I used to spend a ton of time getting him tacked at previous barns, so it makes total sense that he is missing that time together, I miss it too! I will definitely be making more effort to spend quality time with him before getting in the saddle in the future.
I would also agree that our relationship has gotten way stronger in the communication department lately. If you read my blog regularly then you will already know that I have been focusing a TON of communicating very clearly, and that I really do believe that pretty much all sources of frustration stem from unclear communication. I can think of one specific flat ride a few weeks ago where I was super frustrated, and it could easily be the “blow-up” he is referencing. I also can’t deny having an errant thought of selling him in a moment of frustration. I would NEVER of course, but I have thought it once or twice in passing.
As far as leveling up goes, we have been at the same level for awhile now. We pretty much always jump small at home and it can feel like we aren’t progressing. I even get a bit bored sometimes, so I could totally understand him feeling that way, and wondering why it’s the same old same old.
Me: What are his favorite treats?
Anise: He really wants more fresh fruit. He is telling me oranges. (I say that I have never given him any). She says maybe someone did in the past. She is unsure, but sure that he wants fresh fruit.
My thoughts: This one is really strange. I’ve never given Rio fruit outside of apples (which he likes) and bananas (which he doesn’t). I have DEFINITELY never given him oranges, but you can bet your ass that now I’m going to try giving him some. I will report back with the results!
Me: Does he like going to horse shows?
Anise: Yes, but he would like to win more. He says that he is really good looking, much better looking then many other horses there (he calls them “slops”). He thinks he is better looking then most. Even if we don’t win, he would like me to celebrate what we DID do well, and treat it like a win. For example, if we did a difficult combination well. But he really wants to win.
My thoughts: This one made me laugh out loud. I want to win too! And he is very very handsome after all. He definitely has a point though, I need to celebrate the small wins more, and make him feel like a winner regardless of the color of satin. I love the thought that he might love competing though. He has always been exceptionally well behaved at shows for such a green horse!
Me: I used to do a lot of chiro, but haven’t in awhile. How does he feel about that?
Anise: He is so sensitive, he can tell that you didn’t really care for the chiro, or believe it was effective. He wondered why you were doing it if you didn’t think it was helping. He says he never felt a change after it, and was sometimes more stiff. He says you would have been able to tell if there was a change. He wants to do more muscular work, like massages. particularly on his butt and right behind his withers.
My thoughts: This is 100% true. I am a huge skeptic about chiro (for horses and people). I have done it on myself many times, and never really felt it did much. I also have never really noticed a changed in Rio, even with regular adjustments. I finally stopped those appointments this year, since I felt it wasn’t worth the money. I do have a hand held percussion massager I use on him and his butt is DEFINITELY has favorite area, he really leans into it and starts moving his mouth a lot. It’s very obvious that he enjoys it there.
Me: Rio isn’t very good for body clipping, can you ask him why?
Anise: You are not doing anything wrong. He says it doesn’t hurt. The area behind his ribs though- the clippers get hot and he doesn’t like it. The skin is thin there. Mostly, he says it just takes too long. He is just really bored and hates standing still that long. He would really like if I broke it into shorter sessions. Also, the hair growing back after clipping is AWFUL. He said it itches a ton and he hates it. Any negative change in attitude after being clipped is due to the itchiness.
My thoughts: Again, this one feels pretty spot on. the area right behind the ribs is where he is the worst for clipping. I rotate out my blades frequently due to them getting hot, but it’s very possible I am not doing it frequently enough and they are uncomfortable. I will make sure to be more vigilant in the future! He is VERY impatient after a long time. Usually good for the first hour, and then super ansty. I have always suspected he’s very bored, but I prefer to power through. I am a slow clipper so it can take me up to 4 hours for a full clip. I had no idea the hair regrowth was so bothersome, but he had a lot to say about that.
Me: I know this is specific, but we sometimes have trouble with flying changes sometimes, can you ask him what he thinks?
Anise: (again responding immediately) It is all in your hips/seat bones. He says your timing is out of sync, and that your butt bones are misaligned so that he can’t power through the change with his hind legs. You need to focus on your seat bones more. He also says you tighten up your butt before you ask, like into hard knots, and that that tightens his back. It makes him scoot out to the side and be unable to change. He says I really need to relax and focus on my timing.
My thoughts: I have to say that this one surprised due to how specific and probably accurate it is. I do tense up in preparation, and I do often feel that my timing is not good. When we practice them on the flat I have no issues. I am relaxed and tune more into my old dressage training and we float through the changes. I usually just THINK the change and it happens. After jumps though he is usually more forward and less balanced, and I am more tense and rushed and chaotic feeling. I tend to just kind of kick with my outside and throw my body and hope it happens. I need to work on this for sure. Apparently Rio is waiting for me to get my act together LOL.
Me: is there anything else he wants me to know?
Anise: He says that he loves you very much now, but it wasn’t always like that. He says that you have always loved him, from the very beginning. Initially, he really didn’t feel that way for you. Over time though, he has come to love you deeply. He cares for you very much now, and feels like you have a mutual bond. He wouldn’t trade you for someone else. He knows that you do everything you can for him, and says not to worry about him so much, he is happy and would do anything for you.
My thoughts: Of course I loved him right away. He is my first horse that I’ve owned as an adult. I’ve loved him since the day I brought him home, and always told him so.
That is pretty much it! Yes, I have considered that my blog is very public, as is my IG, and it would have been easy for her to look me up. No, I don’t 100% believe that people can telepathically communicate with animals, or that they can respond in such detailed answers like a human would. But, I also don’t claim to know everything, and I enjoyed the session. I think it is pretty unlikely that she would be able to read over 2 years worth of blog posts and memorize everything and spit out answers without hesitation. Also, it is pretty easy to discover that peppermints are Rio’s favorite treat, so if she ‘researched me’ that would have been the obvious answer. I am intrigued by what she does, and I absolutely don’t regret it!
Has anyone else worked with an animal communicator? How did it go?