Winnie Winona was 11 years old when we met for the first time – a retired trotter suffered from severe stress expressed through cribbing, stomping hooves and shaking throughout her body, among other things. Winnie and I clicked from the moment we met and our connection would unfold over several years. Here is her story as told by 18-year-old companion, Rebekka:
“Winnie suffered from terrible stress. She habitually took off, could never stay alone in the stables, was scared of everything, her muscles began to shiver with the slightest change or unfamiliar situation… Lauren saw the problem immediately and even as she treated Winnie for the first time, her muscles stopped shivering, the horse stood quietly and the “whites of her eyes” disappeared behind her lids. Before leaving, Lauren gave me some “medicines” that should help Winnie to keep calm and balanced – I remember thinking, “this is a load of crap, but I’ve got nothing to lose by trying.” The shock came the following day when I found Winnie standing perfectly calm and happy in the stables. The symptoms of stress were as good as gone that day … and the day after that, and the next … The real shock came when I got up into the saddle and discovered a horse that was no longer afraid of shadows, rocks or hidden “dangers” by the side of the road. We were supposed to follow up with Lauren a few weeks later, but Winnie was doing so well that I let things slide.
Two months later, Winnie had slowly fallen back to some of her old habits so Lauren came to visit us again. She had also developed a swollen leg after an unexplained injury out on the trail, but we didn’t focus much on that as the vet had been to see it and promised that it was nothing serious. Winnie is a passionate and lively horse – she will always be, I hope – but the difference between her stress level before and after Lauren was incredible.
A few months later, Winnie had a new life growing inside her belly – both Lauren and I were excited to meet the foal that would soon arrive. Winnie had continued to have issues with swelling in the back leg, but the vet was still very optimistic that it would be fine. Then came the day when Winnie dropped a beautiful little boy into the picture and, even though my joy was great my worries were greater. The moment the foal hit the ground, Winnie’s injury became much worse. Suddenly, the vet was no longer positive, saying that my mare would need to be separated from her foal at 4 months for reasons of mercy – Winnie would need to be put down, she could not be asked to endure more pain than was absolutely necessary for the foal to survive. When I told Lauren about this new turn of events, she naturally wanted to help. Being a student, there was no way I could afford the care, but Lauren agreed to help us on the condition that I would assist in Winnie’s recovery process too.
It was quite a big project, with near daily massages, bandage changing and medicines (powders, pellets, juices, you name it!). Lauren came regularly to give laser acupuncture, bioresonance and massage, while also enlisting the help of an animal homepath who made a big difference too. It was very obvious that Lauren was determined to help, something that made it very easy to trust her. Even after Winnie and I had to move home for the summer, an hour away from Lauren, she came regularly to check on us and treat Winnie.
I have to admit that it was hard at times – especially after the first treatment when Winnie got worse. Lauren had warned me that there could be a bad reaction to the first treatment before any improvement could happen. Winnie was worse for several days, but then suddenly she was almost completely better … and then gradually worse again. It was all very confusing to me, but Lauren said it was fine so I just had to stick with it, massaging and giving medicines over and over.
Winnie will never be an active horse again, but she doesn’t have pain in her daily life anymore. Her life is not nearly as limited as it could have been, this summer she was out to pasture with other mares and foals along with her son. They climbed hills and ran together with the other horses. Luckily, Winnie is smart and understands her own limitations, she doesn’t run her weak leg into the ground even if the other horses leave her behind. This never would have been possible at all without Lauren. Winnie spends her days without pain and, even though I don’t know how long her leg will hold out, I think of the difference it has made for her foal. Lille “B.C.” has been with his mother the whole time, has gotten the milk and protection he needs. He gets the upbringing that other foals receive, he gets the same start in life as everybody else and has a real chance. He never would have gotten that chance if it hadn’t been for Lauren and her fantastic help. All three of us will be forever grateful and in deep debt to her. We will never be able to give back what we have received. Through Lauren and her treatments, I’ve gotten help in managing a stressed horse and a very difficult period. Winnie has gotten a better life both physically and emotionally and B.C. a new and decisive chance!”
– Rebekka Yndesdal, Nannestad