A seven year old Andalusian (Paolo) was bought from a typical prison-like horse environment in which many horses nowadays live and the Andalusian breed particularly suffers from. He was saved from living an artificial life that no horse deserves. He was unsound and rather withdrawn, as one sadly would expect a horse living in these conditions would be.
His shoes were taken off and he was introduced to what can only be called a normal horse’s life – outdoors, with other horses as companions and an owner that loves and respects him.
This horse had never been out of a stable and was highly trained to perform the Spanish way of trotting. He spent the first week in his box with the door open. With encouragement of the owner he slowly discovered a world where there is grass and there are other horses and where he could express himself.
His feet came on well with the barefoot trim and then he was allowed to go out in the field with the other Andalusian and an old mare that had lived in the place for a long time.
The three together posed a problem; he wanted to approach the mare but the other horse decided to have a fight over her. He did not see the threats and he ended up with a few big scars on his bum from the bites he received. But he kept trying to meet the mare as if oblivious to the menacing of the other horse and then at one point kicked out with both back legs and then went on as if nothing happened.
It was decided not to let the three horses out together again, but the two male Andalusions did get used to going out together in the field bit by bit. He learned how to dialog with the other horse and they learned how to get on together.
Just one thing did not work; they could not feed on the hay together in the field. Paolo would systematically chase the other horse from every pack of hay. Whereas at other times he would have no inclination at all to have differences with him, and they could graze together, go out riding together and be perfectly happy together. The other horse would even be the more bossy of the two, but as soon as any food was laid out in the field, Paolo would chase the other horses away with all the energy and aggression he could find in his normally very kind person.
The owner commented: ‘Poalo must have been starved at times and feels he still needs to fight for his food. He was also starved of any contact with other horses; he has always been on his own and also never knew of any friendship. He probably lived like a prisoner’.
Based on the idea of being (having been) on one’s own, not being able to let go of the perception that food is going to be very scarce (regardless of the good food provision since his new life), having lived in the coldness (absence of any ‘warmth’ in his ‘previous life’ apart from the temperature outside), I prescribed Cistus Canadensis 30 for 3 days.
Two weeks later the aggression around the food had stopped and Paolo came more out of himself, making a further leap into his rehabilitation to what should be a normal horse’s life. This was a year ago, with no return of the symptoms.
Cistus Canadensis is the rock rose and lives in the cold on rocky terrain with very little food and water available. It is as if the patient has a perception of insufficient access to resources to survive and will defend tooth and nail whatever is available. He also lives with the impression that his environment offers him very little comfort.
Phatak mentions the following generalities about Cistus Canadensis:
– an ancient remedy for scrofulosis.
– It affects the Glands esp. of naso-pharynx; neck and mammae (left).
– It also produces herpetic eruptions, scorbutic states, chronic swellings and gangrenous ulcerations.
– The patient is painfully sensitive to cold; to cold inspired air.
– Feeling of coldness in various parts: of tongue, saliva, in throat, eructations in stomach, even the discharges. agg. Sweating..
– Mucus discharges are thick, yellow, foul; leave a painful rawness.
– Internal and external itching.
– Formication through the whole body, with anxious, difficult breathing.
– Malignant diseases of glands of neck.
– Poisoned wounds, bites, phagedenic ulcers.
– Callosities, with cracks.