On The Road Again!
Beau and Prophet are a pair of champion barrel racing Quarter Horse geldings who Natural Horse magazine interviewed with the help of their person, Deborah Brown, Chief of Police for Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and animal communicator Renate Andrasevits, of San Pedro, California.
Deb wrote to introduce Beau and Prophet. She said, "Prophet's registered name is Reach The Gold; he is eight years old this year. Prophet was on the racetrack as a 2 year old. After I bought him, he remained in the top five for almost 3 months even without racing. He had orthoscopic surgery right away to remove chips from both knees. He had some lingering physical problems from the track that kept showing up each time he would start going strong. In spite of his injuries, he won Texas Reserve NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) 3D State Champion in 1999, and has been in the top 10 in the D&G Series and the Josey Reunion. In 1999, he was coming on strong, and I had set October 2000 as our goal for him being at full speed. In May 2000, at the Josey Reunion, he injured his stifle and had to be turned out for the rest of the year. Good veterinary care, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, God's healing hand, and Renate's helping him tell us how he was feeling, led to his return to barrel racing in January 2001. Although he is not at full-speed yet, his heart is there, and you can definitely tell that he still wants to work."
"Beau's registered name is Savannah's Beau Skip. He was a blown up roping horse that I bought when he was seven years old. He had been over-worked and had stopped sweating due to bad nutrition. I gave him three years of slow work, good nutrition, and love and kindness, and started competing on him when he was 10. He turns 17 this year. He has won three saddles, 13 buckles, and about $28,000. He has qualified for the NBHA World competition five times, and is the Texas NBHA State 4D Champion for 2000. He's not fast, but he has found his place in the NBHA, and seems to hit the pay window every time! In the State Finals this year, he ran three times, over three days, and his runs were within .06 seconds of each other, that's what makes him a winner! I never pushed him, but he thinks he's the fastest horse around! Not bad for a $2500 investment!"
"Both horses love to travel and love to compete. They have been God's gift to me, and I just want them to be able to enjoy their job and enjoy life!"
A friend of Deb's introduced her to animal communication and Renate, who was in Texas teaching a clinic on bodywork and healing techniques for horses. Prophet was having physical problems so Deb asked Renate for help. Deb was sure Prophet's problems were from an old neck injury. So she didn't believe it when Renate told her Prophet said his problem was "below my knees". Prophet explained to Renate that his neck injury was from many years earlier when he was running and playing. She said, "He fell in a ditch and jackknifed his neck. But the veterinarian and the BioScan had straightened out his neck problem." Then a veterinarian who specializes in sports medicine confirmed that Prophet had a suspensory ligament injury.
Renate heard from Deb a second time while she waited for her veterinarian to arrive. Deb was afraid Prophet had a broken bone because he was suddenly too lame to put weight on one hind leg. Renate said it was a massive muscle cramp, which the veterinarian confirmed.
That summer Renate came to some of Deb's barrel race meets in Texas. Renate did animal communication and equine bodywork. She also taught basic bodywork exercises so people could help their horses. This included teaching Deb how to help Prophet release his top line, where he holds a lot of muscle tension. Renate believes that a horse's joints "take the brunt of it" if the muscle tension is not released.
Prophet will do anything to make Deb happy. He is willing to injure himself trying to run as fast as he can. Therefore, Renate and Deb are careful to monitor his physical soundness. So Deb asked Renate to check Prophet before he went back to work after a hip injury. Prophet conveyed to Renate a very balanced good feeling in both hind legs. But Renate asked him to reassure her that he wasn't lying about feeling good, just so he could get back to work.
Renate contrasts this to Beau's sense of self-preservation. Beau is very good at taking care of himself. She said, "Beau has been Horse of the Year several years in a row. He is a happy-go-lucky laid-back guy. I wish every animal was as balanced as he is. He's a love, a pleasure to work with. He's very grounded. He really knows how to take care of himself. He really wants to keep racing, but if he's not feeling up to snuff he'll go only as fast as he thinks he needs to. He's a really neat animal."
When it was time for the interview, Deb laughed as she described to Renate how thrilled her boys were. She said they were both "silly with excitement", because they were going to be able to talk to all kinds of people about what they think and feel. Deb said they were prancing around and acting like "we're superstars". Renate confirmed that what she was getting was that Beau and Prophet were "very giddy and super happy about this interview".
Renate asked them what they liked about barrel racing. She said, "It's like the Willie Nelson song, they can't wait to get on the road again! They both enjoy the mingling, the crowds, and the excitement. They really, really like the lifestyle of going to competitions."
Deb agreed and added that people come up to admire Beau and want to buy him. She said, "He thinks he's Mr. Universe. He gets a lot of satisfaction out of the extracurricular activities, like warming up and being out with the people."
Renate said, "Prophet is not as gregarious, he is very down to business. He likes the competitions in more of a quiet way, but he said he really loves 'to haul ass around the barrels', especially when he takes the last step where he can catapult out." Deb agreed, "That's his strongest point! When he turns around and shoots out of the barrel."
Deb wanted to know if she could do anything else to help them when she was riding. Renate said, "Beau is very confident that he is taking care of Mom and you don't have to tell him anything. (And Deb agreed). But Prophet thinks you are interfering too much when you pull on his head and tell him where to go."
As Prophet conveyed to Renate what he meant, she explained to him that Deb was trying to teach him how to bend around the barrel instead of planting a foot and catapulting around it. Deb is hoping Prophet will learn to use his body differently. So Renate explained that his "hard drive" has to be re-programmed in order for him to learn how to use his hind end differently. She recommended that they practice the changes at the walk until Prophet gets it right without needing Deb to tell him, and then the trot, then canter, then finally speed work.
They also discussed that Deb was still trying to restrain him a little from going full speed, to go easier on the stifle he had injured. And Deb had changed Prophet's back shoes from a rim to a smooth design so it would be easier on his stifle when he pivots. Renate said he really likes the new shoes.
When shipping a long distance to a competition, Deb now used shipping boots instead of polo wraps for their legs because she did not want to restrict the circulation. And she stops every four or five hours to rest them. Renate asked them how they liked this. Prophet did not care, but Beau said he wanted his polo wraps back on, he likes the extra support.
Renate and Deb asked Beau and Prophet what they thought about the importance of winning. Renate said, "Prophet is very intense. He will give it his all, and doesn't care if he shreds himself up. Beau likes to win, and is very happy about it. But he also knows how to preserve himself. This is a very smart thing. I wish a lot more animals had that going in their favor."
Deb asked if Prophet and Beau felt any competition between themselves. She explained that they competed in different speed divisions. Renate said, "These two know they don't compete against each other. Each has a gift, and feels really good about it. Many animals don't have this. When you treat them like little people in fuzzy coats, and talk with them, and know their needs, that's the kind of relationship you can and should have. But not everybody gets there because they don't know how."
When asked if they had any other comments, Beau said, "We are humbled, honored, and very happy that people are starting to listen to what animals have to say. We just wish more people would start listening to them." So, Deb wanted to know if she was better at communicating with them now. Renate assured her, "I think you are quite fantastic".
Renate Andrasevits, of San Pedro, California, specializes in animal communication consultations and clinics, and animal rehabilitation. Due to her love and fascination with animals Renate grew skillful in rehabilitating them, especially problem horses. She explains, "The communication aspect was always there, but Janet Goldman-Merrill, who studied with Bea Lydecker, enhanced my skills." Renate uses energy work, bodywork, herbs, homeopathy and BioScan. She has studied equine anatomy at the Academy of Equine Dentistry, and is pursuing a degree in Naturopathy. Renate designed and taught "The Horse Course" at LA Harbor College, and volunteered with the horse welfare group, "Horse Aid". She has appeared on Animal Planet and a television special on complementary therapies for animals. Renate's newsletter "Windwalker Word" is "an open forum where animal folks can share information and experiences for the benefit of all." Renate Andrasevits can be contacted at 310-519-9424 or Generen2@netscape.net