Friday, August 16, 2013

If Wishes Were Horses – If Horses Could Talk…

There has been a little strangeness lately. You might recall a brief discussion about how she prefers the right lead, even when tracking left… Which was only somewhat odd, because she started out so reliable on her leads…

When I heard the massage therapist was coming to the barn, I jumped right on that and got her on the schedule! I couldn’t be at the appointment due to work, but I buzzed right out to the barn afterwards just in case I could catch her before she left… And I did!!

What she had to tell me blew me away. And lots of pieces fell into place.

MT (massage therapist) was able to work out a lot of stuff. You have to expect a lot of stuff to need work on a horse that has never had a massage. However, there was one area that she just could not completely release. The Psycho Mare had/has a huge, dense, ropey, gnarly knot in her left hip. When MT started working on it, I hear that the mare pinned her ears, screwed up her face, and kicked out HARD! Her only indication to me was less consistent connection to the left, and taking the wrong lead to the left (sometimes). Well, that and the head flipping and shoulder dropping at the canter. MT thought that this knot has probably been there for quite a while. Likely, before she even started under saddle. Despite this, she was doing less head-flipping and even slowing down her canter for me! She was TRYING to relax and balance!

I'm only doing this for you!
Last Monday, I pulled her out of her lot, and she was no longer roan. She was solid brown. The mud was *that* thick. So, I hosed her off (with soap, even!) before we rode. Usually she just gets curried and gets hosed *after* her workout. When I got to the part where I scape all the water off, she sucked down when I scraped down her back on the left side!! I was quite surprised, because she hadn’t been that sensitive or reactive when I scraped her *after* our rides…

MT wasn’t surprised. By working, she would have stretched and warmed the knotted muscles, in turn working and stretching over her back, so of course it didn’t hurt as bad!

I'm sorry I can't do it better!  It hurts!
At MT’s insistence, I pulled the mare out of her lot last night before she left. I could immediately tell that she was looser in her hip. She was tracking up right off the bat. MT showed me some techniques to help keep her as comfortable as possible though manual massage, tail pulls, and core activation. I want to have her back out one more time before we head off to the Pony Cup! I love her holistic, whole-picture approach to the horse. I love that she is knowledgeable about my sports. I really love that she will go over my entire horse with me and show me what to look for and how to help her.

I wish I had picked up on the subtleties sooner so we could have gotten this taken care of and started relieving her pain!


  1. At least you figured it out, a lot of people never quite figure out whats wrong with their horse.

    1. It's so easy to interpret those things as disobedience or lack of understanding. It was beginning to feel like I had to ride her sweaty and tired in order to get her best performance, and that just didn't feel right. I feel so relived now to at least have a direction to go!

  2. I need to get this done to Simon. Also, figured out how to comment on your blog so yay :)

    1. Don't feel bad. I spent 30 minutes just now trying to figure out how to see and reply to comments on my page! I guess I have to click "open in new tab" to get the comments to show up! How strange - and annoying!



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