Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Special Afternoon with Kit

Went to the barn to video tape some bodywork steps for teaching aides.  Well, camera problems were numerous, as was the mud, but the afternoon was beautiful for the first week of January. Temps hit the 40's and sunshine abounded.

Never did get any good video, and we had 6 horses volunteering.  The horses were great, it was the equipment that failed us.  So this will be a first, a photo free blog...but I just had to share a couple of things.

First, I thought I'd use a lighter colored horse this time, as the sorrels don't show my hand placement as well. So I rounded up, I mean I asked for a volunteer, and 2 literally stepped forward.  I took Mandy, an older gelding the color of sand.  He did just great, giving tremendous releases, and cooperating all the way.

Now the funny part.  I'm flexing his neck, when I sense another horse coming up behind me, and it turns out to be Opie.  Opie was my video "star" last weekend.  First Opie, gives Mandy a nice nose sniff and rub hello...walking right in front of the cameraman.  I stop and move him away...beginning again.

We are filming and making good progress, when who should come behind me again!  Well this time, he looks over my shoulder, sees me flexing and releasing his friend, and then proceeds to take my sweatshirt hood in his teeth and tries to pull me away!

I really think Opie  wanted to be the demo horse again!

The second big event of the day was KIT.  As I left the small paddock we were trying to film in, who should I see standing across the enclosure, his eyes riveted on ME.  As I entered with his herd mate, he nickered soft and low...again at me.  I turned Mandy loose and as he walked over to Kit, I saw Kit inspect and sniff his neck...the area I was working.  Once he finished he turned and walked over to me as if to're my person, what are you doing with that other horse?

So I reassured him that I was in fact his person, and we headed to the small turn out to be alone, brush in hand.  I got his coat "sort of" brushed off, well, at least the first layer of dirt! Then I began to do bodywork on him.

You have to understand the significance here, I have not been able to do most of the techniques on Kit, as they are too much for him, with the broken shoulder.  I've been working within strict limitations and have had to find new and inventive, which has been an amazing learning experience, but I still wished to do more for him.

I began with lateral cervical flexion, working slowly and gently, vertebra by vertebra.  He released a great deal of tension and at times I could actually feel the muscles jump and release under my fingertips.  The side of the injury was much more difficult for him, with huge releases, but only after dramatic head swinging and walking.

The work progressed with pressure point releases throughout his body, massage to his back, and lumbar spine.  He allowed all 4 legs to be worked and massaged...a FIRST. He even permitted me to raise, massage and place his left front, this is the support leg, since the right shoulder was broken last spring.  This was huge for him and for me it was a testament of his trust and his healing.  I was overjoyed.

Over an hour later, with the sun and temperatures setting, we agreed we were done.  He'd had a full bodywork and tremendous release throughout his body.  His releases ranged from licking & chewing, yawning, shaking, and stomping his legs involuntary.  When I moved him back to the herd, he barely walked through the gate, standing..."in the zone"...gave a big out breath followed by a huge full body shake.  I knew he felt good...and so did I!

He then followed me to the gate to say good-bye...what a great evening for us both!

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