Friday, March 15, 2013

Tender Loving Care

Wa mare receiving the gentle, effective therapeutic touch from one of her favorite  equine therapists, on a  recent rare sunny day.

The year I met him, I watched as he helped several horses at my stable regain health. Sometimes  he worked without being paid, coming out in between appointments to do a ck up.
He made sure the horses were calm and comfortable, while healing from their serious maladies. He is a "give, give" kinda guy. 

Washashe mare Here, the first time she met him  , I truly thought she would try and lay him low!  
As he found the area's of trauma, she made terrible faces and also began kicking the ground with her hind leg, to relieve the pain as he did the same, by massaging the blocked area. 
We knew he was a "Keeper" after that session. He also uses pure essential oils, and the horses sniff them, as needed to soothe themselves.

The weekend he came, it was so nice and bright out (CCCold in the dark arena) we chose to partake of this  therapy session  outside in it! Wa was very aware she could NOT SEE her 2 mares out back, and tried to get us to walk that direction a few times. She soon settled into his handiwork, with yawns and droopy eyes. He liked how she kept breathing through the work he was doing. Apparently, some horses hold their breath and it does block releasing.

We all got SUNSHINE THERAPY  weekend before last, here in the PNW.  Trails started to dry out and the warmness reclaimed our cold bones for movement again.

 After a good long ride atop my steed,  the warm radiant sunshine filling us up to the top with JOY, my "CARDIO TRAINER"  App  told me the mileage had reached 5 miles. 
I then hopped off to  walk a few...and a few became... all the way home with my mare, happily walking beside me!

It  certainly was a great therapeutic workout for the both of us.   AND*** I did it, I walked the entire long hill  up to the home trail!  Instead of her pulling me up, because the grounds were dry and non slick, we both happily strode the entire thing up- NO STOPPING-!  The C.T. App then told me how much reward I'd  earned. I was Alarmed with the calorie burn!  6 Avocados! Who could eat that many?

We be a tired duo, arriving home to stable.

  I got the "GROOMA" hand held rubber massage tool out for a massage. Now Wa, she doesn't like much touch but , when she has deemed it beneficial, she'll really tell you  Exactly where she needs/wants the massage, and how long!
I spray her all over with "Sore-No-More" firstly.

I had "thought" To have finished the left side of her body when suddenly, She blocked me from walking around to the right side, by turning her head that direction.   I asked her to straighten, she did. Then again, she blocked me!   I just cocked my knee forward, shifting my hip, and asked her,  with my body language,"Then WHERE?? Wa?!  

 If I could have had the video on...amazing........
She then quickly bend her neck around to the left and pointed at her shoulder, touching it repeatedly.  I was astonished and said, "Alright girl, I will attend that for you."

A nice large sip of water from her "Better Bucket" my sister gave me to use, then a day off or two was on order  now, for "Resting therapy"!

D'apple and Pantz, my sister's 2 mares,  have certainly benefited by our therapist's Robb's skilled ways also. 
Most recently D'ap has been receiving treatments from Robb.  Our barefoot specialist had said, "  D'ap really has no connection through to her hind end".  We have had many lessons with her on just picking the hind hooves up calmly. She has a terribly difficult time, often SLAMMING them to the floor...and if your foot is in the way, woe to you!

Robb has had several sessions with her. She seems to really enjoy them. The HOMEWORK has been to build her hind end muscles up and engage her in lateral work more. Our Dressage teacher "C", also wants this for D'ap.  She is not traveling under herself and is very weak. 
We knew all this, and sister has taken many a day into weeks, to focus upon hind end work in hand.

"KATE, from "A Year with Horses",  recently posted about this very work she has begun (again) with "Pie".  It is the sort of basic work that really engages the horses to use themselves correctly, bolstering balance and strength. 
 Along with the in hand work, we shall also use Cavaletti poles on the straight.

"It is natural for the horse to lower his head and neck to look at the poles this, in turn, rounds the long muscles over the back and loins and allows greater freedom for the hind legs to come under the weight of the body, while the need to lift the legs over the poles requires greater flexibility and, therefore, suspension."
 Quote from ,  "LUNGING The horse and Rider" by Sheila Inderwick

Other work sissy has done with the D'ap is taking her through many obstacles. Outside there is a  huge course of bridges, poles in a pattern to back through and also, random RR ties to step through. But when weather is ick, inside there is a reinforced covered pallet, and poles to arrange.

 HAHAHA!!! Sister sent me some shots, after the first time she asked D'ap to step up on the pallet. She willingly did, and stayed...while sister took shots. Then  my sister decided to go to the tack room for something.  D'ap was still on the pallet, when she returned!!!

While Wa had some time off, I took another set of lessons with D'ap.
 We did some in hand laterals firstly, and then some pallet work with "one foot at a time". She is very good at listening and will stop movement, if you ask her too.

My Sister's tender loving care of this mare and her unique willingness to try anything we've asked of her, seem to go hand in hand. She snorts if she is pensive, and breaths deeply, blinks and chews if she accepts . It's like a game to find the way to her heart...

This mare D'ap, has given me such a loving therapy too. She is non reactive, and I can trust her.  She gives 110% and during my recent lesson, with trainer "C" , I received "New legs" and "New arms"! 
D'apple continues to train me!  

My legs came to me after trainer "C' told me to Drape my legs around the horse. My sister has told me this for ever...but, when "C" added the, "Feel the outside of your foot in the stirrup, and the little toe". CLICK***!  My legs suddenly felt as though they went around the horse and my thigh lengthened, with the calf contact suddenly becoming more apparent. 
I feel badly that something my sister has taught me for years, I learned how to apply with another trainer. BUT, "when" you get it, you get it!

 BEAMING RIDER...all smiles I was!

The arms came shortly after this moment during the lesson. My sister has gotten me to CLOSE my hands around the reins and  also, not to "Puppy Paw" my contact, by breaking over at the wrists.   Trainer "C" effectively related last LSN, for me to not "GIVE AWAY" my contact of "Being there" for the horse, as they seek the bit and contact.  I am getting that feel now. She knows I had a mindset instilled in me by a former trainer that I was hard handed. She has blown that bogus ( I now realize  maliciously spoken) theory out now!

I love trainer "C",  she makes sure you KNOW "where you are going rightly", as she begins to change the ways in you that are not beneficial to growth in your rides.
 She stopped me firstly,  to make a point. She took the reins, behind the bit, and asked me to hold her hand. I gently felt her. She then told me, "Good,  you have excellent hands that are sensitive and gentle".
She had instilled again in me the confidence.
 We then proceeded,  her asking me to breath upwards for the trot, thinking it mostly. D'apple moved upwards into the trot. HERE IT IS- Trainer "C" then said, 
" I don't see your armpit muscles engaged!"
....!!!.... what, but it worked....I tightened those unknown beauties, and my shoulders went back a notch. D'apple went down into the contact and I again, BEAMED WITH DELIGHT! 
It allowed me to "Carry my hands" easier, I found. 

I totally had to apologise to my Sissy after the lesson. Nothing "C" had asked me to do is new to my ears, sister has tried to teach me these things all along, but it came as an "AHA moment", with the addition of the new "visualizing suggestions" I think.

Love this mare, her nature is helping me learn. She and I are forgiving and understanding of each other, going very easy.  TREATS of green grassy delights came after the lesson.

Thanks to you D'apple mare, I can take all my new body parts back to Washashe! Using them in "Trailssage". 

The D'apple of my eye you are!

 New beginnings abound, as I read around the globe. It's all good, huh!

This is one happy, drunk bee!


  1. Seems to be a lot happening by you with both horses. All good. The lessons are sounding very productive too. I think I love D'Apple she seems wonderful. Enjoy your time with the mares!

    1. I ** LOVE the D'ap mare too. She is polar opposite from Pantz and Wa. She waits to be directed and doesn't want to make a wrong step. Though it is probably part of her former abuse, it is definitely part of her nature to be willing and sweet.

  2. Eheheh, I love how they direct us to where they want to be touched!

    1. I failed to mention- Wa mare was loose in the arena as i massaged her...her turning her her to block me was unobstructed by the cross ties in the was like her raising her voice at me, " No, you've got to do my left shoulder first!"

  3. Yummy massage for Wa. I sure wish I had your massage man here. My boys could use it. May get that hand tool you have - Sovey just might like it - doubt it with him, but it is worth the try.

    So good that you had a great ride and I admire your walk back. Fun and good for both of you! I love that you are her rider and her friend.

    And, D'Ap's too. What great learning together. She is lucky to have you and your sister in her life.

    Enjoy the spring sun! Send some our way - we are the grey eastern version of PNW here.

    1. Thanks Jules
      We have a neat assortment of equine professionals, and some that may not have quite that training (like Robb) but have this perception and touch, that heals the horses. He has done it for so long, he has learned things some books may not describe!
      Wish you had a Robb too!

      Well, Wa may start out by being figity and a tad unwilling...but the "GROOMA" has her relaxed in a quick minute.
      GREAT FOR SHEDDING them out too....I am sending some sunny warmth your way girl!

      I was thinking WE were blessed with the Da'p mare...she is getting what she deserves..Tender Loving Care!

  4. I have to agree with horses "pointing" to where they would like touched or brushed. Mine do, Gracie loves a brush on the head and neck, then down to the chest. Sunny prefers her rump and belly brushed. Likes the other stuff done too! but she loves to stand with her head on my shoulder, and waits to be groomed.

    1. Awe, That's so Beautiful.
      I Adore Hearing Of The Unique Expressions Between Horse And Human

  5. Wow Kacy, so much good in this post! Happy for you & yours! It's all sooo wonderful, the ride/walk, kind therapist, Wa & you being so in-tune with each other, D'app, and trainer C. Don't feel bad, I am sure your sister is just glad things clicked. I suspect it also had to do with where you are right now in your horse journey (and while riding D'App). Thanks for sharing, complete with grins. I laughed out loud when you said D'App was still on the pallet when your sister returned. What a gem.

  6. I am so AMAZED she told you were to put the brush (I have one just like that and Oberon loves me to do circles all over his rump with it. The instructor seems great... confidence boosting and explanations go a LONG way. I listen to some instructors at my barn just yelling at young girls... it can't be good for them.


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