Equine Touch Case Study
Tess had only been with her new owner for a couple of months and they were still getting to know each other. She is an extremely sweet horse and is willing to please, but as she was brought into work she was finding it very difficult to carry herself in a balanced way. She would lean on her shoulders; the left shoulder in particular, and take hold of the bit on the left side. This made bending to the left nearly impossible. When ridden her neck was braced and her stride was becoming shorter. When she walked in hand, she was heavy on her front feet, kicking up stones with each stride as she tended to land toe first rather than heal first or flat. When she stood she invariably stood with her left front foot set back behind the right one bearing more weight. On running your hands over the left shoulder, you could feel (and see) tight bands of muscle and if you asked her to step under with her left hind she found this really hard to do.
So Tess became an Equine Touch Case Study and began a series of body balancing sessions to coincide with careful schooling from her owner. This is a diary of observations and results which illustrates how the requirements of the body are changing all of the time, and why it is so important to be holistic in your approach.
Before session 1
- Tess is big at the front end with little at the hind end.
- Her chest is a little in front of her forefeet.
- Left front leg set back.
- Shadows show the tight muscle in her shoulder.
- After work when the rest of Tess showed a warm skin and raised veins, there was an obvious patch on each shoulder which was devoid of any veins or evidence of increased circulation (bigger patch on right shoulder).
- Mild muscle atrophy on the left wither (new saddle was on order).
3 July 2006
(A brief ET session prior to this time revealed discomfort in the massetter and TMJ, particularly on the right had side. A visit from the dentist the following week confirmed that there were sharp edges on her teeth with the right side being the worst.)
During Session 1 – 3 July 2006
Tess was processing many of the Equine Touch moves, particularly in the neck and shoulders. Lymphatic “rain” drainage marks showed up on her flanks and veins raised up
along both sides of her body.
After this body balance, Tess felt noticeably looser in the shoulders when ridden and veins showed up on the previously blocked areas of both shoulders as normal.
During Session 2 – 12 July 2006
Tess concentrated hard on moves made in hind quarters, withers and mid-back. She began to push into the moves made over her shoulders and neck, especially on the right hand side, asking for deeper moves to be made. Veins popped up all over her shoulders and neck showing an increased circulation, and Tess spent time thinking about and processing the bodywork.
After this body balance, Tess walked out much freer and her stride had lengthened on the lunge.
During Session 3 – 18 July 2006
Tess now had looser skin over most of her body than before and the muscles in her quarters were much softer. During this session there was lots of processing when the abdominals were worked on and she rested her nose on the ground whilst moves were made around the withers. Tess became deeply relaxed and zoned out into a world of her own.
After this session, Tess stretched out and down whilst trotting on the lunge for the first time since her owner had had her.
During Session 4 – 26 July 2006
The whole feel of Tess’s body was completely different now and especially her neck felt soft, relaxed, toned and pliable. Still plenty of reactions and processing to moves in the lower neck, chest and belly and although the shoulders also felt softer, the tightness of the muscles still prevented gentle access in behind the shoulder. Again there was a huge boost to the circulation system with many veins showing around the chest and top of the forelegs. Tess was extremely relaxed and thoroughly enjoying the session!
After this body balance there continued to be an improvement in the way Tess moved and she was very relaxed about life in general.
During Session 5 – 1 August 2006
Tess remained very mentally connected during this session although there was less processing and deep relaxation than previously. Reactions showed up in a new area of the mid-back and sacrum, also the hamstrings as before. Again veins popped up all around the front and hind legs.
After this session, Tess is now moving very freely and is tending to stand with her left foreleg forward quite often.
During Session 6 – 21 August 2006
There is now instant connection with Tess when ET is on offer! Small reactions in various places but bigger reactions this time over the withers, up the neck and in the mid-back. The owner had a suspicion that her new saddle was no longer fitting so well as Tess was changing shape and building muscle – this meant it was definitely time to get it checked and adjusted. It is now possible to get behind right shoulder muscles but not the left. Masses of vein activity over the whole of the left shoulder.
After this session Tess walked away noticeably lighter on her feet. She is now starting the work thorough in a freer way and is stretching out and down when under saddle.
During Session 7 – 1 September 2006
Great connection but little reaction this time, except for moves along lower edge of the neck. Some gentle leg stretching sent Tess off into a zoned out world for a considerable amount of time.
After, when Tess was ridden the next morning her shoulders felt very much looser.
Two and a half weeks later, two and a half months after starting this programme of Equine Touch Sessions………
“After” – 19 September 2006
- A balanced picture with a hind end to match the front.
- A soft and relaxed body even at the shoulder.
- Standing upright at the shoulders and not leaning forward.
- Muscle development behind the wither where there had been atrophy.
- Standing square in front and not favouring a foot.
- No evidence of blockages in the shoulder
- Tess can now work in a soft and loose manner when under saddle.
19 September 2006
Tess has had routine maintenance Equine Touch sessions every couple of months. She is looking and feeling extremely well!
At the beginning One year on