The End of the Case Study
I'm going to start with Buster. He is the one that I was able to work on his body with him. In working with his body, it has also quieted his mind. He is a horse that has always held onto his bracing patterns. He'd start to release and than say "nope, I just cant do it". He has finally decided to release. The thing I love the most is that when I look at him in the pasture, his body looks softer. He chooses to stand in a better posture.
In this photo, you can see the crookedness in his spine. Our goal is not to make him completely symmetrical. No being will ever be symmetrical. I'm more concerned about him having balance throughtout his body. You can see his left shoulder is more built up than his right. What will this do to his movement patterns, his canter leads, saddle fit. What lead will be easier for him to pick up? This will be something we will continue to work on with him.
Maybe I should have started with this photo! He is more released throughout his back. What I love about this photo is that my daughter walked him out of the indoor and they stopped. She didnt influence his stop and he stood like this. In the past, he would have stood with his head up, pecs jetting out, slightly camped under at times. All of these postures that I'm speaking of in the last sentence are a posture of using the locomotive muscles as postural muscles. Now he is starting to use the correct muscles. This is just a start! But with this start, we can now move on to much better things. This is where we need to start. If your horse does not have this, everything you do with him will be building on the wrong muscles.
Let's talk about Tinsel and Diamond. As I said before my goal was to start working on their body. I wanted to show you photos of how much better they looked. Well I was in for a very valuable learning experience. Yes working on the body will help the mind, but with these two I had to work on the mind first and this helped the body more than I expected. Of course, I knew this to be true, but it was one of those experiences that proved how true it was. The other thing I learned is how attached Di is to Tinsel. I'm not a 100% sure if she is attached to Tinsel because Tinsel is a protector to her or vice versa. I will continue to observe and learn. Di is fine if I take her away from Tinsel which is great, she just does't like Tinsel leaving her.
I'm going to focus more on Tinsel for this blog post. I will have updates on Di throughout the summer. Unfortunately I do not have any good photos of Tinsel at this time and I am out of town at a trimming workshop, so you'll have to trust me.
As I said in my last update, Tinsel is a freezer and than goes into flight. The biggest thing I have learned is to wait and than wait longer. I know she was pushed through doors and gates and than asked to disconnect. She has a lot of anxiety because she was forced to torque her body in an unnatural way which gave her great anxiety. It was one of those, let me rush through this and get it over with because I have no other choice! Giving her a choice was so amazing to watch. To see her let down and actually think and relax was a wonderful feeling. You could see her say "thank you" through her body.
In the pasture, she looks more relaxed in her body. She now goes through gates with ease. Now I can start to work on her body. She had the same posture at the mounting block, so we've been working on waiting for her to breath at the mounting block, no saddle on, and than walking away. Giving her different experiences like this are helping her in all aspects of her views on people. I'm going to end with the following photo. It is so important for all of our horses.
If you leave these case studies with one concept, it is the breath. Notice if your horse is breathing and notice if you are breathing. If you've been following along, you know I spent a lot of time with Tinsel standing outside the arena door. What did I focus on - her breath. In the beginning, I would put her out after she exhaled. I'd stand inside the arena and take deep breaths. How is your horse breathing?