Visit 1

I was called out to visit Oreo after repeated sessions with the Vet/Chiro were not achieving results and she recommended massage be attempted. According to the vet his pelvis was continually going out and his owner was having trouble when mounting and riding him.

His owner is away at university most of the year and he is ridden during the holidays. He is in a paddock 24/7, and she is now having issues with catching him and putting a halter on. By the time I was called to see him he was very cranky with the world and didn’t want to be touched.

My initial evaluation of Oreo, found him very tense, head shy and not wanting to be touched. On gentle palpitation of his back, it was like touching a brick wall. His pelvis appeared to be in position as he’d had the vet/chiro out only the week before and hadn’t been ridden. His temporalis was also like a brick wall and he resisted even the lightest touch. I was assured that his saddle fitted correctly (His owner did not want to put the saddle on for me to have a look at it in position).

To begin with I worked on the Longissimus dorsi using cross pressure and crossed hands. The movement of the fascia was quite dramatic in this area, so several different positions were used.

Next in order to gain his trust I worked in the cervical area. I started with a mane stretch, which he appeared to enjoy and worked in the rectus capitis dorsalis area with direct pressure.

I then moved to the head, he was very resistant to any work here, but after reassuring him and taking it very slowly I he relaxed. Oreo’s eyes looked so sad and unhappy, it was upsetting to see. So I gently placed my hand on his forehead. To begin with he resisted even the lightest touch, but soon settled down and accepted gentle direct pressure. From here I moved to the temporalis and placed both hands gently on his temples. After a while in this area he visibly relaxed and his eyes started to look brighter.

I ended the first session on this note and left a happier horse.

Visit 2

The owner was happy as she had been able to ride Oreo without any bucks. This visit found a happier horse who offered me his head. He was still very tight in the back but no-where near as tight as he had been on my initial visit.

As Oreo offered me his head, I started work from here. Again I started on the forehead. This visit I was able to use slightly heavier pressure and he actually pushed into my hand. The same thing occurred when I worked on the temporal area. This area was softer than the previous week. I then worked on the parietal area, the bones were not sheared so I applied gentle pressure and lifted upwards. Oreo loved this and really pushed into my hands. Following this was an Occipital release. As he appeared to be enjoying the work in this area so much I spent a fair bit of time in this area. I ended this area with an ear stretch. Oreo’s eyes appeared much brighter following the work in this area.

From the head area I moved to the neck and pectoralis. I used direct pressure and crossed hands. The fascia was on the move and I was taken down the leg with one movement and across the back with another.

By the time I reach the longissimus dorsi, I was working on a different horse. He’d stopped fidgeting and was working with me. His back was no-where near as tight as it had been on my previous visit.

Visit 3

Wow what a different horse. The owner reported that she had, had some great rides and Oreo was easier to catch and halter in the paddock. Gone was his resistance to being caught.

Oreo’s reaction to me was amazing. Gone, was the horse who didn’t want to be touched. He was pushing his head at me wanting the touch and attention. This visit found him a lot softer and much, much happier. Once again I spent considerable time and repeated the work on his head area.

The lumbar region was softer again from the last visit and once again Oreo was pushing into the pressure of my hands. I also worked on the rump area and found tightness in the gluteus area. Once again I worked here with direct pressure and crossed hands techniques.

Follow up to these visits found that Oreo was happy to be caught once again. He was more willing under saddle and no longer exhibiting any of the disobedience which the owner had previously experienced.

Periodically over the next few years, I would see Oreo and each time he greeted me like a long lost friend. It was with great sadness that I heard of his passing in a paddock accident over 12 months ago.

On December 19th, 2010, posted in: Portfolio of Case Studies by
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