Jun 10, 2012

The Pudding is the Proof

There were three events that turned my interested skepticism about Linda TJ’s work into committed acceptance.

The first was with little Dix. Man, was she wild. March Hare wild. Frantic wild. Not disconnected, like Bryan, but wild. She was afraid of everything; noises, shadows, rocks. The first time I hand walked her she reared and spun at the dark blacktop patches on our old farm road. She jumped on me, over me, away from me. She didn’t cross tie well, and fidgeted and stomped and if corrected would bite or strike. I had a feeling that she was just totally green, but also smart, angry, and confused. And yes, I do think horses can have those emotions. I am the least anthropomorphic person I know, but horses feel these things, in a horsie version.

I had just ended one of my LTJ auditing episodes, and the work was fresh in my mind. Trying not to get too fixated on whether my touch was a 1 or a 3, and if I started at 12, or was it 3? I started trying to do the little circles on Dix. Granted, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and she did not have any kind of break through moment or anything. But she didn’t get *worse*, so I kept fiddling around.

What Linda had said about horse’s mouths, lips, tongue and teeth had really made sense to me. I had braces at the time, for the second time, and man, when my mouth hurt, I was miserable all over. My alter ego, the Other Abby that I’d met at the Centered Riding clinics, was a big LTJ head. She had worked on my face and yes, my mouth, one of the times we were at a clinic together. I had also had my shoulders, neck, and upper back worked on during one of the Centered Riding clinics. Both of those times, and to my complete surprise and deep mortification, I started to cry. It was a very weird reaction to the body/face work. The Other Abby, and the woman who had worked on my neck at the CR clinic, told me that happened all the time; that the body holds emotion, and that certain body work will release this emotion.  Id heard it, but had neither paid attention nor believed it. And being Iron Woman, would have denied it anyway. But there I was, tears rolling down my face, just because someone was doing weird things to my neck. Hokay.

Dixie *was* treat motivated. She liked apples and carrots and little handfuls of pellets. So I stood in front of her and tried to touch her face. No go. But with treats, and patience, she started to let me touch her. I did the circles on her forehead, behind her ears, down her face, just wherever. She did get quiet, and softer. A little more patience and a few more treats and she let me put my fingers in her mouth and rub her gums, her bars, to gently pull her lips, and to rub wherever I could reach.

And then, as God is my witness. I felt the most overwhelming wave of sadness. I swear, it was like a punch in the chest. She just stood there with her eyes half shut while I rubbed and coo’ed, but once again, tears were rolling down my face. I got a bucket and sat down in front of her and just rubbed her face and mouth with those stupid circles and whatever other touches I could remember. I sat there for at least a half hour. Her head was low, her face was soft. I felt like my heart had been broken.

After, feeling quite spent, I led her out to the field and let her go. I watched her walk slowly to a sunny sandy spot, drop, roll, and then lie there. She stayed there, flat out, for a long time, probably at least an hour. Then she rolled and stretched, got up, and grazed for the rest of the afternoon.

I called the Other Abby and told her what had happened and sensible, silly, hippy girl that she was, she pretty much said ‘well duh!’ I said ‘But Abster! I was working on *her*, no one was working on *me*! Why was I crying?!’ And she said ‘Because you were helping the pony release *her* emotion. You were the vehicle’.

Oy. This was way out of my comfort zone. But I couldn’t deny it, or ignore it.


  1. Oh! how wonderful. That was just amazing. Do you think she is heartbroken because she lost a beloved previous owner or maybe a horse companion? It happens all the time. My old goat Gruff died 4 months after his companion Whisp died of old age. You can't tell me Gruff didn't die of a broken heart. Gruff was 3 yrs younger than Whisp and in perfect health. He circled the barn for 3 days looking for Whisp, then he just gave up.
    Really Abby, you need to PUBLISH a book on your adventures. I will buy your first copy!

    1. I think she had been confused, smacked around, and abused for a long long time. The people who put her on the walker treated her badly. I am not sure she had ever been broke, and for at least two years had not been ridden well or worked with any sort of insight or skill. She was fed well, and 'loved'. But she was cruelly treated. She was so smart, and those are the ones i think suffer the most.
      I am so touched and so glad that you ane enjoying my blog Elaine. Poor Gruffer. I do know that animals grieve, sometimes deeply.