Resisting an urge to fall to my knees, hug her about the ankles and sob ‘We are not worthy’, which is what I *felt* like doing, I just babbled out…’ I’m impressed!’ Typical humble, sweet Mary, she smiled and said ‘Really?’ and looked surprised.
And I was. This was amazing stuff. Man, who coulda thought that horse could be reached by *any* means. And here he was, with what looked like just nothing almost, with no weird names and no agenda and no talking trees. No hammers, no injections, no magnets or lasers. Just Mary and her hands. Better. So much better. Humbled, I now was determined to learn it and apply it. That day, after the clinic, I went to my barn and took a horse I had at the time, Cody, out of his stall. Cody was a big Holsteinor that I had acquired in
North Carolina. He was wonderfully bred, a
Condino son, who had been well broke and well ridden, until he wasn’t. Then he
had developed all kinds of issues and behaviors that had made him pretty
unmarketable. Natch, that made me want him. Maryanne, my wonderful Jack Meagher
trained massage therapist had done great things with him in NC, and we were
doing ok together. But I knew his neck, like many big dressage horses, had
issues. He had the big knots behind his poll that so many of them have and the
massage work had never made them go fully away.
So I put Cody in the cross ties and tried to do the work I had been not trying very hard to learn from Mary. I was serious, though, this time, and tried to do what she had taught us to do, and to feel what she was trying to teach us to feel. It felt awkward and pointless but I kept at it. True to the Feldenkrais principles, I did not work on the knots in his neck. I worked on Cody’s ribs and tummy. I had already recognized the work as Linda Tellington Jones type stuff with out the dumb names, so I had my LTJ clinic notes with me as well, and tried to consolidate the two approaches. After maybe twenty minutes I gave up, frustrated with myself and wishing I had paid better attention the previous four days. Disappointed, I groomed Cody and put him in the equicisor for a session.
Equicisors are great. They aren’t like hot walkers; the horses are not tied to anything. They are also bigger, usually at least a 60’ circle. They have adjustable speeds, so you can do walk/trot/canter, and reverse at will. So I stuck Cody in the equicisor and turned it on. I set the speed at 3, which was a nice quiet trot for the Codeman.
A few minutes later I notice Cody is still walking. Dang, I think to myself, I messed up the setting. I go over to the control box and check. No, it’s on 3. Maybe it’s broken? Shoot. (adjust/click/adjust).
Miss NotVeryQuickontheUptake finally realizes that Cody is *walking* on the setting 3. It’s not broken or malfunctioning. The same setting on which he used to have to trot to keep up was now a setting he could walk on. What did this mean?!
It meant that that 20 minutes of me fumbling with the SENSE work, on his *ribs* and *tummy*, had changed something so drastically that he could power walk at the same speed he used to have to trot to. Simple as that. His stride was bigger. Period.
Well. Remember when I said I like things I can measure. I certainly could measure *this*. Did I understand it? Not even! But there it was. Before. After. Wow.
I set the equicisor on 4. A bigger walk. Finally on 5 Cody had to trot to keep up. It was a huge trot, big and floaty. Wow. Just wow.
No one was at the barn, which is just as well as I probably would have been a babbling incoherent ‘3! Walking! 4! Ribs! Neck! Knots! Magic!’ idiot. I didn’t care. I was in intellectual shock.
I couldn’t wait for the next day. I was a changed horse girl.