The gurus say, that if you want something, then the fastest path to getting it is to give it to someone else. Whether that’s right or not, giving your horse a feeling of well being and the happy, healthy back that goes with that well being – that does mean that YOUR feelings of well being will increase. If you have back problems then YOUR back will improve too. And biggest of all I think anyway, is that as your horse’s happiness increases, so will yours.
In my last blog, we talked about how to avoid the cascade of injury and ill health that can result from emotional stresses causing muscular tension eventually causing bones out of alignment and muscle injuries.
And I promised you that I would tell you how to fix OLD back problems that are already there – how to clear up a horse’s OLD emotional stresses and muscular tension and bones being out of alignment.
Experienced body workers can speed the whole process up, sometimes brilliantly, but if you are not addressing the underlying issues, then the problem is either going to come back or pop up somewhere else.
Even beginner riders can begin to make a vast difference to their horse’s back problems quite simply and quite quickly.
In the last article I talked about a list of things in a horse’s life that can cause that cascade of emotional stress, to tension and then to bones out of alignment – all kinds of routine things in a horse’s life where they may have had some emotional stress that added, each one to the next, to cause the bigger back problem.
Helping your horse to clear up their bones that are already out of alignment is a two step process:
1. Cleaning up the old emotional stress and tension – and then the bones can start falling into place again.
2. Strengthening the horses back with the right kind of riding, so that strong muscles in the right position can hold the skeleton in each new place for each step of the healing process.
The right kind of riding absolutely and unequivocally requires the horse’s back to be lifted up to carry the rider with strength and ease. IN FACT, it is in the carrying of the rider “correctly” in the right way for that horse at that time, that enables a horse’s back to get to get stronger and stronger and build more and more muscle to KEEP those bones more and more in place.
And THAT folks, absolutely and unequivocally requires a a good riding seat and the sensitivity that comes from riding with your own unique sense of feel.
That’s my speciality – that’s my talent, to help people achieve both those objectives, by distance, wherever they are in the world.
First, as I promised you last week, how do you clean up old emotional stress and tension so that your horse’s bones can start falling in place again?
The Seventh Key to Happiness spelt that out quite clearly – even beginners can (and do in our programs) follow these simple principles to help their horse easily. When you are doing ANYTHING with your horse that causes your early warning signal that something is Not Quite Right – you stop, back off, and wait for The Chew.
If you can stay in that place of inner awareness that I teach in the Foundation for Riding Excellence lessons and the more you are advanced in using your unique feel for your horse, then that will speed up the process. But all of that is not essential – our skill develops in layers and this is a simple process. All you need to do is feel that warning signal, stop what you are doing, back off and wait for the horse to RELEASE that old emotional stress – wait for however long it takes until the horse licks and chew and yawns and maybe even stretches. I have known some horses under some circumstances to take an hour or more to lick and chew.
Each layer of emotional stress that you take off in this manner, in every routine task of the horse’s life, will release a bit more of the tension the horse is carrying in their body and as the muscles themselves have that tension released and come back into alignment, then so the muscles will start pulling the bones back into alignment too.
It really is THAT simple.
And then it’s your job to strengthen those muscles with good riding, so that they can keep the joints and bones in place while they heal.
Comments please! If you have had experiences with a horse’s back problems then tell us about them. Success stories, keys to success, stories where we wish we had known differently (I’ve got some of those too.)
So here is what you NEED, to successfully help your horse to fix their back:
1. You need to be know the way in which YOU personally experience your unique connection to your horse and be confident enough in that to take action on that early warning signal that I call Not Quite Right.
2 You want a riding seat that is stable, so that you can ride your horse with the gentleness that they require for the re-building part of the process.
3. You want to know WHEN it’s OK to get on your horse’s back again, when they are not going to give you the pain response to riding that some of you may have had in the past.
Here is what you WANT if you want to speed up the process of helping your horse to fix their back:
1. You will want to speed up the process by being aware of your inner guidance system as quickly as possible. I believe impatience simply means that there is a better faster way
2. You want to develop your sense of feel and sensitivity for your horse, so that you don’t go bulldozing through those moments when you could be helping them to make a difference.
3. You want a plan of action, a clear direction.
Starting Monday the 12th January 2015 and running for 3 to 4 weeks, we are running a specialized over the internet clinic focusing on fixing horses back problems.
Later edit: This clinic back in 2015 knocked our socks off. You’ll see articles about it on the blog here under the “clinic” category.