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Equine Acupuncture

Acupuncture, Chiropractic, dressage, Equine Acupuncture, Equine Chiropractic, horse personalities

Notes from the Armchair

Several weeks ago, Micah injured himself. We believe he cast himself in his stall, twisting his spine one way and hips another. He had some chiropractic and acupuncture work, a bit of hand walking, lunging, and now we’re gently starting him back under saddle. Fingers crossed, things seem to be going well. I am much relieved.
In the meantime, Natalie helped me out with some lessons on Commanche. Commanche is an elegant Arabian gelding who is almost an opposite to everything Micah is.

Commanche tries hard to figure me out, while making me look tall

Commanche tries hard to figure me out, while making me look tall


Where Micah is a tall and a big-boned, easy keeper; Commanche is short, narrow, and fine-boned. Commanche looks like a Breyer horse when he stands next to Micah.
I was thrilled to get to ride Commanche but I went in with the preconceived idea that Commanche would be pretty easy to ride. After all, he’s tiny in contrast to Mr. M. and should be easier to influence.
I was both right and wrong.
To gain a sense of perspective, picture this: Micah is like sitting in an armchair — he has a wide back and there’s plenty of room to shuffle about without him reacting.
Micah is like sitting in an armchair ... roomy

Micah is like sitting in an armchair … roomy


Commanche is narrow and more like sitting on a bicycle seat. He feels every movement of the rider and tries to respond, thinking he’s being asked to do something.
In contrast to Micah, Commanche is like sitting on a bicycle seat.  There's only one place to sit!

In contrast to Micah, Commanche is like sitting on a bicycle seat. There’s only one place to sit!


Commanche taught me that I toss my hips about like ships on the high seas. He gamely tried to follow my swaying hips and, as a result, wavered around the arena.
“You want to go left?” he said, swerving aft. “You changed your mind and want to go right?” he asked, moving to the starboard side.
We spent much of the first lesson practicing going on a straight line. It was humbling.
Once I realized what the problem was, I thought of pointing my hip bones like laser beams at the opposite side of the arena. Once I had both my eyes and hips burning laser holes in the far wall we made big improvement.
I also had to learn to ‘do less’ with my hands. Micah likes a lot of contact while Commanche says, “No, thank you.”
Doing less can make you sweat, it is such hard work.
Commanche’s owner was very sweet to let me ride her elegant and kind little horse. He taught me much about my shortcomings.
If ever you need humbling, try riding a new horse. It’s hard on the ego but a terrific learning tool.
Note to self: ride a new horse whenever you get the chance.

Related posts
A Personal Best, for Many Reasons
October 16, 2017
Ode to a Fallen Friend
October 10, 2017
You’ve Gotta Have Go
June 28, 2017
dressage, Equine Acupuncture, Equine Chiropractic

Riding, Interrupted

It’s been a tough month for horses here in Central Oregon. Several tragic accidents ended lives quickly, leaving those of us on the sidelines wondering why and how such troubling things happen to good people.
I’m reminded of the adage: Good things take time, bad things happen quickly.
My own horse, Micah, hurt himself and has been enjoying an “all play, no work” regime for the past week. Two chiropractic sessions with a dash of acupuncture thrown in and Micah is to get another week off before we start back riding lightly.

Dr. Taryn Yates of Active Balance starts an acupuncture treatment on Micah

Dr. Taryn Yates of Active Balance starts an acupuncture treatment on Micah


I was caught off guard by this abrupt change of plans and wanted to feel sorry for myself. Riding lessons suspended. Show season on hold. Looking at the big picture, however, my loss is nothing compared to that of my friends who suffered permanent loss this month.
I’m also very fortunate that Dr. Taryn Yates of Active Balance is on Micah’s health care team. Taryn’s chiropractic and acupuncture work is clearly helping, so we’re hoping it’s just a matter of time, paired with hand-walking and some light lunging, to help him loosen up. Seeing the relief in Micah’s eyes as tight spots ‘let go’ is a reward in its own.
So, this is my moment to let ‘good things take time.’ A reminder to be patient and keep the big picture in mind. Hopefully this is a temporary glitch and we’ll be back in the saddle soon.
Dr. Yates takes Micah's vitals before administering a light sedative. Micah tends to tense up during acupuncture without it.

Dr. Yates takes Micah’s vitals before administering a light sedative. Micah tends to tense up during acupuncture without it.


In the meantime, I have a good excuse to spend time at the barn, hoping that healing magic happens for all those who need it.

Related posts
A Personal Best, for Many Reasons
October 16, 2017
Ode to a Fallen Friend
October 10, 2017
You’ve Gotta Have Go
June 28, 2017