Tag

equine acupuncture

Dr. Taryn Yates, dressage, Equine Rehabilitation, natalie perry dressage

Micah Comes Back

We’ve been moving cautiously ever since Micah was injured in early April. We think he got cast in his stall but will never really know for certain what started the soreness in his back and hips. Whatever caused it, it was a game stopper.
Sice then we’ve done regular chiropractic and acupuncture treatments with Dr. Taryn Yates and faithfully followed a rehabilitation protocol set by Dr. Yates and our trainer, Natalie Perry.

Micah stretches and relaxes as Dr. Yates works on his back.

Micah stretches and relaxes as Dr. Yates works on his back.


This has required a lot of slow, patient work. In the meantime, my hopes of competing at Second Level this summer have been set aside. After the first few weeks of oh-so-dull hand walking and lunging, when we were given the go-ahead to cautiously start back to the walk/trot under saddle, I was delighted.
Micah now shows significant improvement and it looks like (fingers crossed), we are out of the woods. It is so much fun to begin asking for more and feeling Micah respond. He especially loves his stretchy trot work.
This experience has helped me to become much more aware of Micah’s back. When I ride him I’m feeling every step and movement of through his hips and spine. At the same time, I’ve also learned a lesson or two about my own well-being.
While riding up an especially long hill on my mountain bike yesterday, I felt my back tighten up. “Should I pull over and take a break?” I wondered. “Or just power through it?”
Throughout Micah’s recovery we’ve given him generous walk breaks and done more rising trot than sitting, all to avoid over-tiring his back. On several occasions he’s taken bad steps, been given a walk break, and recovered quickly enough to resume work once again.
Thinking this over as I made my way up the winding mountain bike trail, I decided to give myself the Micah treatment — pausing for a break off the bike before tackling the most strenuous part of the hill. Just like Micah, the tension in my back eased and I was able to finish the ride feeling good.
The experience reinforced two things for me — it gave me a better understanding of how paying attention to fatigue and responding with walk breaks and stretching can help my horse. I was also reminded to take as much care with my own back as with my horse’s. After all, we’re in this together.
I am much cheered by my horse’s progress. Perhaps he’ll be strong enough to show this fall. Regardless, nurturing his recovery has been rewarding in its own way — as well as a reminder to never take your horse’s or your own well-being for granted.
Happy riding!

Related posts
Back to the Barn
January 12, 2017
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
You’ve Gotta Have Go
June 28, 2017
Ride Like You Mean It
April 25, 2017
I Wish You Rode
April 11, 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
You’ve Gotta Have Go
June 28, 2017
Ride Like You Mean It
April 25, 2017
I Wish You Rode
April 11, 2017