This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
because they’ve had an injury that forced them out of their careers, so they may already be compensating in some way. And since many centers work with donated tack as well, it is not unusual for therapy horses to perform their miracles in tack that does not quite fi t. T is is not to imply that therapy horses are not well cared for and loved deeply. T ey are. But


like any important job, being a therapy horse is very hard work. I was once told in an interview that the therapy horse has a more demanding job than a racehorse. Another person told me they are martyrs. Each working day therapy horses meet new people who bring their needs. T is can over time take a toll, mentally and physically. I had the privilege of studying under renowned Connected Riding instructor Diane Sept


for six years, learning many techniques of Connected Groundwork and Tellington T ouch. I would sometimes assist her in rehabilitating Tennessee Walking Horses. It was from Diane that I learned much about the biomechanics of the horse.


SURPRISING OBSERVATIONS One day while visiting a very nice therapeutic riding center for an interview for their story,


I noticed that the horses, while well cared for, had stiff ness about them. Upon closer examina- tion I noticed several horses were heavy on the forehand, inverted and weak in the hind end. As part of the interview, I watched a few therapy sessions and noticed some of the horses moved with short, choppy strides and had diffi culty turning smoothly. T is came as a surprise to me.


continued next page WWW.TRAILBLAZERMAGAZINE.US • November 2012 | 75


When I only have time to do a few exercises, these are the ones I do and in this order as I feel, and sense from the horse, that order mat ers. T e Rock Back helps the horse fi nd proper posture. Poll Wiggle starts the release and sends it down the neck and shoulder. Vertebrae Wiggle continues the release down the spine to the tip of the tail, releasing and relaxing muscles and tension. Belly Liſt should be done last to loosen the back, neck, shoulders and hips. I think asking the horse to liſt into a tight back forces them to liſt “into the pain,” and while they may do it, it teaches them it hurts to liſt their back. Be careful to have them loose before doing Belly Liſt . Photos by Robin Wolfskill


EXERCISE #1


With your fi nger on the chest, apply just enough pressure so she will shiſt her weight off her forehand. T is releases tension on the chest and frees the shoul- ders. T is is the fi rst step in releasing tension through her entire topline.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50