I was recently in Texas to visit a friend and give a seminar. Bear is her favorite horse. He had an episode of colic and was tubed twice because of it. After that he had some awful symptoms no one could explain. He became ataxic and had a strange goose type step with his left front. Many things were tried and finally he was put on a new pain killer that is used for dogs and more recently for horses. A small dose went a long way and Bear was able to be turned ont in a private paddock and was able to walk around apparently in comfort for the first time in months. If his owner added anything to his day, he would again have some ataxic symptoms. As she put it, “I have tried everything, would you try and see what you think. He is so bad, if he gets better it will be a miracle and if he gets worse, I will have made my decision to put him down.”
I saw Bear two times while I was there. We worked with him when no one else was around in order to keep his anxiety at the lowest possible. The first day we just practiced bending his neck, me requesting and HIM doing all the bending. He freed up quite a bit as we worked every vertebral junction from his head to past his withers. I left him to be on his own for the next 3 days to see what type of reaction he would have. He seemed slightly better, but still had the goose step walk. At least we did not trigger his ataxia. This gave the owner, horse and me more confidence.
On the third day, we tried the atlanto/occipital stretch which requires the helper to hold the horse’s head, WITH HIS PERMISSION, as high in the air as possible. It is a technique that works with every vertebra in the body with focus on the head-neck connection, and at the first few thoracic vertebrae. He stayed there for several minutes then indicated he needed a break. He walked around looking as if he was making a decision. Then he returned to me. I placed my hands in a cradle position for his head. HE chose to place his head back into my hands and return to the stretch. After several more minutes, a very loud bang occurred. It felt as though it was at the withers only down in deep. Bear calmly lowered his head and stood looking very introspective. In a few minutes he walked off without that goose step he had had so long.
Horses’ inate awareness of what they need amazes me over and over again. Of course their personalities are so different, some need to be cajoled and some lean into their work so hard I have to have them take it a bit easy. Then some, like Bear have that perfect balance of moderation with RESULTS. Please share your stories with us and/or ask questions about the ones that are shared here. Blessings to you all. Doris
Many people tell me that they feel they could not possibly do the release and balance work with their horse. Yes, perhaps some people have an extra bit of talent in this work, However, any devoled horse owner is very capable to work with the BREMM method. Evaluation is the hardest part but when you look closely, most anyone can spot things that appear out of balance. Changing it is not rocket science. If it is UP push it down, if it is down, push it up etc etc. Secondly this method requires work always be done with the consent and cooperation of your horse. There is no force involved, only asking and assisting. Yes, sometimes you have to ask in a convincing way, but never in a forceful way. The worst you can do is have some great bonding time with your horse, as they love this work and all the attention. Keep attentive and avoid causing the horse to recoil. There are a few things, like the gelding scar release where a horse may be very threatened, IF so, leave it to a professional. That is the exception. The rule is they love the attention. Please enjoy being with your horse in this new way. Doris
What is it about “some” of us? That connection that comes with gazing at our first horse moving freely, coming to a stop and the horse gazing back at us. We know that feeling. To deny it would be to deny love itself. I see so much all over the country, over 5000 race horses died on the tracks of the US since 2003, Mustangs are corraled and sometimes shot, horses, no longer harvested for meat here, are sometimnes cruelly transported across the border to Mexico where they still have processing plants for them. The Premarin babies often do not find homes, and now the mares are being released to ? where? There is concern over the roll cur technique of training and it’s cruelty. on on on and on. I have come to believe our allegiance and focus to these type of problems should stay with us at home, where we work, at our recreation. If we keep ourselves true, honest, informative, focused on being the most loving and best human we are personally capable of toward ANYone and to the living creatures we encounter , we ARE doing something. This would include writing notes and/or e-mails to the appropriate people as we find who they are. Informing quietly and civily those we encounter of our concerns and awarenesses. Being fully aware is a difficult task. It means opening our eyes to what is going on around us and in our world. It means accepting what we cannot do but then acting on what we can. It means shareing with others our talents and gifts. It means being PART of this world, engaging, loving, living. When all is said and done, the horse who has chosen to work and experience in tandem with some of us humans gives us back our sanity and our focus and our purpose. I am joining you in this endeavor. Doris
Welcome to Doris Kay Halstead’s blog concerning thoughts and actions in our life with horses. Our shared interested in horses should bring us together. Questions you have about the type or work I do with horses and riders and what successes or needs you have about this work are more than welcome. Love of the horse is our reason for this blog site so bring it on. Love to you all and best to you and your horses. Sincerely Doris Kay