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Marty and the osteopath.

I had this dream last night in which I was out walking with Marty - possibly somewhere in Somerset, possibly South Wales - and Ben and at least one other person were our ground crew and were driving this big 7.5 tonne horsebox. They'd got a puncture so I arrived at the village ahead of them, and then for some reason I'd taken Marty's halter off. I wanted to hand-graze him while we waited so I just slipped the rope round his neck and led him out to graze along the verges. There was an endurance race or something going on and there were a lot of horses coming in and having a stop-over, but Marty just ambled along, munching as he went, and it was a lovely sunny day and everything felt great.

So it was quite funny when I woke up, checked my email, and saw poniesandphotos comment about using a neck rope on Marty!

We had Gavin Scofield, a cranial osteopath, out to see Marty this morning. He was a bit fractous by the time Gavin arrived as I'd actually caught him an hour earlier because that was when we'd needed to move fields, and I didn't think it was worth turning him out as I'd only have to catch him again half an hour later. So he came in and was groomed, and we did a little bit of work on asking for precise steps forward and/or backwards because he didn't want to stand still and was being a bit silly because his mates were out of siight. Then I hand-grazed him for a bit until Gavin arrived.

Now, I've seen Gavin work before. He came out to Xefira, whose owner is a bit ... well, she doesn't like traditional medicine, let's put it that way. So when Gavin arrived and then just put his hand on Xefira's back I was rolling my eyes a bit, I must confess. He wasn't even moving his fingers as far as I could see and I figured he was going to be the sort of person who would say he'd done something and people would be suckered in. So my jaw dropped when Xefira suddenly began to release! Her head lowered, she licked and chewed, she yawned; her eyes became soft and her whole body relaxed. It was pretty impressive.

I gave a brief explanation about what I was seeing in Marty and why I'd called Gavin; that I'd had him for two years, that he'd been halterbroke when I got him but was otherwise living semi-feral, that he'd always been funny about the halter and until recently I'd put that down to lack of handling, but was now starting to suspect a physical cause.

Gavin just looked at him and said: "He's very, very intelligent, isn't he? And extremely sensitive." And then he put his hand on Marty's withers just a for a moment, said "Yep, that's interesting" and then explained to me what he was feeling. Apparantly Marty was carrying a lot of tension in his withers which was pulling on his pelvis and tipping him forward, so to compensate for that he was having to twist his fore and hind quarters in slightly different directions. Raising his head added to that tension and he was extremely tight in his poll and neck area (slobberpuppy - it made me think of what you said in your tarot reading! "The on-again/off-again aspect to this is that his discomfort is something that flares up, and recesses - in effect causing him to exert a lot of energy in the form of an outburst ... I would think that whatever is distressing him physically is something that can be worked on and resolved ... In the meantime, there is the need to be aware of Marty using his energy in a manner which may be erratic, exaggerated, or sudden ... it may be that his outbursts of energy not only signal discomfort in his body, but exacerbate it". So the fact that he anticipates discomfort when the halter comes out so always raises his head...)

Marty isn't in pain, Gavin said, but he's carrying that memory of when it did hurt and due to the tightness in his muscles it's obviously uncomfortable if not painful.

So Gavin puts his hand back on Marty's withers and suddenly I'm seeing these muscles twitching right up in mule's neck. He started shifting around a bit and pawed a couple of times, but in a "this is weird and I don't know how to react" way rather than a pain response. He certainly didn't try to get away from Gavin. And then he relaxed into it and let Gavin do his weird, invisible thing. A couple of times he actually stretched out and rested his chin on my shoulder, breathing softly into my ear - "Yes," said Gavin, "you tell your mum all about it!".

Some of the things Gavin was saying was almost animal communicator stuff, it was pretty odd. He talked about how he strongly suspected that Marty had had a fall at some point in his first year and had been carrying this around with him ever since - which, if you remember, is very similar to what Stacey said about him when I had her out. She talked about getting an image of a very small Marty falling into a ditch or a rut and getting his legs stuck so that he couldn't get himself upright again and was down for a long time until he eventually managed to free himself. Gavin also added - off the record - that he feels Marty would really have benefitted from more handling in those early years, as he's so incredibly sensitive. I agree with that, but we can't change the past unfortunately. He still had a much better start than a lot of mules get in this country!

He was very complimentary of my mule to be honest. He said he would love to know Marty's exact breeding, thought he was a gorgeous looking mule, and called him a "unique individual". Then he told me that he thought I was the perfect person to be owning Marty as I'm obviously very calm (???) and that, in the wrong hands, Marty would suffer terribly because he's so sensitive and so I'm doing all the right things and Marty is very lucky to have me. I was like, bloody hell ... but alright, I'll take it. XD

He's coming back out before Marty goes off for training, but is confident that should be the last session. He reiterated how smart Marty is and said that he realised he was being helped and understood what he needed to do very quickly. The thing with this cranial osteopathy is that it's very gradual and is about teaching the horse to break these old patterns and learn to carry themselves properly, rather than simply pushing things back into place; so a long-term change rather than short-term, I guess. A lot like horsemanship, come to think of it.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC)
I think some of the things like Animal Communication boil down to being very, VERY observant. This guy sounds like he is very perceptive as well.

I just read an article on the Masterson Method in equine body work and one of the things they do is run the hand above the horse (as in not touching) and watch for something as subtle as an eye blink to tell where the tension/discomfort might be. It sounds similar to what Gavin is doing as you will then hold that spot (depending on the sensitivity of the individual either hovering or very lightly touching) until there is a release.

Very interesting and certainly a skill that is magical to watch when done to the highest degree!
Mar. 30th, 2016 03:44 pm (UTC)
I love the work cranial osteopaths do. I have a gal that works on Doc occasionally, and me too. She is very helpful to both of us! I hope Gavin is super helpful to you guys too. He could be really good for Cash too, come to think of it.
Mar. 30th, 2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback on how that reading played out! I really appreciate knowing that there was accurate information there since those cards are so tricky to read, and reading for animals is so new to me.

I hope you guys find a way to get Marty more comfortable so that he can become more cooperative!

Edited at 2016-03-30 08:31 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 07:59 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to read how that went!
Apr. 9th, 2016 08:29 pm (UTC)
I agree that this guy who came out to see Marty is very switched on and very intune, I reckon he's very right about the psycho semantic pain. I mean I know quite a few people that have had serious injuries in the past and totally healed but sometimes still have problems because they hold themselves differently and tense up without realising and thusly cause themselves pain in a different level not relating to the injury. If that can happen with people I can't see why it couldn't with animals. Interesting stuff. :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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