After Goggles' acupuncture appointment we were assigned some homework - some manual therapy I could use to help supplement between appointments. The first step to let him know good things are coming, loosening up a few fascial connections, and getting him used to touch, is skin rolling.
|Almost like a neck twitch, but a looser pinch, and continually moving
This is done starting close to the poll and going all the way down to the shoulder on a few different planes. He quite likes it at this point and starts licking and chewing when I start doing this. He is most sensitive up near the poll which makes sense.
Then we move on to the muscle releases. He is getting sooooo much better about letting me do these. He's really, really smart. At first I had to just kinda do it softly and stay back out of the way of his mouth. He never really tried to nail me, but definitely wanted to turn and nip when it was a little uncomfortable. I don't know if it is more and more comfortable or if he is learning the release is coming, but he barely turns towards me now.
Usually those two get some big sighs and releases. He got a great review at his second acupuncture appointment - she scanned him all over and only got a few areas to focus on. At the first appointment he was so uncomfortable she couldn't scan him at all. His poll also felt much better, which is definitely good news. She worked on his hindquarters a bit more and got some good stuff done there.
Each time I start his manual therapy, he is much softer than the last. His brachiocephalicus is now loose from the get go rather than needing some time to soften and relax. Overall quite encouraging that we're on the right track.
As we've gone back to a routine this week, we've been starting each day with the cowboy homework. This means patience on my part. We're hanging out for somewhere between 20 - 60 minutes, just hanging.
|Which is mostly him eating
|And me standing, using the dried poo pile as my marker to make sure I'm not migrating as he does
But then at some point he comes and checks in with me.
|And then takes a little nap
We did our first ride back yesterday after starting his ulcer treatment. He was great. A car drove by and he noticed it, but quickly returned to focusing on me. We kept it low key with lots of stretching and walk-trot and walk-halt transitions. We didn't canter yet, I wanted to just let him succeed at everything we did.