This year I had a word given to me through a dream: regrowth. While all growth comes with its challenges it seems regrowth comes with extra: a removing of the old compromised layers and the process of growing in new layers with the the cushion needed to protect the structure in between.
True to the word it’s been a year of struggle with Khaleesi. Some things are going well- finally her feet seem to be on a good healthy track but lately something else is off. It’s definitely in her hind end.
I am going to put her on an ulcer treatment that specifically address the PH of her entire gut system that I’ve heard great first hand testimonials. I’ve always known she struggles to digest well though I haven’t had her diagnosed with ulcers this treatment is worth the try to be safe and should help with making the PH levels right if they aren’t.
I also have had some body work done to see if that might help her as well. I don’t have a significant enough issue to call in a vet. It comes and goes and is definitely not quite right but I don’t know what exactly I would tel a vet. So I’m starting with the resources I have close at hand.
The first session after she began to seem not right was interesting. It was the first time K seemed to resist some of the work.
It was deep work and she did everything she could to distract from staying in it. My body worker does a combination of myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy and massage depending on the need. The horse participates in the process and you can watch them engage mentally and then release with anything from licking their lips, stretching their tongue, yawning, shaking head and neck etc.
This time as the work moved deeper into her hind end she would jack up her neck to full attention at any little sound, try to see what the other horses were doing and step around to avoid staying in the moment.
In order to get the release and healing she was going to have to go through. You can’t go around or avoid. You have to stay in the hard place and let the healing into it.
Stay with me girl
I’d hear my body worker say gently…
You can do this. You are very brave and it’s ok to let us help you. We will stay with you all the way through.
How fitting I thought. In any difficult situation of true healing and growth you have the choice to really go straight through and address the pain and healing, but often we choose to get out whatever way we can from feeling the discomfort.
We tend to look for fun and distraction. Some use substances, some eat or don’t eat, some go shopping, new exciting relationships, running away takes many forms but it’s still avoidance. And when you run away from the challenge for relief you don’t address the root and you don’t get the true healing release.
And it’s so vital to have people who love you remind you: stick with the pain until you break through to the healing. We’ll be here all the way through with you!
Eventually Khaleesi did join the process; she trusted and some major things that I can’t explain did happen. Deep things in her physically that I felt emotionally as they shifted. There was a change in the entire atmosphere of the barn by the time the session ended. There was a peace that descended I cannot explain when the session was done.
She got worse for a day (which makes sense it’s intensive body work) then better for a few days and then not so great.
I asked for another session as it is likely to take a few to work it all out.
This one she was more willing to work together from the start but this day was a particularly tough one for me.
I had gone through something that left me reeling for truth and a sense of who I was. I knew I would come through but it is still difficult to be in it.
As my friend worked she mentioned something to me:
I’m getting a strong visual picture. It is you and Khaleesi going through some dense terrain. You were leaning to one side at a point. It was hard on her.
Hm. That didn’t surprise me. In our 5 years together we have done some pretty rough back woods exploring and some of it has been pretty treacherous.
We haven’t done much of that in the past year. I tried to recall any back woods off trail times that were particularly stressful and told her softly that I was sorry if there was some residual problems from one of those rides.
The work was productive and things seemed to move and click as they should. More deep work.
After returning Khaleesi to the field my friend showed me what she had done on her notes. I asked her to explain more about the image she saw so strongly.
She told me she doesn’t get these often but today it was strong and that as she wondered if it was just her imagination the push to tell me grew stronger and stronger. She finally mentally agreed to share it in a few moments and the pressure released.
She tried to bend over to show how she saw me on the horse and in doing that I knew exactly and it poured over me.
Did you get a sense she was upset about it? That she had gotten hurt or wanted me to explain… or apologize or??
No… oddly enough there wasn’t a sense of being upset or angry or bothered it was just very insistent:
YOU HAVE TO TELL HER.
I simply don’t understand why. I don’t even know if it was traumatic. At one point you were leaning over on her- maybe she wanted to go one way and you the other? I’m not sure.
I was sure.
And I began to cry.
The only time I had leaned over the way she tried to show me I had to lay down on her neck to get through some of the worst overgrown terrain I’d even gone through.
The trail was there but so overgrown over years that the pines and brush were almost impassable. But at that moment, that trail was the only hope.
We had to go through.
I laid my body on her neck to be able to duck as low as possible, arms around her, helmet protecting my head looking down at the ground eyes half closed and just trusted her to pick her way through the mess.
At one point she got stuck and I saw that her leg had gotten tangled in a vine. I had to reach down leaning over to cut back the vine from the saddle because I had no way of getting down in the thick of it. She is an amazing horse and stood perfectly still as I sliced the vines off her leg leaning over.
But after that horrible stretch that was only in actuality a couple minutes, we popped out onto a real trail clear enough for a 4-wheeler and victory.
We did it together. And it had such an impact on me I wrote about it the next day.
The blog was about who are you?
(Who are you blog June 2018): Who are you?
And it was a reminder to me and now to all of you to remember who you are!
That strong visual is what my friend saw as she worked on my horse. And the pressure to tell me about it I realized wasn’t because it was particularly traumatizing or hurt… I was certain she had to tell me because I needed a reminder just then of who I am.
And as I write I realize the other layer of that experience is that sometimes the worst of the terrain is standing in front of you between you and where you must go. And the only way is through.
There are few more loyal companions to take on the unknown with than a good mare. And with this one I’m confident we can make it through almost anything together.
3 thoughts on “Break through”
Fantastic on the bodywork! It is something I’m looking at for my very emotionally intense OTSTB. He had 124 starts in 7.5 years and while he retired sound, he has been a work in progress. I’ve been following your journey with Khalessi and it mirrors our own in so many ways. Keep up the amazing work and enjoy the journey you two have.
On a total side note and I am only mentioning it as this is what helped my guy with his left hind and it is something I noticed on your mare also. My guy improved a lot by taking a lot of toe off behind. He has “trotter” feet which seems to grow a lot of toe and it can be a struggle with angels, Feet on distance horses always seems to be a concern and I just wanted to share what helped with my guy’s non lame lameness.
Also, the hindgut Ph is a biggie and something I’ve had to do a couple of times to get my grumpy gelding not so grumpy. Keep up the amazing work!!
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Jane- yes on the toe… it’s something I keep working on… shorter and shorter… I have a hard time because in part sometimes I am certain she won’t have any foot left!!!! But I know it’s helpful
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I know! The back toes on my guy are a bit shorter than probably average, but holy cow what a difference! I’ve been able to not have to inject (he’s 17 and still racking up miles, wish we could compete but very few events near us for distance riding) his hocks as he is still looking and now moving like a much younger horse. Nobody believes he is 17, plus he has a huge personality which makes him appear so much more youthful, gotta love curmudgeonly horses 🙂
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