Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sore, Sore, Sore

I've given Hola time off to recuperate from his soreness. I'm also, trying in my amateur way, to help him out. He seems to get that I'm trying...

So here is the situation as outlined in the following diagram:

It's easy to figure out why his shoulder area is sore. The saddle is pinching and restricting the movement there. And as you may have noticed in some of his videos, he has a lot of movement to offer! He is more sore on his left side than his right side but he is sore on both sides.

Then there is the left hip. A very tight, tight, tight muscle. Perhaps from kicking out at his buddies? Perhaps not. At any rate, my friend Karen helped me out. She's very knowledgeable on equine bodywork. Karen showed me how I can release some of the tightness and "blocked energy" using pressure points and massage. Hola was all about it.

A great thing about Hola is that he's expressive and dramatic when talking to you. He wants to make sure you really understand things. Karen would feel down the muscle lines and he'd stand when she was in areas that didn't hurt, turn his head towards her when she got close to a sore area then throw his head WAY up when she hit the sore area. Then as she applied a pressure point he'd begin to relax, drop his head lower and lower and his lips would be making this funny action like he was talking ala Mr. Ed.

Karen could really get to the spots and then she had me try. While I wasn't nearly as good at it as Karen (according to Hola), I still managed to help him out. The lip action was the best. I'm also doing some warm epsom salt compresses to pull out the bruising and bad juju in those sore areas. Bigeloil will be next to help increase the circulation to the areas.

I've placed all three of my saddles on Hola's back. Nothing fits. The Albion actually fits the best and as you can see from the results it doesn't fit! Plus, based on the dirt marks on the saddle pad, it bridges. Karen has several dressage saddles I'm going to place on his back. Maybe I'll find something that's more comfortable until I get a saddle fitted for him. It can't hurt to try because right now I've got nothing!

At least Toby is there for me! That's the beauty of owning two horses. If one is out of commission I still have the other. And thankfully Toby is ready and able.


  1. Wow, we really are oing through some similair things with the ponies, aren't we? The chiro work was very interesting to watch and I'm hopeful that it will help Salem feel better.

    I hope that Hola's session is less dramatic and problem-free than Salem's! I'm sure that racing causes some alignment issues, so hopefully he'll get put back into place and be right as rain.

    Can you elaborate on the massage/pressure points? Salem also has sore muscles is his leaft hind.

  2. I have a Karen who does equine body work, too! She has worked a lot with on-and-off-the-track Thoroughbreds and has really helped me with both Bar and Lena.

    I have used massage a lot with both horses, though Bar has a harder time with relaxing than Lena does. He is getting it, though, and has recently come to realize that it isn't the worst thing I could be doing to him.

    I've found that even just running my hands over them on a regular basis will show me where they need work, and it's just one more thing I can do to stay in tune with them.

  3. Ugh. At least you know what you're dealing with now. Best of luck finding something that works!