First and foremost, let me say WELCOME to the newest member of the O'Shea Eventing Team. Nicki Butler is a certified Reiki masseuse, as well as preparing for her Masterson Method certification. She is also a fellow member of the WDCTA State Board, and my great ally to bringing eventing back into their de facto mission!
I asked Nicki to come work on Zahra because of the tension we were feeling in our flat work-- specifically her continuing inability to pick up the right lead consistently. She's happy to pick it up while jumping, but not on the flat. We've tried lots of tricks, but as soon as she figures out how to sneak past them, to the left lead she goes! Or cross canter if pressed...
So Nicki evaluated her. First we did a quick lounge each way, and she confirmed my suspicion that it was the right hind that was weak.
We returned to the barn and she began running her hand along the "Bladder Meridian." The Bladder Meridian is one of the most often treated meridians on the horse. It is located along each side of the spine and contains some of the most important Acupuncture points in the body. Anytime Zahra blinked or reacted in anyway to the touch, Nicki would pause, or run her hand back over the spot again. Zahra began the session quite nervous... assuming Nicki was going to cause her discomfort in some way (needle pokes or something). She put on her "baby face" of nervousness when we began working on her right side, so Nicki would switch back and forth constantly, until finally about halfway through the session, Zahra began to relax into the bodywork. She snorted and yawned and pawed the ground as she released the tension in her body, section by section.
Nicki gave me several exercises to work on with Baby Z before our ride each day. I got a chance to ride Zahra once after the session, and she felt FABULOUS!! After a weekend of running around with friends (Congrats to Adam and Amanda for destroying the Door Co. Half Marathon!!), I am very excited to get my hands on that horse!!