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Re: round pen/Unsymetrical Horses And Knot in Muscle Grade 3 lame.

I thought I would respond to both of these posts, hope it's not too confusing.

I see many horses and people in my practice that are not asymmetrical. From a
Rolfing view it's the adaptation to imbalance in gravity. In my view it's
actually a healthy ability to adapt. The problem comes in where the "adaptive
capacity" is used up in these adaptations and there is nothing left for, say,
moving over uneven terrain.
So, trying to make things look "even" is a simple trap to fall into. More
important, to me, is to look for balance and to "reset" adaptive holding
patterns. The only holding patterns that can be "reset" are those that are no
longer needed by the body and as such are residues to past events. For
example, let's say the horse or person has a sore foot. The normal response is
to unweight that foot, we are both able to adapt in this way, once the foot is
no longer sore the normal response should be to weight the foot again.
However, if the pattern for unweighting has been accepted as normal in the
nervous system then some outside intervention may be required to reset, the
nervous system, to rellease the pattern. The adaptation (that's a popular word
with me today) of Moshe Feldenkries' work by Linda Tellington Jones would
definitely help here. 
Here's what I would try:
Stand your horse up squarely, all around. If he can't do this there's another
issue to resolve first. Take the leg that is not weighting, I think you said
right front, and SLOWLY start to fold it up from foot to shoulder. As you take
up all the slack, fetlock, knee, elbow all bent, in flexion, you will be able
to "feel" into the shoulder. Take up the slack in the shoulder and hold it
until you feel a "release" it is very slight, the feeling, something like a
sigh in the tissue. It will take 90 seconds or more. Then SLOWLY, unfold the
leg and put it down. Do the same on the diagonal. Then walk the horse off stop
and do the other side. 
This is called an "indirect technique". You are providing the holding for the
body and the nervous system, once it realizes that what it wants held is being
held, will release it's grip. You'll need to repeat this and keep track of the
number of times you do it so you can send me .05$ for each time. Just kidding.

I think you were very lucky to have been at a ride with a vet. Her/his advice
was very good. The ice breaks the pain reception that cascades the muscle
spasm. But one would not do this in a hot muscle. 
I think you can help your horse by keeping the blood flowing through the
tissue after you stop. During movement there is a capillary pumping action
that helps to move blood, when we stop this action is reduced and the need to
move blood is assumed byt he heart alone. This pumping action is easy to
emulate by simple pumping the muscles yourself. I would invest in a massage
for the horse, get a referral from a DVM or a someone knowledgeable. Ask the
massage therapist to show you how to do a pettrisage on the hamstrings. 

As usual I hope this helps more than confuses.

jim pascucci
Advanced Certified Rolfer 

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