Ponyboy gets a Massage from his Godmother!

This is Brigitte and I!

Not only is Brigitte my best friend, she has been a fixture in the story of Jingle and I since day one. In fact, Jingle adores her, and she has been named his "God-mother" since I brought him home. Fortunately for me and Jingle, she is also becoming an equine massage therapist and is working through her 6 month externship through the Equinology Equine Body Worker Certification Course. She is also completing an externship for the Equine biomechanics, lameness and gait abnormalities course. So she is really bringing a one-two punch to my horse, with his current lameness. Also, I should state that I did discuss massage with my vet beforehand and he advised that regular massage would be great for Jingle, and could potentially help him in the long-run. So, lucky for Jingle and I she came out on Saturday and gave ponyboy a massage!

Brigitte has always been one of the most energy-focused people I know, and due to that I knew she would be totally fine working on the sometimes frantic Jingle. Plus, she really "knows" him, and when he was being pushy or flighty, instead of stopping working on him, like others have in the past, she continued and was able to read him really well. This resulted in a lot of fantastic expressive releases from my boy which I was very happy about!

Finally, a blurb for Brigitte about herself and why she is becoming an Equine Massage therapist, before we go into details about the massage itself.

"I wholeheartedly believe that any horse with any background can benefit from massage therapy. Just like a human athlete, horses can also get tense muscles. This can lead to fatigue, negative attitudes and can escalade into more severe injuries. Through massage one is able to increase circulation, elongate striations, and elimnate toxins in muscles, in order to remediate those tense muscles/adhesions. By relieving tension and pain, massage can provide the horse (and rider) with a greater range of motion, and comfort to injured muscles; while preventing further adhesions from occurring." - Brigitte Meyer

The above quote totally sums up my own personal feelings about equine massage. After working with horses in a variety of physical-demanding jobs (trail horses, cutting horses), treating your horse like an athlete and providing them with practitioners such as a dentist, massage, etc. will only further their career, lifespan and happiness.

So, the massage:

"Auntie Brigitte.. this is new... what are you doing to me?!" - Jingle

Brigitte worked on Jingle for a little over an hour, and afterwards sent me via email (which I loved) a follow-up to the session. She noted tension in his triceps and teres minor on his left side, which are the muscles responsible for flexing his shoulder and thus forward movement of his forelimb. His deep pectoral and ventral serrated muscle of the truck on his left side also showed tension. These aforementioned muscles on his left forelimb when shortened/tense may become apparent with a slight reluctance to finish loading and shortening of stride on his left forelimb.

"Alright, you may continue, this feels nice." - Jingle

She also noted tension in a few specific neck muscles on his right side. We discussed this, and both felt that he might be over-using his right neck muscles and favouring right to left movement in order to perhaps take the load off of the left forelimb muscle where is lameness is exhibiting.

What I found really interesting is how much he released through the tendons on both legs - but especially on his front left leg. Brigitte said he had tightness all up both legs and had major releases as she worked on them. This does give me a tinge of hope that perhaps this is a lameness that just needs time and rest and will go away.

"What are you writing about me? You are writing good things right?!" - Jingle

It was also interesting to see how his body tightness has changed without riding. His last massage, and many before that, he has always been tense through the poll and jaw, as well as last time having a very tense lower back and hamstring muscles. This time, you could really see how the lameness is affecting his everyday movement with his shortness and tension in his shoulders/trunk/tendons throughout the legs.

I've honestly never seen Jingle so calm and in-tuned to a massage as he was with Brigitte. His massive amount of releases (head dropping, dropping, chewing, licking, sighing) only shows how comfortable he was during the session, which in-turn makes me happy because sometimes he has given people trouble and only torques himself up more.

"Mahm, Brigitte said that I am the most handsome horse and that my new regime should include atleast 100 cookies per day, plus 4 rolls in the arena, that is all." - Jingle

If Brigitte would have us, we'll have her out again and again! Plus, I'd be happy to recommend her to anyone. She will be a force to be reckoned with once she's fully certified!


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