Every few weeks, I complete a lesson in my Masterson body work course. I like to give myself ample time between lessons so I have time to practice each release multiple times.
This weekend I completed the lesson on poll release and massage. I knew it would be challenging with Lucy. She hates to have her ears touched or her face fussed with. She does, however, like to rest her head in my arms. I was curious to see how it would go.
Most of the time, I do body work in the pasture. Sunday, I thought I would take Lucy into the barn and work with her in her stall. The barn was much cooler than the pasture and there weren't flies. Initially, Lucy was thrilled to go into her stall. She drank in the cool fly-fee air, sniffed at the shavings, and then realized she was alone. Her head flew into the air, "Where is everyone??!" She paced, and circled, spinning in place. I waited.
Lucy, Lucy, you are not alone. I'm right here.
I know, but OMG, there are no other horses in here!
Lucy, look at you. You are starting to sweat. Let's do the kidney meridian and take the pressure down.
It won't work. I'm stressed I tell you. STRESSED. Oh, okay. Ahhhhh.... keep going.... are you done already?
Next we did some neck flexion. Lucy rocks neck flexion. She tries to skip the lower neck release and go straight to the final stretch.
Look at me stretch to my flank. Aren't you impressed?
She doesn't get to skip/avoid the more difficult (for her) lower neck release. We went back and did that.
Last, we tried the new stuff.
She reluctantly dropped her head but the second I started massaging her poll, she flung it back up.
Don't touch me there. Ever!
I rested my hand lightly, skipped the massage, and got the release. It is going to take some time and work to get Lucy comfortable with that exercise.
The last release involved getting Lucy to relax her head into either the crook of my elbow or on my shoulder. Then, massage and release. She didn't like having her head on my shoulder but she did relax into the crook of my arm and close her eyes. Not for long, mind you. But long enough to get a big release.
I took her back to the pasture where she promptly rolled.
Brett has started the course as well. We think the work will be very beneficial for Mufasa.
I worked a bit with Jackson in the pasture later in the evening. He thunked his head on my shoulder, let it go heavy and closed his eyes. Every horse reacts differently. That's part of the fun, challenge and satisfaction.