Ok, this article also could have been called “Nahla, the perfect rehab case” but it’s a lot less dramatic, let’s face it 😉
For those of you who may not follow my Facebook page, Nahla is a lovely mare that I met late last year. Her owner Sarah is a friend of a regular client of mine, and so when Sarah’s mare became lame on her right hind, I got introduced!
I saw Nahla 3 times, and it’s the 3d time that I realised something very cool was happening to her.
So the first time I got to see her, it was all about finding where the lameness was coming from. After some searching I stopped on the right stifle and Nahla agreed on the spot with loads of yawning, chewing, and falling asleep. I gave her and her owner exercises to do, to help the rehabilitation process, and warned her that she couldn’t be ridden for a while.
The second time I saw Nahla she had improved massively, there was no visible lameness anymore but she struggled to use her back properly. I worked on her spine and connective tissue to make sure tension was released, as well as in parts of her shoulders. Nahla went on her way, and I gave Sarah more exercises. As she was doing incredibly well, we agreed on including some riding in between the lunging exercises she had been doing so far. By this point we had realised that the right hind issue had been going on for a while, and had always kinda been there, Sarah often having to focus on it to make Nahla used it more. What we hadn’t realised was that the issue went back to an even earlier problem.
And it’s on the 3d session that we finally found the primary problem. See, I knew there was more to work on but sometimes the body needs time to resurface old issues. And so on her last session, I ended up working a lot on the neck, especially the left side of her neck. Like, a lot. And Sarah actually remembered that Nahla used to have a funny way of holding her neck years ago! With time, the body had compensated all the way to the right hind, making it the top of the iceberg.
I often tell owners that working on a horse is like peeling off layers of tension and compensation. In an ideal situation, each time I get to treat a whole new horse, always getting closer to bringing the body back to balance. And Nahla showed us beautifully how you can get back to a problem long forgotten, making you feel like you’re going back in time!
I’m happy to say that Nahla is doing really well. Not only has she reacted perfectly to each session, she also has an owner who trusted the process, followed the rehab exercises and didn’t rush, allowing the mare to heal. And now if anything reappears, we’re on the case 😀
And because Sarah is such an awesome person she also gave me regular updates on Nahla! Here’s the latest message I received:
Nahla is full of energy and keener to work than i have ever known. We have only had a couple of little jumps so far but she has been happy to go for it and getting excited on the corner before. We did another polework clinic on Sunday. We had faulty brakes and several times leapt over the poles on the floor but it all seemed in excitement rather than pain. I’m really pleased with how she has responded as is my trainer who has noticed that she is dropping into a longer lower outline at times now. x