Today was another unusual day for Jimmy Dean. Lots of things have been happening lately, that he knows nothing about. First Stefanie asked him to swing his hind end around – that was on Thursday – and that was kind of a scary affair at first. Who knows what she was going to do with that twirling lead rope… But then it turned out she just wanted Jimmy Dean to take a step or two to the side with his hind feet and that was easy enough to master. Then Stefanie put this odd saddle on Jimmy. It didn’t even have a horn! She called it ‘English’. That felt strange enough and just in case, Jimmy decided to do a little bucking in the canter. Soon enough, however, he was convinced that his strange saddle was not any more dangerous than the usual and moved nicely and undisturbed in a circle in all three gaits.
Today then, a man with a baseball hat and unusual pants (dog training pants) showed up at the barn and introduced himself as “Doc McKann”. Jimmy was in a good mood and greeted the stranger with friendly indifference. Soon Doc McKann won Jimmy’s trust by patting him gently all over and then he went to work. A Chiropractor he is, Jimmy thought. That’s something new! Doc McKann squeezed, pushed and contorted Jimmy around a little bit and Jimmy soon started to feel that this was all good stuff. Closing his eyes he silently thought “That’s the spot, Doc!” when Doc McKann hit just the right spot on the left lumbar section.
Doc McKann took notes on his special pad and noted that Jimmy has some restriction in his cervical/thoracic junction on the left, something stuck in the neck on the left, something in the withers on the left and some restrictions in the spine in the area of the last ribs/lumbar that he released.
Feeling like a new horse, Jimmy took the rest of the afternoon off after eating a wholesome meal of ADM Moreglo, Patriot Feed and Equishine. Oh, and a yummy carrot, of course, for desert.
Let’s see how Jimmy moves tomorrow. Will he be a ‘new horse’ indeed?
Yesterday it was Friday again… time for a massage and some Masterson Method Bodywork. This time Jimmy was even more accepting and cooperative. His poll, neck and cervical/thoracic junction, however, still feel uncomfortable enough to threaten a nip or shake the head assertively. Jimmy’s poll is very tight, soft tissue around the Atlas very hard and sensitive during massage and C3-C5 (neck vertebrae) seem stuck and unrelenting. After the third time working up and down the neck, nipping attempts stopped and Jimmy showed signs of release (licking and chewing, snorting) and I let him just digest the bodywork for a moment.
While I took notes and pictures, Jimmy stood still like a statue, as if in a ‘zone’. I noticed distinct sweat spots in the same areas he sweated during the last bodywork session.
(For an in depth explanation go to Jim Masterson’s blog and search for ‘sweat barrier’.) At the end of his bodywork session he really enjoyed a good rub of his left hindquarters which elicited several non-stop yawns.
Back in the pasture he merrily trotted towards the herd and was greeted by his new ‘main squeeze’, the white pretty little mare, who came running to greet him.
Jimmy Dean, you’ve got ‘the life’!!!
Stay tuned for the next episode: Jimmy Dean under saddle (without rider)
Jimmy Dean is looking better every day. Farrier Jim Keip trimmed his feet last Saturday, his formerly very round belly is getting a bit more toned and a big lump of tangled hair was removed from his tail. These newly acquired good looks prompted Jimmy Dean to become more daring than usual and make a pass at the new cute white mare in the pasture. He could soon be seen in mutual grooming delight with the pretty miss.
But Jimmy Dean is not only changing on the outside. Something seems to shift on the inside as well. We remember how he crow hopped and ran backwards when vet Dr. Ketover tightened a simple baling twine around his girth line on day 3. Since then he has been longed with a rope running around his girth line and into my hand, bravely trotting his circles while the rope is tightened and released over and over again. Initial worry about the contraption soon gave way to indifference.
Yesterday Jimmy comfortably longed over a ground pole, having to lift his legs and tighten his tummy, while wearing a bareback pad, girth pulled tight. No worries here either. Still, fast movements and assertive bodylanguage can still make him fearful at times. A sign that his handling might have been rough at some point in his life.
Jimmy has nearly perfect feet. A crack in the front right looks like it will grow out. According to farrier Jim Keip, his feet are tough and his frogs are good. A perfect candidate for barefoot riding without problems.
It’ssizzling hotin Wisconsin and Jimmy Dean (nicknamed ‘the sausage’), stays cool as a cucumber in 100 degree weather! With a registered name ‘Good Lord I’m Sizzlin’ I guess 100 degrees does not feel all that hot to Jimmy.
This morning – on his way to an early morning cold shower – Jimmy patiently followed me and Yank out of the pasture and across the street to the farm, when a vicious B-52 bomber (also called the Midwestern Horse Fly, a black, gigantic monster with fangs!!!) kept landing on Yankee’s back again and again, determined to take a good chunk out of him! I panicked and started slapping Yankee on the back to try and hit the monster fly, while Yankee kept snapping and nipping his sides and starting to circle a bit, not due to worry about the fly but because I kept slapping the bejeezus out of him to ‘rescue’ him from the biting insect… There was a bit of commotion in the drive way for a while when the three of us danced around the attacker. JIMMY DEAN – cool as a cucumber – stayed a calm onlooker and just went with the flow the entire time! He never once flinched, hopped or showed any other sign of unease. Jimmy, what a guy you are!! (and Yank, you are the man…, of course!)
That’s all for today, folks. Too hot to trot for any of us. Stay cool!