I just took the final last night, but Sunday really was the highlight of the whole class.
It was a lot of information crammed into three 3-hour classes and one all day session - especially since I missed one class to go work a tradeshow.
The morning started out with a discussion of other available resources if we want to delve deeper into either massage or accupressure. There is actually not a ton out there for horses, so Diana Thompson, the instructor, is actually working on a pretty comprehensive and horse-specific set of texts.
Then we actually got to meet and touch real horses. Now, I'm lucky enough that I have Miss Lena and had been practicing on her over the last few weeks. Actually longer, since my friend Karen MacDonald came out to give me some pointers a few months ago.
Now, Lena does respond, but nothing like the way some of these horses did. Of course, most of these horses don't dance in circles around you, either.
I actually fell in love with one of the horses I got to work on. He's a Boy Scout horse, though I don't know exactly what that means - except that he'll go away at the end of the summer, I guess. His name was Stone and he was a bay paint gelding with some seriously sore hip muscles.
What drew me to him was his energy - he actually reminded me of Lena because of the heads-up, alert attitude. The young woman who worked with the horses at the JC's farm didn't think he'd work out for the class because he was a little too antsy. Apparently he bucks, too, which when I felt his hips and back, made complete sense. I'd probably buck too if someone got on me when I was that sore.
I won't say he became putty in my hands, but he would calm down and respond to me even as he got truly bored at the end of the day. I could even get up close to his ears and use the pressure point on his forehead.
The highlight was when we did the circle-touch method on his tail. I went down the sides, then started down underneath on the skin. He shook his whole body then started with some jaw-splitting yawns. These are good signs, by the way. It was really cool.
Lena could take some lessons in relaxing from Stone, but maybe if I'm patient, I can get her there.