Friday, July 13, 2012

Magnetic personality

Not a band-aid, no. A teeny, tiny (but powerful) magnet
When Karen came out a couple weeks ago to work on Lena, she also took a look at the big, brown "do-not-massage-me" horse. I don't know why massage is such an issue with him, but it is. "You're touching me! Ow! That's too HARD!"

Karen made it easy on him. She went to him. We didn't trap him in the cross ties this time, no. We went to his paddock and she didn't even try to massage him--she used the laser.

We got maybe 20 minutes.

Stubborn, twitchy brown horse.

Just in case we thought he was relaxing about the body-work thing, she did try to massage him after the laser. How fast can a Thoroughbred side step? Pretty fast as it turns out.

"Does he always twitch like that? Because.. there aren't a lot of flies."

"Um. Maybe?"

Later, upon recounting the story to Steve, the excessive non-fly induced twitching was confirmed.  Drat.

The twitch was first noticed during last year's trip to Slide. I thought it was the saddle pad--and it's definitely more prevalent when there is pressure of any kind on his withers, especially when it's hot outside--but since it seems to come and go, that's unlikely.

Calabar--as I've previously mentioned--has what we gently refer to as "junk" in his withers. Even an amateur such as myself--or at least a person familiar with her own knots and nodules--can feel the globs of mess in there. That's not the only place, mind you, but it is a very touchy and sensitive area as far as he's concerned. And he is very concerned.

When Karen applied the laser/magnet device (apologies, I don't actually know what it does, only that it works), there was a very immediate response. Thankfully not a swing-my-large-brown-self-into-you response, either.

The next day, the twitching was noticeably absent.

Karen recommended trying some magnetic therapy and even directed me to a rather inexpensive source of therapeutic magnets.

We have learned duct tape is required and even then, you're lucky to get 24 hours.  This makes it very difficult to monitor effectiveness, I might add. I haven't clipped Calabar yet to make him more adhesive, but it may happen. Though I don't (gasp!) have any electric clippers. 

Steve says he wants to document that process but I'm afraid he'll be laughing too hard to capture it.

So the general upshot is that I can't tell yet if this is helping, but I'm certainly willing to see how it goes. On the plus side, there is bit by bit less resistance to actual massage--as long as it's me doing it and only in very limited doses.

Lena says that's fine--more for her that way.

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