August 14, 2019 First session

I’m realizing my goal of riding Kastani in 2 weeks may be somewhat ambitious.

This is the story of my life. Just when I’m making real progress I have to stop in my tracks. Kastani and I worked together really consistently for most of the month of July. He was super happy about the work we were doing together and progressing so well I felt ready to start riding him. Then it was time for my Mom’s Memorial service. I had to stop everything for the week before and was just wiped out the week after. Part of the reason I chose Kastani for this project is that it’s not always easy to come back after a bit of time off.

On August 14 I trudged out to the pasture with Steve in tow filming. Kastani allowed me to put the halter on him and lead him in. I groomed him and took him for a short walk to reconnect. He was a bit sluggish and seemed off on his left front. He did just have his feet trimmed the day before. Hmmm.

I haven’t done any palpation or bodywork with him in some time so I began to assess points around his face and jaw: tmj, teeth, atlas and mandible, hyoid and so on. The space between the atlas and mandible on the right was distinctly smaller than the one on the left. I could feel my own jaw lock down in sympathetic response (resonating with what he was feeling). A little movement and bodywork to release that right throat latch and off we went, walking our figure 8 pattern again.

If anything Kastani seemed more off. He was emotional, yawning a lot and unsettled. It seems I’ve stirred something up here…

I spent the rest of the session doing bodywork and allowing him time to move and process.

In hind sight, as I contemplate the session, I find it significant that I have this goal of riding him and now is when he shows me this issue. He has had a pattern, since I started him back, of tilting his head to the right when circling left. He also has a pattern of resisting a leg yield to the right. I know he has some issues in his shoulders and neck that cause him to get a bit heavy on the forehand. It seemed as though we had broken through that but now he’s showing me another layer of stuff.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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