We are half-way there...I hope. Last week, Echo had a sports massage and Clare found that she was very tight in her shoulders and as a result has become quite tight in the under side of her neck. At first I thought this was a bit odd - she always works in an 'outline' (for want of a better word!), and I couldn't understand where this muscle has come from. However, if she's uncomfortable all the time in her shoulders and withers, then she would be holding her head up a little just to prevent stretching that muscle. She's done no work for several weeks now, so all I can assume is that it's from general discomfort in the field.
The sports massage looked amazing - I was, in fact, rather jealous. I have experimented with Bowen and McTimoney specialists in the past, but I really don't think there's any substitute for good old-fashioned massaging of the muscles. If I had a tight back or neck, I would want someone to properly manipulate the muscles, hands-on, releasing the tension and freeing up the movement. I'm sure that the more alternative methods work for some people, but I kinda like to see what I'm paying for!! Echo absolutely loves it too - she blows her nose, lowers her head and blinks a lot, apparently all signs that she is releasing the tension and build up of toxins in the muscles.
Clare agreed that all the signs in her muscles are that the saddle has been pinching her, so I am really hoping, with everything crossed, that this was the cause of her not feeling right when I last rode her. She has had the last few weeks completely off and I have just managed to get my hands on a chambon, so I can get her to stretch on the lunge. It will also mean that I can lunge her for a day or two before the saddler comes on Saturday expecting me to get on this wild beast! She has been extremely bored recently and thunders across her field, bucking and squealing whenever I turn her out. She has definitely developed a good height to that buck of hers, so I think some lunging before mounting will certainly be in order!
My only worry is that in not working for the last few weeks, she will have lost some of the muscle that was causing the problems with the saddle - but I guess we'll just have to see with that. I can't wait to ride her again - it's been too long! If all goes well, I'm hoping the saddler will be able to just change the gullet in my wintec saddle and all will be lovely and rosy. I am very much hoping that what looked wrong in her hindlegs was simply a result of the tension in her back and that there isn't any other issue to deal with.
Saddler comes on Saturday, so fingers crossed!