Straight to­ward a bet­ter ride

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

I want to thank phys­i­cal ther­a­pist John Macy for shar­ing “Straighten Up and Ride Right” (EQUUS 447). He has given me the long-wanted ex­pla­na­tion of why so many of us ride out of bal­ance. For the past 26 years I have rid­den with a low­ered right shoul­der. Two-point­ing over un­even ter­rain on com­pet­i­tive trail rides al­ways seemed awk­ward for me. You would think as an ath­letic per­son that I could have fig­ured out the rea­son for the low­ered shoul­der, but it took this ar­ti­cle to help me.

Macy ex­plains our phys­i­cal asym­me­try in an in­cred­i­bly sim­ple and clear way, and he has given me the tools to cor­rect my­self. Al­ready, I am find­ing his four-point cor­rec­tion sug­ges­tion feel­ing nor­mal and com­fort­able. He was very right that at first chang­ing my hip, lower back, ster­num and head po­si­tion was painful. How­ever, that quickly be­came com­fort­able. It al­ready seems so easy to drive the car, sit on a chair, and walk with my shoul­ders level!

I can’t wait un­til spring when I can safely get my horses out on the trails. I am con­fi­dent that my anx­ious Mor­gan mare will be hap­pier with my new po­si­tion, and my gaited geld­ing will also be able to slide into his faster gait more eas­ily. I also sus­pect that my sad­dles will re­main cen­tered. My horses are go­ing to be as happy as I am. Jeanne Cole Glen­field, New York saw that he was stand­ing with his three chil­dren next to my pas­ture fence. One of the horses, which be­longed to my boarder, was graz­ing next to the fence, and my neigh­bor was just in the process of lift­ing his tod­dler over the fence to set her on the loose horse’s back. I am not ex­ag­ger­at­ing at all.

I ap­proached and warned him not to do that, and he pulled the child away be­fore ac­tu­ally mak­ing con­tact with the horse. He said that he was go­ing to hold onto the child. While I was ex­plain­ing to him the un­pre­dictabil­ity of horses, the horse con­tin­ued to graze along the fence line. Sud­denly, the horse reached out and grabbed the man’s pant leg--per­haps out of cu­rios­ity or play­ful­ness. My neigh­bor quickly pulled away and asked why the horse had done that. I pointed out that it was an ex­am­ple of how un­pre­dictable horses can be. I also ex­plained that the horse could eas­ily have bit­ten one of the kids, too, out of the same sense of play­ful­ness.

I never had a prob­lem of this sort with this neigh­bor again. As a mat­ter of fact, his kids used to hit their var­i­ous play balls into my pas­ture and reach in if it was close enough. That never hap­pened again. In­stead, I would toss the balls back into their yard when I found them. I con­sid­ered my­self very lucky that noth­ing se­ri­ous hap­pened be­cause I know that I could have been sued.

I now live in a ru­ral area, but I have no ex­pec­ta­tion that I’m safe from an­other in­ci­dent of this sort. Most peo­ple th­ese days do not have a re­al­is­tic un­der­stand­ing of horses. Joan Flem­ing Rochester, Wash­ing­ton

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