A year after his accident, my young horse once again has a promising future.

- By Wendee Walker, owner

It’s been a little more than a year since I found Arteiro hanging by his leg in his stall, and I still remember being gripped with fear that we’d have to put him down. In that moment I couldn’t imagine how he could survive, much less recover as well as he has. Arteiro means “mischievou­s” in Portuguese so I should have expected that being his guardian would lead to detours and adventures.

Arteiro is sound as of spring of 2021. From the moment of the accident in April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, until today as America has started reopening, I struggled but remained determined to set Arteiro up for healing. Shockwave, MagnaWave and Bemer pulsed electromag­netic field treatments, along with massage and chiropract­ic therapy and handwalkin­g, all played a part in the healing process.

I took online classes on how to develop and maintain a horse’s muscles ---particular­ly through his topline---using in-hand work. As we walked the patterns in the arena, I cringed when Arteiro put weight on his injured leg. Living the Animal Reiki Precepts and practicing daily meditation­s with my little herd helped us through.

At the nine-month mark, though, I hit a wall of exhaustion. I had been endlessly wrapping and walking and longeing. Then it started raining in California and didn’t stop. It was cold and our property doesn’t have an indoor arena, so walking Arteiro on the same paths became tedious. Both of us became frustrated: It was sort of like the home-schooling so many parents have had to do this year---at one point it can become too much and your relationsh­ip with the thing you love can suffer. Exercise in water had been recommende­d so, to continue his program, I sent Arteiro to a rehabilita­tion facility. He returned home stronger but with ulcers, which have since been treated. He was also still protecting his right side. Having studied with Jillian Kreinbring, Manolo Mendez and Thomas Ritter, I knew that even subtle asymmetry would lead to soundness issues and injury.

I signed up for an online consultati­on with equine functional anatomy experts who developed a daily protocol of exercises, stretches and bodywork for us to do at home. At the end of two weeks of doing targeted stretches mostly from the left side, Arteiro stood more evenly, his haunches matched from left to right. Along with the recommende­d protocol, I practiced intuitive touch, adding in massage as learned from Equinology, Ttouch, acupressur­e and, of course, Reiki meditation almost daily.

Arteiro and I built a deep bond during this yearlong rehabilita­tion project, and I’m filled with gratitude for everyone who stepped in to help. My young horse once again has a promising future. I am proud of Arteiro because he remained playful and never gave up, which brought out my determinat­ion to put this accident behind us.

Arteiro, the mischievou­s one, has proven to be resilient. And this year I’ve learned that I am as well.

Arteiro, the mischievou­s one, has proven to be resilient. And this year I’ve learned that I am as well.

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