Andelusian gelding. Age 12

March 29, 2018

Recovering from injury to right rear left fetlock. Had been injected and ultrasounded to show the annular ligament was affected. Was injected. There is still thickening on the lower limb.  

Notes from Session 1 -  March 29, 2018: 

Withers have evidence of old tissue injury from ill fitting saddles. 

First touch, on the Magical area right behind the scapula on the left, he let out a sign and a blow. This is probably old restriction from holding himself diagonally to get the weight off the sore right rear?

Right rear foot slightly clubbed from the injury. Eyes excessively runny, and they ran more with the releases. 

Hamstrings on both sides very reactive and tight. Worked at loosening them up, and releasing the long leg ligaments by releasing the origins at the base of the bicep femoris, the semitendinosis and semimembranosis, and any other muscle/tendon that was involved. Did lots of releasing on the sacrum as well from the top side. When I connected the stifle and the hip fascia I got a big diaphragm release. 

Neck and pol are overall very good. Somewhat braced at the jaw, but nothing out of line. Liked the tongue release. May be involved with the runny eyes. 

Horse has pendicular habronema on the belly. A summer sore that forms in a ball, and then descends away from the torso, and eventually falls off. 


Fidla is my Icelandic mare. She was 20 when she came to live with me in 2015. She had not been athletic. She was trained and had trail experience, but her main job had been as a hair model on The Horse Show with Rick Lamb. She had no lameness or old injuries of any kind; clean legs and a smart mind. She has a beautiful high action Tolt. She is a very well bred mare. 

Horse description and history

She could not bend to the right at her pol. She braced against the bit when I asked for lateral flexion under saddle. She had been trained to soften and give at the pol so she would flex her head downward. She would not pick up the left lead, unless she (gently) bucked first. This was about her lumbar being stiff. She is dish backed (saggy), in part from not being strengthened, in part from having been overweight, and in part from natural conformation. 

I wrote these notes in Dec 2017 as I began to keep track of this  journey:

21 year old Icelandic mare. Given to me at 19 years old. Fat, out of shape and restricted. Been working on her for 2 years to release severe restriction in C1-C3 that would not let her turn her head to the right. Mostly resolved over small sessions over the years. 

Sway back, and reluctant to do anything -  will pull hard against the bit and fight, bracing her right side of the neck. Major improvement over the years. 

She has been in a dressage program for 3 months and is getting fit. Her back is lifting. BUT she will not take the left lead. When she tries to her left rear leg will not come forward. Pelvis is stuck in a right forward left back position, Her stance is to have her left leg slightly behind. 

Fidla Dec 2017 Evaluation Chart

Fidla Dec 2017 Evaluation Chart

  • The first session she started to release the lumbar. Her rear legs started to soften and relax. She continued to take a staggered posture. Releasing the tendons in the right pol I could feel the tendons above the wither left side release
  • Releasing the right shoulder by lifting E and the right rib cage rib cage. Lick-chew
  • Figure *8 on the pelvis. Not too effective. Pelvic rocking with hand on sacrum more effective.
  • Compressions from dorsal to facia lata line is good. 
  • The right side of the butt is quite solid. Not easy to release. 

NOTE: August 5, 2018

Fidla and I have been training with Manuel Trigo since September 2017. Clinics and private lessons. The first accomplishment was getting her to raise her shoulders and head and carry herself in a lifted manner. The second accomplishment was shoulder in and haunches in, where she has to raise her back and with a strong abdomen allow her rear legs to cross as she moves forward. These exercises are critical for building her balance and strength. They have made the body work much easier, and by combining the two she is progressing very fast. 


Name: RUMA

Dates: April 6; June 1; Aug 3 2018

Initial Evaluation

Horse description and history Age, breed, medical and functional history, current use. Hard tissues (Conformation. Bone spurs. Founder. Arthritis.). Metabolic issue.

6 yr old ex race horse. Sold to a18 year old who failed trying to retrain her. Then sent to a trainer, who failed because the horse was “too hot”. Then given to a rescue, and adapted by Janet in 2017. 

Broken wind. I believe this means https://www.acvs.org/large-animal/laryngeal-hemiplegia. “Horses with laryngeal hemiplegia have paralysis of the arytenoid cartilage, which prevents them from abducting or opening their throat during inspiration. This leads to decreased airflow into the lungs due to obstruction from the paralyzed cartilage resulting in respiratory noise and exercise intolerance.”  Another definition of this term is asthma. Either way, this horse cannot breath well when under heavy exercise. 

Lame movements. Suspect that the tendons on the left rear fetlock are damaged. “Back is stuck”. Evidence of old injury on left front cannon bone. 

Under weight. Protruding spine - extra high withers and protruding sacrum. Horse has been gaining weight since rescue. 

Training. Janet believes the horse was ridden with extreme tie downs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollkur. And with ill fitting saddle. 

Conformation. Visually obvious abnormalities. Bladder meridian markers. Fascia binding points reactivity. Legs and feet. Allowance of touch at poll and face. Obvious imbalances on diagonals.

Evidence of leg/fetlock injury. Scarring on left rear from a cut or rope burn. Something caught on that leg. Maybe an accident. Maybe from training (leg tying). Permanent swelling on right front lower leg, as through a tendon injury had healed with extra collagen.

Evidence of carpal damage on the right front. Swollen medial. 

Session 1 - April 6, 2018 

  • TMJ and pol very sore. Gave huge releases on both sides of the face, and at the pol. 
  • Funicular cord seems stretched and elevated. Tender along all aspects of the top line. 
  • Extremely elevated sacrum - sticks up like a tower. 
  • Extremely reactive and sore at the withers. Caudal, center and posterior. 
  • Left hind was hard to release at the pelvis. Finally with the fascia lata move she let go and dropped the leg. 
  • Sacral lumbar and entire back very sore.
  • Loved having the Glutes released. 


Session #2: June 1, 2018

Changes since last session. Softer going when ridden. Easier to keep 


Major Areas of release:

Untitled 2.png

Ventral pelvis - medial. The abs, the inner and under muscles from the stifle up through the underbelly. 

Rear legs swing inward and interfere. HORSE WOULD NOT ALLOW HAND INTO RIGHT THE MEDIAL STIFLE.   I could get into the gracilis from behind. Released that whole complex with gracilis and the dorsal lumbar. Used Connected Flow visualizations to get the release

(On session 3, Ruma was HAPPY to let me into the medial stifle, and released another layer

Front shoulders/ribs/C6+7 stuck. She resisted release, but did give a lot. 

Giraffed on the neck when I worked on C4-7 on the left especially. Very hard for her to bend and soften. I think this is from the back and shoulders. 

Knees may have had bone chips. Very common in race horses. 

Video shows a lot more releasing and softening, and the criss cross pattern.

Session 3

August 3, 2018

Janet reports that Ruma is doing really well. New saddle that fits both. Going long and low easily. Picking up both canter leads smoothly. Too hot to ride hard though. 

The key issues this session are the shoulders and the back just behind the scapula, especially on the right. The tissue over the latissimus/serretas was hard feeling on both sides. But more so on the right. After working over the whole horse, when I came to that area again it triggered spasms. We resolved them using Connected Flow - Janet holding the spasm area and me touching the pol. I found that she needed the deepest work on the shoulder groove on the left, which set up the release on the right. 

At the beginning of the session I released the right front slowly, and the left rear did a deep release. The video shows it beautifully. 

She allowed me to go deep into her medial rear legs without any resistance. Last time she was not welcoming. Her pelvis is much freer this time. The work is holding. 

Her neck is way improved overall. And her pol remains soft. 

Ruma 3 notes.jpg


Oct 2017: Chica is a darling Quarterhorse mare who was handled very roughly by a former owner in her early years. Her tongue is deeply cut from a sharp bit, and her neck and shoulders have core restrictions. In addition she has front feet issues. When I worked on her chest and neck, she would show the release on her rear end, shifting her weight and lifting her legs to stretch. Chica loved the work, pausing to yawn and shake her head, then coming back to me for more!

I am looking forward to seeing how she progresses with regular bodywork. Her job now is relaxed -  trail riding and competitive trail. I expect her neck and poll to be a lot softer when I work with her again. 

Chica's Mom writes that evening: Thank you sooo much. She was pawing the ground but now came in and is thinking about eating. She really was releasing her hinney

Chica's Mom writes the next morning: Carla, Chica is doing great this morning. sure had a some bouts with stretching and pawing the ground !