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Women and Horses Newsletter, December 2001
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~~~~~~~From Mary D. Midkiff~~~~~~~
My Holiday Gift for Your Partnership Toolbox
My holiday gift to you this year will be a few new exercises and
options for your horse.
After receiving many requests for additional exercises during my
participation in Equitana Asia Pacific in Melbourne, Australia
last week, I realized it was time to give you a few more tools
for your horse partnership toolbox. What better time to update
your tools than now during this special "giving" season.
My position has always been search, listen and observe as many
experts as possible and take bits of what works for you and your
horse. When you and your horse are at home facing an issue, you
are responsible in that moment. Copying and following only works
part of the time - the technique, the intuition, the practice
needs to come from you and your filters. There won't be any
professionals around to solve your problems when you are out on
the trail or in your arena at home. Learn to keep a toolbox of
ideas, options, solutions to work from that come from you and
what you have learned and observed.
As a part of your tool box, use videos, books, notes and local
people you trust to go to when you need help. Ask questions, do
research; but ultimately, this toolbox is between you and your
horse and you are the one to maintain and update it with all
there is to enhance your partnership.
Here are some stocking stuffers for your Toolbox.
Mary D. Midkiff
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FOR YOUR HORSE:
Mouth massage techniques to release endorphins and relax your
horse. I learned these techniques years ago from Peggy Cummings
but I believe they are originally from Linda Tellington-Jones.
Use these techniques any time but most effectively when your
horse is tense or nervous or confused about something. Be
careful, but I have found that horses that are bad biters and
mouthy or nippy benefit greatly from these techniques. Stop and
go to the mouth and release some good chemicals into the brain.
Your horse will learn that you are the giver of good, secure
* Technique 1: Upper Gum rub
I always like to wet my hands before I go into the horse's
mouth. I believe it is a more positive approach and moves more
freely around the mouth.
Take your hand in a cupped form into the corners/bars of the
mouth (where there are no teeth) and gently move your hand up
and over the front teeth onto the gum area. Keeping your hand
cupped under the upper lip and on the gum, stroke back and forth
with the whole hand (like a saw) over the gum area. Repeat this
rubbing motion for about 10 seconds and take your hand out of
the mouth. The horse typically will lick, chew and yawn a great
deal. These are signs of release into the body. Repeat this
technique from the left side and the right side.
Technique 2: Playing the Piano
Wet the hand, and slip the hand into the bars of the mouth. Act
as is your hand is playing the piano on the horse's tongue in
that area. Move your fingers around as if you are playing the
scale and the horse will open his mouth and chew and lick.
Repeat on both sides of the horse.
Technique 3: Stroking the Soft Palate
Go into the bars with a wet hand and take your thumb and press
it gently up against the roof of the horse's mouth. You will
feel a soft area, that is his soft palate. Stroke this area with
your thumb. If you have long nails, please use gloves for this
technique. The soft palate is tender. Repeat from both sides of
Technique 4: Soften an orange
Massage the upper lip and muzzle area as if you were kneading
and softening an orange to get juice, rolling it around with the
palm and heel of your hand. Do the same with the lower lip until
the horse let's go of tension and softens these areas. Many
horses will hold anger and revenge in their mouth area. These
exercises are designed to release those tense feelings and bring
comfort and relaxation.
Use one or all 4, as your horse needs these releases or just
when you want to give them a feeling of pleasure.
I will be providing new exercises for you through my newsletter
each month, so stay tuned for more!
Women have a special magic with horses...
Equestrian Resources, Inc.
PO Box 20187
Boulder, CO 80308
Phone 303-544-0333 | Fax 303-544-0331
(c)2001 All rights reserved.
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