Even after the saddle fit issue was resolved, Bronwyn would still work for about 20 minutes and then begin being outright "naughty" when I asked for a little more - put leg on and asked her to extend. She would crank her head up and to the side, and stop up instead of moving forward. I tried various saddles, bridles, bits and girths and then put my shingle out looking for a chiro or massage therapist to come and take a look at her because something was clearly wrong. Though Bronwyn has spent much of her life being silly or scared of things, never once has she been naughty - and her work ethic has been pretty awesome all summer. The big difference, though, is that her body has changed quite significantly - in shape and in fitness.
I got replies from several people suggesting Christa - and was pleased to find that she had been to my barn recently to work on a horse that was dealing with lameness issues and that this mare had gotten much better after a session.
Fortunately, she was able to come out quite quickly for me. Bronwyn was really quite at ease with her, I think largely due to the fact that she is constantly talking to her during the session, which is what I do with just about every horse. (As a side note, I was largely ridiculed for this when I worked with race horses "back in the day", but I had the quietest horses in the barn, who, when they went to another groom who wasn't as verbose as I tend to be, suddenly were uptight and nervous around their handlers. Imagine!)
She immediately could see that her neck and her pelvis needed adjustments, and then proceeded to spend about an hour working on her muscles - I could see a visible change in the shape of some parts of her body right away!
I have to say that I felt bad at the beginning when she found the initial problems. I think every plus sized rider wonders if their weight could be affecting their horse, even if they adhere to the "20% rule" or any of the other governing guidelines for determining if you are too heavy for your horse, and that was what I initially was concerned with. Without asking the specific question of if I had caused it, Christa reminded me that these sorts of things could happen in any way - rolling over a rock, etc - and I know someone who adjusts her horse post birthing, etc.
I have to admit to being a little bit nervous when she adjusted her pelvis and neck. Even for humans, the idea of manipulating the bones and the spine kind of terrifies me, but as Christa has a pretty impressive resume, I trusted her while she adjusted the pelvis (not TOO bad) and the neck (admittedly, much scarier). And two days later, when I was advised to go out and ride her again... I had a different horse.
|Overall, I think Bronwyn was thrilled with her new friend!|
Bronwyn earned the nickname "Ploddius" over the summer, due to her short, heavy strides. Let's just say she is Ploddius no more! It was quite interesting to feel the difference in the ride - she carried herself lightly - I have never realized that she wasn't moving that lightly, because she probably never has! Overall, it was worth every penny.