"Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to share the blessings of the merciful." - Albert Schweitzer
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Leigh is available for private individual sessions, group workshops, seminars, demonstrations, and special events. Owners and caregivers are more than welcome to attend and participate in all sessions.
Initial meetings, which include a full-body evaluation and discussion of the animal's history, are usually 1.5 hours in length. Subsequent sessions are generally 60 minutes long and include a combination of approaches tailored to best suit your animal's needs.You will receive detailed written follow-up reports, hands-on practice with Leigh, easy-to-follow recommendations, and open and prompt communication.
How to prepare for, and what to expect, during your horse's first bodywork session:
“Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.” – Richard Bach
There are great benefits to receiving bodywork on a regular basis. Becoming familiar with an animal’s body means that changes can be perceived early and addressed efficiently, minimizing the need for invasive, expensive, and sometimes avoidable treatment. Through bodywork, we can nurture a relationship that deepens and evolves with time.
-During a session, the horse should be in his or her most comfortable place. It is counter-productive to change environment or routine for any appointment, including bodywork. There should be ample room to move around. No cross-ties, just a halter and long leadrope.
-It’s ideal but not mandatory to receive bodywork following a typical/moderate exercise session, if your horse is in work. If it is very cold outside, try to do at least a little something prior to the session. If it is very hot, give your horse time to cool off. A little spritz or sponge bath is fine, but try to avoid a full-fledged soak.
-A little grooming never hurt anyone! No need for show sheen and braids, but at least knock the mud off (this is as much for the horse as it is for the practitioner!). This includes the legs.
-Have some forage available, if possible. Horses eat when they are comfortable, and they are comforted by eating.
-Divulge as much information as possible, especially that which relates to safety. Be honest about potentially dangerous behaviors, even if they are infrequent or unusual. These are often indications of physical, cognitive, or emotional discomfort. Facts are important, and there is no shame in sharing them.
Expect the following throughout the session:
We will be looking for signs of “reactivity” and signs of “release”.
- “Reactivity” can mean: raising the poll/head above the withers, widening or squinting the eyes, flaring the nostrils, clenching the jaw, holding the breath, locking the knees, clamping or swishing the tail, becoming agitated, biting, kicking, increased pulse rate, and changes in temperature or “feel” of a certain part of the body.
- “Release” can mean: lowering of the poll/head below the withers, blinking or softening of the eyes, making eye contact, licking and chewing, breathing deeply or sighing, yawning, resting a limb, relaxing the tail, having increased GI motility (gas or passing manure), making physical contact, slowing heartrate, and regulation of temperature and consistency throughout the body.
- It is normal for there to be an escalation in reactivity before every release. Knowing that, we can set an intention to see our horse through the discomfort and onto the other side. The body (and mind) will always prefer what is familiar to what is necessarily “best”. It is our job to teach something new and hopefully helpful, and it takes time.
- It is normal for releases to take a while to happen during the first session. It is also normal for them not to last very long, and to be arrhythmic. Over time, they will come sooner and last longer, until eventually the body learns to take care of itself.
- Bodywork is not training. We never insist, or even expect, a “result”. The most important aspect of bodywork (to me) is to invite communication. If we acknowledge and reciprocate every attempt at this, we pave the way for productivity.
Please contact Leigh directly for rates and scheduling. Thank you!