|New Orleans' Finest |
(None of These is Hunter. Sadly, Was Too Busy to Get a Pic.)
His name was Hunter, and he responded to my initial attention with interest, and within seconds his lips were nuzzling my hand while I stroked his shoulders. After only a few minutes in his company I was pretty much trying to figure out how I could get him home with me.
What? You didn't realize he was a horse?? Really?? Wow. Was really hoping you thought better of me than that. Sigh...
Anyway, I call my new equine love the man of my dreams as he is a Percheron-Thoroughbred, a cross I've loved since I was a teenager and rode my dressage trainer's Thercheron mare, Benchmark. Riding Benchie was sort of like trying to straddle a mobile wine keg. That horse had the best brain there ever was, and completely demolished my anti-mare prejudice. I've wanted a Therchie ever since, and have loved every example of the breed I've met.
Hunter is a new Orleans police horse, and sees all kinds of shenanigans during the course of his duty, as you can imagine. Sometimes things can get a bit dicey for him. While I was chatting with his police officer partner, I was casually rubbing his right shoulder (clarification: I was rubbing Hunter's shoulder, not his partner's) and Hunter started blinking his eyes and chewing. Recognizing these signs as release of muscle tension, I started probing for other areas of tension in the shoulder and tricep area, and soon Hunter was yawning up a storm and leaning into me as if it were my job to hold him up (more signs of tension release).
Hunter's partner (never did get the man's name, tells you my priorities!!) was fascinated by the reactions I elicited from his horse, and asked me what I was doing. I explained I had a friend who was an equine massage therapist, and that she'd showed me some basic techniques to help work through tension in my mare between massages. While we chatted I probed a little on Hunters neck on both sides, a little in both hindquarters (biceps femoris and tensor fascia latae) but kept coming back to his right should as he seemed to really want that.
Turns out that a week prior to our meeting, Hunter had a little altercation with a truck. Neither party was seriously injured, but clearly there were still some ouchie spots in Hunter's right shoulder, the primary impact site. The police officer was floored at how I was able to identify Hunter's soreness and alleviate some of it, and got off Hunter so I could show him a little of what I did. Hunter was clearly loving life and very appreciative of our efforts, and I'd bet quite a few donuts that his rider will be using the techniques he learned to keep Hunter happy and healthy.
Was a very rewarding experience. Not just because of my new found friends, but because one of my clients was with me and could not believe what he was watching. His comment to me afterwards was, "You see weird stuff on Bourbon Street but I never expected to watch a woman loving up a horse like that." The poor guy darn near choked when he realized how his words sounded, and I was almost fetal I was laughing so hard. Am happy to report his embarrassment meant I did not have to pay for another drink that night!