Horse Stories

These are stories from my experiences with horses.

Reflections from the Barn

When I’m with horses in the quiet, there is a peace. We are just there, together, in the moment. The busy world around me melts away. I am forever grateful for the time and trust we share.

What's my plan?

The work I do is just one part of many. And it is slow much like training a horse.

The 5 things I believe I can help with the most are:

1. Have regular appts to monitor and work through what horse’s body is experiencing. Weekly is great, but it depends on your goals, time and budget. In my experience, I have often made notes for the next appt and then the horse’s body says something else needs to be addressed once I get to the next appt. At the end of each appt, I will always give you a focus and homework to do until the next appt. And you are always welcome to contact me with questions or updates in between appts.

2. I would like to attend one of your training appts so I can observe where you and your horse are at in this process. Also, the three of us can talk about everything and be on the same page.

3. I highly recommend that you video both your training appts and regular days at the barn with your horse. You will see things with fresh eyes and connect them to what you saw, experienced and felt in that moment. I have gained great insight from doing this myself for years. This may require extra cloud storage for your phone plan or other services like Google pics, Dropbox etc. If you need any help with this, please let me know. I do a lot of this in my other business.

4. Keep a journal. Jot down what stood out that day. Details like this are easily forgotten with our busy lives.

5. If your horse is showing any illness or lameness, that is of course a question for your vet. And if he continues to experience spinal issues, chiro and/or acupuncture may be helpful. Any icing or liniment, for example, are only strategies to manage symptoms.

When to stop

One horse was fidgety. He was always looking for something to sniff, nibble on, explore. He was constantly moving about. It was necessary to interrupt and redirect his actions so he wouldn’t eat or potentially nibble on items hanging on stall doors. So the flow as choppy. And at one point, he said, I’m done!

So I wanted to take a brief moment to end positively. He and I took a little quiet walk up and down the aisles. He settled nicely and we said our goodbyes until next time.


A beautiful mare used to have a human or humans who were not so kind and gentle with her. Most times, she would flinch when you touched her. It broke my heart to think about her previous experiences.

I knew she had been rescued three years ago and had worked with a trainer to accept a rider and be a companion to her new, very loving human.

It was most important to me that she start to associate human touch with kindness, gentleness, and a general positive experience. I was so slow in moving my hands across her body and I listened carefully to what she told me with her body language.

I did this by placing my hand on her and then waiting until she relaxed, then moving my hand about. After a bit, she started to yawn, and then again, and again. It was wonderful to know that she was having that positive of an experience.

After our time was over, she went back to the pasture with her pals.  At first she just stood there and continued to yawn! It was remarkable.

How do I know this is working?

The process can be slow. I worked on a mare who was very neutral to see me at first. I started on her right side. Not interested in my touching her head so much. So started working on her neck, shoulder, top line. And then her lumbar area. I wanted to help her get some release there. And it was working until she stepped away. And then the rest of her left side was pretty neutral.

When I moved to her right side, she pressed her neck into my hands. It was like she was saying, “Here, right here!” And she was clear, concise and knew what she wanted! It was terrific!

It was after working her right side that I finally saw her release and let go of the tensions that had her that day.

Really, there is nothing bettter.

Before I left, I went back to check on the left lumbar area. It was softer, more supple and did not go back into tension or spasm.

Ok that’s enough for today.


  What do you see in shoulder pictures? Where is the top of the scapula in relationship to the withers? Are the angles of the scapula the same? Are the muscles supple or tight or a combination? Is the horse leaning forward and using its shoulders and neck for balance and stability or even forward motion? Are the muscles the same size on both sides?
What about the position of its feet? Are they straight ahead or pointing to the side? How is the hoof worn? How does the hoof land? What happens when we ask the horse to give and extend it’s front leg/forelimb to stretch? Are both sides light and airy or heavy and stiff? Can the horse balance on three feet?
The horse’s body is my clipboard and list of questions. My hands are the pen that takes notes. The horse’s (subtle) reactions are its voice telling me what’s going on.
We don’t always figure it out in one appointment. It’s much too complex. There’s bodywork AND the person/owner, rider(s), barn staff, farrier, vet, trainer, chiro, acupuncturist, communicator, horse pals in the barn and pasture, other horses who are not your horse’s favorite, feed, supplements, weather changes, rain, mud, snow, ice, wind, cold, hot sun, bugs, topical products, grooming, training programs, medical treatment, surgery, healing, normal ebbs and flows of a body’s function…..
It is a slow process, one where I am asking a really big, powerful animal to let me touch it where it may hurt the most in an effort to provide relief.
And yet, I LOVE MY JOB. I just love finding ways to work on the the issue that presents, finding ways to show the horse it can trust me, watching it show various signs of relief, walking away with smoother movement of it’s own body, and then the best part, they greet me the next time they see me. 🥰
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Soft Eyes Equine Bodywork is a division of CallaPlan LLC.