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TTOUCH & how it helped heal Laminitis- Missy’s Story…Part 2

MISSY (Hit and Miss)

by Jo Pogson,  England  –  Tellington TTouch for horses Practitioner 1

In the initial stages I used owl touch on her chin as she was too tense to allow mouth work, but having done the owl on her chin I was then able to do llama around her muzzle and then gently work inside her top lip.  I also did octopus daily on all four legs, raccoon around her coronary band and inchworm on her neck.  I found she also liked inchworm with one hand behind her ears and one in front of her withers and then with one hand behind her withers and the other on her loins and then a third inchworm with one hand on her croup and the other on the skin where her tail meets her body.
At one point,

 the vet prescribed ACP to reduce Missy’s blood pressure, a drug I am very opposed to and one that Mark the farrier believes does not help recovery from laminitis.  The vet brought a portable blood pressure kit with which to take three readings and she stated that if the readings were low enough then she’d be happy for Missy to stop using it.  So while she was taking the readings I did ear ttouches with Missy.  The vet was astonished to note that each successive reading was lower than the one before and by the third reading she was satisfied that Missy’s blood pressure was low enough to warrant discontinuing the drug.
I must have used most of TTEAM/TTouch toolkit at different times during her recovery, but one of the most amazing things I witnessed was when Missy repeatedly took herself across parts of the labyrinth and zig-zag ground exercises that were always laid out.  When Missy was at this stage of her recovery I found she benefitted enormously from zig-zags on her body working from the top of her neck to the top of her back legs, lick of the cow’s tongue along the length of her barrel and octopus on all four legs.  The combination of these touches seemed to reconnect the whole of her body and enabled her to move herself in a more correct way.  As her co-ordination improved Missy would often stand base narrow behind and base wide in front (habitual posture which existed prior to the laminitis attack).  She was unable to take hip rocks or wither rocks as she was not yet stable enough, but I found that putting one hand on her croup and circling my body over my own feet helped to give her a sensation of weight distribution over her hind feet which resulted in improved movement and strength behind.
For a long while Missy wore dressings on her feet, either sugar and iodine to prevent infection of abscesses or dry dressings for cleanliness.  She allowed me to change these dressings while she was lying down and with each dressing change I would TTouch her soles and frogs.  Clouded leopard was too much for her, but raccoon was fine.  So every day I’d racoon her feet and replace her dressings.

There are so many occasions throughout her illness where TTouch has come to the rescue.  At one point she became very stressed and had an attack of colic.  She was unable to stand up but ear work and belly lifts with my hand meant she had all but recovered by the time the vet arrived.  With every step forward in her physical recovery Missy had to learn to use herself again; with each trim her balance and co-ordination were affected.  As her feet recovered and the pain subsided she felt more inclined to weight-bear more correctly.  Each change made her movement different to how it had been before, often giving me the impression that she had worsened.  Even a few millimetres carefully rasped from her heels fortnightly would cause her to have to learn to move all over again.  But no matter what was going on for her, how difficult her circumstances, she never gave up.  I could see the wonderment on her face each time she found out that she could move a little more correctly and it really seemed to spur her on. 

Farrier Mark has been really careful and thoughtful about his work with her feet.  Minimising the impact of the ‘old foot’ and maximising her movement without causing pain or making too massive changes in one go.  She got to a stage in November 2009 where the ‘old foot’, which still had some blood flow, was compromising her movement and Mark had concerns that there was a seriously increased risk of infection setting in.  This was the only significant trim he made and she was sore afterwards.  To help her I did ear work and used racoon around her coronary band and on the soles of her feet (and increased her pain killers).
Part 3 to be posted on Friday…be sure to check back and finish this amazing story of how TTouch helped bring this little mare back from the brink…


A little bit about Jo Pogson………….

Jo has been a personal performance coach for over 15 years during which time she has helped individuals understand themselves better and help them explore their choices.  She has worked extensively in both the public and private sector where she has enabled individuals to become aware of and build on their potential.  It is no surprise perhaps that when she found the TTEAM method she was delighted to discover that this compassionate approach towards horses was one that so closely mirrored her own towards people.  Jo offers one-to-one sessions or group workshops.

To learn more about Jo and TTouch visit her wesite:


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