. . . a pulled groin and a pinched nerve.
I can’t begin to tell you what I learned today from Rene Noriega about what is happening with Paco. Rene is so knowledgeable about equine anatomy that he never ceases to amaze me. When he works with a horse, you can see the relationship of trust that he transmits.
Rene’s touch is magic. Even when he touched Paco in places that hurt, Paco did not resist. He did not fight or try to get out of Rene’s reach. I think he knew that Rene was there to ease his pain. In fact, Rene worked today with three horses at the barn, and they all accepted his touch with complete trust.
While we had looked at Paco’s left side, because that’s where the muscles were tight and where he had muscle spasms, Rene quickly ascertained that the problem was on the right side. In the diagram you will see three areas of concern. The blue arrow points up into the inside of his right leg where he apparently has a groin pull. The red line indicates a possible pinched nerve, and the orange patch is an area of inflammation. All of this on his right side has caused him to try to compensate on the left side, tightening those muscles, causing spasms, and creating discomfort all the way around.
We had watched him resting the right foot up on the toe more often than the left foot, but there were times when he seemed to switch back and forth so much, it was hard to tell which one was the problem.
In addition to a full body massage, Rene stretched all four of Paco’s legs–several times. Each time he stretched the right hind leg, especially when he pulled it forward, there was the briefest moment of reaction from Paco, whereupon Rene would relax the stretch momentarily and say something like, “It’s okay, Buddy,” and then Paco just relaxed into the stretch, which enabled Rene to extend it further. Then when Rene said, “That’s it. Good,” you knew that something good had happened during that stretch.
Rene recommended a couple of days rest–no turnout because even with his problems, he would still out there and ran around a little and sometimes rolled. Rene thought the effort of getting up from a roll might exacerbate the groin pull. I gave him a little Bute after the body work so he could relax.
I’ll go out over the next few days and walk him for about 40 minutes to keep the blood circulating good, and do some of the massage techniques that Rene taught me. Next week maybe I’ll saddle him and do a short, walking only, flat ground ride. He needs to keep exercising and circulating the blood into those painful areas. That’s important.
Rene also applied two patches to Paco’s back, on opposite sides of the mid-line in acupressure points, one of which was in the middle of the area of inflammation. They are some kind of organic patches designed to reduce inflammation and manage pain in a horse by establishing a frequency or connection through the tissues that helps to relax the muscles. He saw them in wide use at the National Finals Rodeo where he was working with horses between events. He decided he would give them a try. You can learn more at http://www.aculifenow.com. I don’t know how effective they will be, but anything’s worth a try if it relieves pain.
If you are interested in Rene’s services, call EquiStride Equine Sports Therapy at 520-490-8125.