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April 11, 2015: A Conversation with Peter Parker

Alys: Peter, the riding day is over. How are you doing?
Peter: I’m tired. I’m not used to this.
A: Not used to what?
P: Having to work so hard.
A: But you’re a lesson horse.
P: Not really. I’m actually a therapeutic riding horse.
A: What’s the difference?
P: Therapeutic riding horses either stand still or move very slowly. Riding horses, they are required to move out.
A: What would you prefer your life’s work to be?
P: A mix of both. The therapeutic riding is relaxing and the riding is energizing.
A: That’s a very positive way of looking at it.
P: I’m a positive kind of guy.

A: Today I rode you, how’d it go?
P: It started out badly. You were stiff and you had more weight on your right side than your left, so I constantly felt off-balance.
A: And then?
P: Well, after a bit, things got better. The instructor, you know the one wearing the black hat – she did some adjustments so that after, you were sitting more firmly in the saddle. She then began telling you to imagine certain things. Like, think of yourself as a spruce tree, with your feet touching the ground, and the top of your head reaching up into the sky.
A: And what effect did this have?
P: This and other little things -- like picture an alligator tail coming off your sacrum and extending down – made all the difference in the world.
A: Really?
P: Really.
A Anything else?
P: Yes. The instructor had you close your eyes and picture your seat bones moving in big, and then small circles. This seemed to lighten the load.
A: Anything else?
P: Use soft eyes, breath into your belly, picture your building blocks, focus on your core – everything she said, you must have done because you became easier to carry.
A: What do you mean?
P: You were balanced on my back, so I was able to move more freely.
A: This wasn’t at all hard to do.
P: Yes, you are right, judging by the results.
A: So you’re now doing okay?
P: I’m tired, but I’m not at all stiff.
A: Is there anything else I can do for you?
P: Yes more bodywork please.
A: Glad to oblige. Tomorrow is going to be another long day.
P: Tomorrow?
A: Yes, we are going to do more of the same. What do you think of that?
P: I can’t imagine that things will go better tomorrow than today.
A: They will.
P: How’s that?
A: I’ve been internalizing information that I’ll put into use tomorrow.
P: Now you’re talking over my head.
A: Sorry. It’s because you’re such a small guy.
P: Yeah, that’s why I have to carry the kids.
A: Could be worse.
P: Yes, could be worse.
A: At least you don’t have to carry the heavyweights.
P: Been there, done that.
A: But no longer, right?
P: No longer.

Next: 95. 4/12/15: Clinic Day #3: A Matter of Routine

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