- 03:47 – Holistic vs traditional veterinarian
- 06:39 – Should horses wiggle?
- 10:51 – What exactly is TBT?
- 22:10 – Dr. Tucker’s Biggest pet peeve
You can listen to the entire Podcast here: Karen Rohlf’s Podcast
[00:00:00.115] – Karen Rohlf
In this episode, I’ll speak with Dr. Renee Tucker. She is a doctor of veterinary medicine and will discuss holistic veterinary care, as well as the technique she developed called the Tucker BioKinetic Technique. We also have a conversation about how to prevent suspensory issues. And I’ve actually never heard anyone talk about suspensory issues in the way that she does. So suspensory issues are really common problem with horses. So I think you’re going to find this really interesting. She also has many resources where you can learn more. So I think you’re going to enjoy this. Here we go. Episode 25.
[00:00:45.985] – Karen Rohlf
Hi, I’m Karen Rohlf and welcome to Horse Training in Harmony. This podcast is about you making progress with your horse in a way that you both can love. It is about learning how to move and be in harmony because, yes, you really can develop a horse to be both athletic and happy. When we show up as our best selves for our horses, our horses will show up for us.
[00:01:16.585] – Karen Rohlf
So let’s get started. I’m here with Dr. Renee Tucker. She is a holistic veterinarian, certified in chiropractic and acupuncture. She also has a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and so has been fascinated with figuring out how things work. And over many years, Dr. Tucker has developed her own unique alignment technique called the Tucker BioKinetic Technique, TBT. And this uses primary cause analysis to both find and correct the why. So Dr. Tucker teaches biokinetic technique seminars around the world. And for more information on what she does and the TBT University, you can go to tuckerbiokinetic.com.
[00:02:06.455] – Karen Rohlf
So thank you, Dr. Tucker, who’s giving me permission to call her Renee. So, hi, Renee. Welcome. Thank you so much for being here.
[00:02:16.955] – Renee Tucker
I’m so excited to be here. It’s always great chatting with you. Really fun.
[00:02:21.105] – Karen Rohlf
Awesome. So I wanted to start out, I notice on your bio you said you grew up in a Chicago suburb and never owned a horse. [00:02:30.575] – Karen Rohlf
So how did your fascination with horses begin?
[00:02:36.545] – Renee Tucker
I don’t know. Isn’t that funny? I feel like a lot of horse people like myself are born with the horse bug. Because of Chicago and I have lots of relatives and nobody’s got a horse. And I just had a horse thing. And I remember I would go to the library and get horse books like Horse Stories, of course. But Trixie Belden, I don’t know if anyone remembers Trixie Belden. She had horses, she solved mysteries, but I’d also get horse anatomy books.
[00:03:07.145] – Renee Tucker
And I remember being like 11 and just memorizing it because I just felt like I should, you know, you look back, you know, particularly when you have kids and go, oh, look at that, it was a sign. But no, I was kind of clueless that veterinary would be my path until later. But I always had the horse bug. It just came away.
[00:03:26.915] – Karen Rohlf
Interesting. Yeah. I think many of the listeners can relate to the horse bug, but yeah, my parents say that, you know, my first words were, I want a horse, you know, then mom and dad. It’s a powerful draw.
[00:03:47.195] – Karen Rohlf
So you consider yourself a holistic vet. So can you explain what you feel is the difference between a traditional veterinarian and a more holistic approach?
[00:03:56.555] – Renee Tucker
Sure, sure. I’d love to, particularly because when I was in vet school, I thought holistic was like the same thing as homeopathy. I literally totally interchanged those in my head.
[00:04:07.925] – Renee Tucker
And finally I’m like, wait a minute, I don’t think this is right. And so I figured that one out slowly but surely. So homeopathy is a modality using like homeopathic remedies, whereas holistic, it kind of means whole horse, which, you know, that’s fair enough as a definition.
[00:04:25.625] – Renee Tucker
And then sometimes people think of it as that they just use herbs rather than traditional medicines. Which maybe they do, maybe they don’t.
[00:04:35.945] – Renee Tucker
But to me, a holistic practitioner is someone who’s looking at not only the whole horse, and not only what’s going on with a particular symptom, say something that hurts, but rather, why is it hurting?
[00:04:49.715] – Renee Tucker
I mean, it becomes obvious when the horse falls down, then, you know why things are hurting, but sometimes you don’t. And sometimes the item that’s hurting; so you have lower back pain. Well, for example, I know a lot of people who have lower back pain, but they figure it out with, you know, good doctors that they actually had a knee problem.
[00:05:10.325] – Renee Tucker
Their knee was hurting. So they’re walking a little funky and then their back starts hurting. So my point being, you know, good doctors and holistic veterinary practitioners often look not only at the whole picture, but the why, what’s the real primary cause? And they’re trying to dig through, peel the onion, if you will, and get down to that primary cause.
[00:05:33.095] – Renee Tucker
So that’s what I love about doing it, though. It’s kind of fun. Kind of like a little detective work.
[00:05:37.745] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah, you know, especially with the horses, you know, they tell you, but they can’t really tell you, you know, where they feel the pain.
[00:05:46.025] – Karen Rohlf
You’ve got to really get investigative. Yeah, so I think that’s you know, it’s really interesting to think about all the different modalities. So in the one way, you’ve got all these different ways to approach a problem that you see.
[00:06:04.355] – Karen Rohlf
And then so there’s sort of a breadth of what you can use to help heal a horse. But then there’s also that depth of let’s not just treat that surface thing that I am seeing.
[00:06:17.315] – Karen Rohlf
How do you get down to the down to the other layers? Do you kind of like wing it it on each horse or is there a certain sort of, I tend to look at it with these eyes first and then these eyes second. Is there a system to how you look at the horses when you have a problem?
[00:06:39.905] – Renee Tucker
Gosh, that is a good question. You know, and I think for sure, winging it is part of it. I’ve been doing it for twenty five years now, so sometimes gut instinct really kicks in and like, oh, I’ve seen this before. And then you kind of know which way to go. But mostly I start by listening to the people and what they’re seeing because I really feel like horse owners know, they just have a gut instinct sometimes they don’t want to tell me at first.
[00:07:06.605] – Renee Tucker
It’s kind of interesting, but I really believe that horse owners have a gut instinct and they can see the problem or they just feel the problem. And I think sometimes it’s a little hard to even describe when you have those subtle off-nesses, or are stuck or won’t bend.
[00:07:25.985] – Renee Tucker
Just like not not quite right. So for those, what I generally start with is what I call the wiggle. I basically I have videos on my website and you can check them out, but I hold the horse’s tail just over the tail head. And then I put my hand along the lumbar and the thoracic, so that’s just the middle of the back and I pull and push at the same time. So I’m getting a wiggle because a horse should have, technically sinusoidal wave, through the body. So sort of like a dog wags its tail and the whole body wiggles or even a snake moves. And we actually should have that, too.
[00:08:08.045] – Renee Tucker
Of course we’re vertical. But the horse should have this nice wiggle through its whole body all the way up to the nose. And so I start there. I start checking both sides for a wiggle and then whether or not they can do that in which sections and not wiggling really tells me that when people say a horse can’t bend, I start asking, well do you mean you can’t bend in the neck, can’t bend through the shoulder and saddle area, can’t bend in the hind-end, lumbar.
[00:08:38.675] – Renee Tucker
You know a lot of times it’s hard to tell, particularly when you’re riding. It’s just not working. And so if you do this wiggle on the ground, then asking them, can you bend rather than won’t you. This gets a little confusing sometimes. Do they understand or can’t they do it. So I start there and that’s something anybody can do.
[00:09:02.265] – Karen Rohlf
So kind of seeing where where the wiggle stops.
[00:09:11.165] – Renee Tucker
Right or if there’s one at all, because sometimes they’re kind of all stuck everywhere. And sometimes of course they’ve had a fall and they can be totally stuck on one side but not the other like “Oh there’s a problem”. And it can fix all that, get all aligned. It’s nice.
[00:09:26.045] – Karen Rohlf
Interesting. Do you tend to use like chiropractic or acupuncture, or is it always a blend? I’m always curious with people who are like multilingual, you know, because, you know, like how you see and go, this is a chiropractic, this is acupuncture. Do they all blend? And do you also blend Western medicine in with it also?
[00:09:59.145] – Renee Tucker
OK, so for me, I mean, as you already mentioned, I’m certified in chiropractic and acupuncture and other stuff. And for me, I just thought every one of these modalities helps and it seems to help some horses more than other horses. And I always thought that was weird. Like, why does this exact same problem that I solved with one horse with chiropractic not work on this horse with the exact same problem.
[00:10:23.235] – Renee Tucker
It’s the kind of things that drove me crazy, just kind of how I developed TBT, Tucker BioKinetic Technique. So at this point, I just do BioKinetic technique myself. Occasionally, I’ll add some acupuncture because some horses just do really well at that, and then certainly I work with a person’s regular veterinarian, regular, traditional vet, that if they need other traditional medicines or X-rays or whatever they need, I totally work together with them on that.
[00:10:51.435] – Karen Rohlf
That’s awesome. So is there a nutshell description of what the BioKinetic technique is? Just because I think people can go, OK, I know what a chiropractor looks like, I know what an acupuncturist does, like is there a way to give people a little picture. And I’m sure all good things, all good things are hard to describe, I think.
[00:11:14.365] – Renee Tucker
Thank you. Yes, they are really hard. OK, so Biokinetic I named it that because bio means life and kinetic means both movement and energy. It’s I believe under the umbrella of energetical work. So it’s a two handed technique though. So you’re focusing on one thing similar to acupuncture points while you’re trying to kind of coax things to move around. I don’t know that I’ve explained it. Let me try that again.
[00:11:50.525] – Renee Tucker
Here’s another example. So what’s chiropractic, which I did for five years and it works fine. It’s just that chiropractic, you adjust the bones and they’re supposed to go back to where they’re supposed to be and then you just kind of hoping, crossing your fingers that everything else agrees with you.
[00:12:11.315] – Renee Tucker
So like the tendons and ligaments and muscles and fascia and everything. But we’re only talking to the bones, if you will, with chiropractic again, which is fine. But with TBT, then we are cheating. We are going into the body and saying, hey, everybody here, we’re all going over here.
[00:12:32.915] – Renee Tucker
And it’s just coaxing and energetically working. And so there’s actually a neurophysiological reset. So the body’s like, oh, this is where we actually are going to stay. So you don’t have muscle memory and you don’t have to have 50 million treatments and you don’t have the same thing happening over and over again, which used to drive me crazy. I just couldn’t take it. I’m like it isn’t fixing anything. I mean, sometimes it’s does.
[00:12:59.735] – Renee Tucker
I’m really not dominant at all. It’s very helpful. Just it’s just driving me crazy when I see the same exact chiropractic presentation on my client every month.
[00:13:11.015] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. And this is what, you know, the work that I do with trying to change the movement patterns of horses. And, you know, I found that this piece was so important because, like you said, the horse would get adjusted. But then if they went out and moved the same way, all that muscle memory, all of it just goes right back.
[00:13:30.875] – Karen Rohlf
So, you know, helping the horse and working with the horse to change the movement patterns is what I do and I think it’s so interesting that it sounds like you’re doing a similar thing just in a you know, in a different way. You know, I’m doing it online or riding or something like that. But you’re kind of doing it, really. in their neurology and in the close connection with them in a very specific way. It’s really interesting.
[00:14:01.675] – Renee Tucker
That’s exactly right. And yeah, I’m just trying to do all that. Everything aligned and also just figured out primary problems, because you ever notice that sometimes you’re working on a certain spot and the horse loves it and they just melt and like, yes, right there. But other times are like they’re like, hey! Don’t work there.
[00:14:21.805] – Renee Tucker
And usually when they’re doing that, you know, I just want to press sometimes at first they don’t understand. And you try it a few times, OK? But if they really, really still don’t like it, that’s probably not the primary problem. That’s probably a really sore compensation.
[00:14:41.545] – Renee Tucker
Because what I’ve learned and other people have said before me is that by the time we can feel any problem or see any lameness or off-ness, that’s the point when all the compensations are used up. So the compensation is then very, very sore. And it kind of makes sense, right.? Because horses are designed to hide any problems. Right. Or predators would target them. So like, I’m fine, I’m fine. Don’t pick me. And so they’re hiding all these little problems and they automatically compensate and so do we in our body. We don’t that’s the whole point of compensation is we don’t know about them. Our bodies are amazing. But it’s only when we can’t compensate any more do we see or feel the problem.
[00:15:29.645] – Karen Rohlf
So that is yeah, that’s worth like putting a little pause in there, that the soreness, the biggest soreness we see is actually the compensation.
[00:15:39.425] – Renee Tucker
Yeah, it makes total sense. That does make sense for some of these chronic problems that you know, obviously, you know, the horse gets kicked in the leg, you know, there’s the problem, but I can see this for the you know, that not quite right-edness going on for a long period of time, you know, and then down the road, here’s this other problem.
[00:16:06.925] – Karen Rohlf
You know, and it kind of reminds me, you know, as a as a trainer, there’s some common mistakes that I see people making from a training point of view that kind of relates to this idea, you know, and in dressage, you know, getting this excellent contact and connection is so important, you know, between the riders hands and the horse’s mouth, getting this beautiful connection.
[00:16:32.745] – Karen Rohlf
And often, if there’s a problem in the connection, people just go to the hands and they need some fancy ring technique. And so what I try to tell people is, you know, what’s happening in the contact is just a reflection of what’s happening in the body. So if you have a problem in the contact, you’ve got to go to the body because what’s showing up in the contact is, is the compensation. Right?
[00:16:57.475] – Karen Rohlf
It’s the all the brace, all the imbalance. And now you’re in a sensitive part of and flexible part of the horse’s body with our hands. That’s where it’s showing up. But you don’t necessarily try to fix it there. So that’s one of my biggest messages to people. It’s like if you have contact problems, look at the body.
[00:17:17.035] – Karen Rohlf
So, you know, and I end up having to, you know, share that a lot because it’s so counterintuitive and humans want to just go right where the problem is.
[00:17:26.935] – Karen Rohlf
So is there something like that that you see in your practice that’s like, you know, that you you want to just get the word out, like, you know, when you have this problem, you know, it’s obvious to you now through all your practice that you want people to know.
[00:17:45.685] – Renee Tucker
Well, I do. But first, can I ask you a question?
[00:17:48.215] – Karen Rohlf
Sure. [00:17:48.655] – Renee Tucker
Because I love what you said. That totally makes sense to me that if there’s a problem in the front, then you look to the body. But like, what do you tell people to look for? I mean, is there something they’re supposed to feel or do you mean actually go look? What do you mean.
[00:18:02.365] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah, that’s it kind of goes in two layers. One is a foundational layer, which is well the premise is what are the reins for. And for me the reins are for subtle communication about the head at the end of the neck because you can’t do that without reins very easily. And it’s a point of connection to feel as one with the circuit of energy and it’s to get information. So if I have my reins there, my horse leans up to the left, to the right, I’m going to feel stuff in my right rein.
[00:18:38.125] – Karen Rohlf
So my right rein goes, hey. So for me, that’s the purpose of the reins. So if you’re using your reins as the number one aide for anything other than that; so contact problems can come from horses going faster than you want them to be going or not turning right.
[00:18:58.495] – Karen Rohlf
International symbol for I wish my horse had turned, you know, and now they’re all, you know, your hands are like otherwise my horse hanging in that rein.
[00:19:06.925] – Karen Rohlf
Well, because you turned in your horse didn’t. So things like that. So those kinds of things can be assessed when you drop the reins. What things go wrong? My horse speeds up and doesn’t turn. OK, well, let’s resolve that and get your horse regulating their speed from your seat and turning from your body and your focus. So that gets to me that gets their mind and their feet going in the same direction as you, so that already is going to eliminate a lot of contact problem. And then the next layer is more alignment where if the horse, maybe their mind and their feet are going on the same line that you’re going on, but they’re crooked while they do it. Now, we have to go through that exploration. And I kind of do my version of the wiggle.
[00:19:59.715] – Karen Rohlf
So what I do is I check can you move your horses shoulders a little right and left, their whole body a little right and left their nose a little right and left and there, but a little right and left. And you find out what is easy for the horse and what’s hard for the horse.
[00:20:15.585] – Karen Rohlf
And then you get in a more awareness about their core crookedness and we start playing with doing like yoga moves of like, well, if you’re over here, can we slowly, in a very relaxed way, end up in a position like this and breathe through it and then I’ll leave you alone. Until they learn to kind of reset and then the horses tell us when they feel aligned because then they start moving more freely and and stuff like that.
[00:20:42.645] – Karen Rohlf
So I really have people assess them and experiment and not just go, you need your shoulder here. You know, I go, well, let’s move it around. And the body will seek harmony, will seek alignment if you open up the possibilities for it.
[00:20:59.865] – Renee Tucker
I think that’s awesome.
[00:21:00.945] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. So I think that’s where there’s some crossover with this. Let’s see what’s moving and what’s not and then try to open up somehow or the place that’s stuck. And so when they’re aligned then the contact will be even yummier.
[00:21:19.035] – Renee Tucker
Yeah that’s good. So I love how you do that. That’s fantastic. Really. You know, over a long period of years, lots of trainers like you just said, well, your shoulder needs to be here and I need your head here, I need this. And then they’re like frozen. And then just move. Yeah, well, that ain’t working, but they’re trying hopefully. You know, definitely people listening to this are for sure trying. I’m very excited because, you know, your audience, people love their horses and they listen to the horse. Fantastic. So that’s great.
[00:21:59.175] – Karen Rohlf
That’s sort of my one of my biggest messages to the world that I have to keep. Saying because it is counter-intuitive. Is there anything, you know that’s sort of your pet (peeves)?
[00:22:10.845] – Renee Tucker
Well, I have many pets. My current pet is actually suspensory issues. Because I don’t know if you realize, I forget who figured this out, probably insurance people that well suspensory injuries are the number two cause of injury. Number one is colic. That’s what it is colic then suspensory issues. So it’s very high and particularly the fronts. But all suspensory injuries in my opinion, can be prevented.
[00:22:46.185] – Renee Tucker
And I’m not talking about the kind where you’re galloping through a field and the horse’s leg falls in the hole. And those are traumatic injuries. Right. But the chronic kind of, you know, gets blamed for overuse, suspensory injuries. Guys, these can be totally prevented.
[00:23:02.865] – Renee Tucker
Here’s a case similar to what we were talking about earlier in that. All right, now the horse has got a sore suspensory. Maybe it’s a little swollen, little hot. OK, so call the vet. That’s fine, because at that point, it needs attention. We have all those treatments that we can do for suspensory injuries.
[00:23:24.285] – Renee Tucker
The question is, why did that suspensory blow in the first place? So because I am a veterinarian, I treated lots of suspensories and then I do all the spotty work. I started connecting the dots of this horse with this suspensory injury has that dot, dot, dot all of these bodywork misalignments. Huh. Interesting, isn’t it, that these have the exact same on all these horses? So long story short, I mean, it took me while I had trial and error to make sure this is correct.
[00:23:57.735] – Renee Tucker
But the key is the suspensory ligament is just a piece of the stay apparatus, right. Of the front limb. So the stay apparatus is what keeps the horse standing up. When they want to go to sleep, they just turn on the stay apparatus and then the whole front leg locks and they can sleep standing up. The suspensory ligament is just part of that.
[00:24:21.345] – Renee Tucker
So what’s really happening is the stay apparatus is not working right. And the suspensory kind of picks up the slack because it holds most of the horse’s weight. It also has you know, it’s a ligament, but it actually has some muscle fibers in it so it can get pulled a little easier than the rest of the stay apparatus.
[00:24:43.125] – Renee Tucker
So crazy, right? So what I found is if we just check mobility range of motion in three parts, pieces, items of the horse’s leg. I call them fulcrums, just because it’s where the ligaments kind of connect together and then change direction, that would be the shoulder, the accessory carpal bone, which is at the back of the knee, and then the sesamoids, which are at the back of the fetlock. What I found is in every horse I ever checked for suspensory injury, all three of those places were stuck. Where the range of motion isn’t moving that they should, all those should move a little bit in the normal range of motion.
[00:25:27.975] – Renee Tucker
And I want to tell everybody is like, guys, come on, if you just check these and get those fixed, then they’re not going to blow their suspensory.
[00:25:35.535] – Karen Rohlf
Wow.[00:25:36.555] – Renee Tucker
So that’s the last thing. The suspensory is the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
[00:25:42.735] – Karen Rohlf
So if those other parts aren’t moving, then the suspensory takes all that.
[00:25:46.755] – Renee Tucker
Yeah, a smidgen more to it of course, because depending if you got contracted heels, that’s going to make stuff worse. If you’ve got navicular you’ve got a little more issue.
[00:25:58.245] – Renee Tucker
You know, I’m saying that the big major problem is actually the whole stay apparatus has to be moving. What you might see or feel in your own horse or in training is as the horse brings its leg forward and that very last little flip of the toe. OK, right before that full extension in that toe, there is a little extra flip, that little flip signifies that the whole leg is locking and then it lands and that stay apparatus is solid.
[00:26:33.825] – Renee Tucker
And that front leg actually acts as a pole vault. It’s not pulling. And then it just kind of travels on. Right the hind end is doing all the work.
[00:26:48.075] – Renee Tucker
But if you don’t get that last little flip, the full extension through the shoulder, that last little flip, then your stay apparatus isn’t working right. So sometimes you can video your horse and look for that.
[00:26:59.715] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. That extra looseness.
[00:27:04.395] – Renee Tucker
That last little thing. Yeah. So super cool. And we’ve been fixing lots of horses who have suspensory injuries because I’ve had horses where they’re not fixing for like six months, six months in a stall or rehab and then start over and then it blows again. And all those times it’s you got to fix the whole thing, not just suspensory, but why was that suspensory (stressed) in the first place.
[00:27:31.945] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah, because it’s very common. I mean, it’s sort of common knowledge. It’s like if your horse has ever blown a suspensory, it’s going to do it again. And, you know, and it’s sort of interesting because I mean, I always thought that when fibers healed, then you know, the scar tissue was sometimes stronger, you know, but what you’re saying really explains it, because if the original problem is not addressed, that’s why it’s going to blow again.
[00:28:00.645] – Karen Rohlf
So fixing, you know, being aware of that and being able to correct it will help the suspensory heal because every step it takes it is not taking that burden and help it not reoccur and hopefully prevent it in the first place.
[00:28:15.975] – Renee Tucker
[00:28:18.825] – Karen Rohlf
Is there a similar thing for the hind because hind suspensory is there a similar check you do with that?
[00:28:26.175] – Renee Tucker
Absolutely, yeah, same same basic idea. They’re a little bit more complicated because there’s kind of more parts, not that there’s not more parts in the front leg, but it actually involves seven things.
[00:28:39.575] – Renee Tucker
If people are biomechanically wanting to hear those pieces, it’s the lumber… So sorry, let me just start over again. But you could play this if you like, so. For the high end suspensory, what’s usually happening, what’s usually blamed is lateral movement, right? Too much lateral movement, hind suspensory blows. I hear this a lot. Not everybody says that, but that’s OK. So in order to move the hind end laterally, you got to have to working the lumber, the sacrum, the sacroiliacs, the pelvic synthesis, which is the bottom of the pelvis and then the hip and the stifle and the hock. Just all those parts.
[00:29:23.265] – Renee Tucker
Right. So, but again, what happens is if all that’s not in alignment, what picks up the slack? The suspensory. In a lot of horses also with this whole picture is the sacroiliac. A lot of SIs are getting injected nowadays. Not that that’s bad because they’re clearly hurting. But why?
[00:29:44.835] – Renee Tucker
Why are they hurting? So that’s the whole picture. So. Yeah, there’s a lot of pieces there, but again, it’s aligning and I’m sure that as you do that, I forget what you call it, but as they’re moving and if they’re trying to move laterally but they can’t get that hind end to really do it, then your work would also help.
[00:30:04.195] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, it all goes together. You said do you have a video about this on your website?
[00:30:15.035] – Renee Tucker
Yeah, I do. I did make a free page for your people. It’s just a free video. It’s kind of a little bit long, but it really explains everything. And that’s at tuckerbiokinetic.com/karen
[00:30:30.875] – Karen Rohlf
Thank you so much.[00:30:32.565] – Renee Tucker
Sure. Totally free. Just hop over and it really explains a bit more about all of that. So you guys are welcome to watch it.
[00:30:42.405] – Karen Rohlf
Awesome. All right. So let’s see. Another question for you. Do you feel that every horse can naturally go straight or align. I always think about straightness as alignment? But yeah, do you do what are your feelings on horses ability to be able to move? Just go straight?
[00:31:07.255] – Renee Tucker
I think they can all go straight, yes. Unless something is broken or injured. OK, so this just reminds me of a case I saw a while ago now, but just a four year old horse, beautiful warmblood horse who could not go straight. At first I thought, well, you know, she just growing, just going through these goofy periods and there’s no training and she’s just so squirrelly and just will not go straight.
[00:31:34.525] – Renee Tucker
And so finally, they’re really actually trying to just do some groundwork and get her to go straight. And and she just won’t. And they said she just feels like a like a little worm under you. And no matter what you do, she won’t stop it. And so anyways, I worked on the horse and she had what I call corkscrews through her whole spine.
[00:31:55.015] – Renee Tucker
Now, this is not an official term. But what I found was the atlas would be going to twisted to the left, but the occiput would be to the right. So these things are right next to each other and they’d be going the opposite ways, like a corkscrew. And she had it at the head.
[00:32:11.395] – Renee Tucker
And then I think just behind her withers and the lumbar. Four corkscrews through her whole spine. So that’s in my opinion, she must have had some serious traumatic tumble down a hill type of thing to do that, because usually if you’re crooked to the right kind of it stays the same. The whole line is crooked to the right.
[00:32:35.545] – Renee Tucker
But to have that there was actually physiologically she could not go straight because things were all twisted and she had no baseline balance point, nothing. So we did align all the corkscrews, and she was able to go straight.
[00:32:54.595] – Renee Tucker
It really was enlightening. I couldn’t believe it was that bad. And she was only four. You know, I would have thought to all she’ll grow out of it, you know, warmbloods, mature late. So but no, it was not that she just couldn’t go straight, but I think they all can eventually go straight. There’s plenty of reasons, though, besides body work of certainly training, certainly saddle fit. Even if your feet are uneven, right.? Medial lateral balance will mess you up. Teeth problems will mess you up. Plenty of things to look for. So again, for me it’s always about find that primary cause for that horse because they’re all different.
[00:33:34.195] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, there’s so many times that, oh, you know, my horse is just like this. My horse is so heavy on his left shoulder and I really try to get people to not you don’t call your horse that.
[00:33:50.995] – Karen Rohlf
No, I have a crooked horse. No, you don’t. Like unless they’re born that way. But if you know it’s, can we get them to function, I mean, from my point of view, I was like, can I find a way for them to function symmetrically, if even they aren’t symmetrical?
[00:34:10.775] – Karen Rohlf
And then probably what you do is really help unwind those symmetries on the inside.
[00:34:18.575] – Renee Tucker
Yeah, I mean, none of us are perfect. I’m not symmetrical.
[00:34:23.675] – Karen Rohlf
I’ve had x rays of my back and like, the chiropractor goes and runs, gets this other chiropractor friends because I have like a rotation. I have a weird I have like a rotation and then it straightens and then rotates back the same direction. And I have scoliosis, but it’s not an s curve. It curves, straightens and then curves the same way again.
[00:34:43.895] – Karen Rohlf
I’m a mess. But I think dressage keeps me functioning right. But I have to really train myself because what is straight doesn’t feel straight all the time. And I have a body worker come in and like, keep me, keep my facia under control. [00:35:05.585] – Renee Tucker
You probably really appreciate the horses. I’m not symmetrical. Help me.
[00:35:10.355] – Karen Rohlf
Yeah. And that’s the game is you start with what you have, see what you know, focus on what you can do and try to open up the things that aren’t moving gently and with cooperation.
[00:35:22.925] – Karen Rohlf
And that’s where also it’s so important to have the cooperation of the horse because you can’t, you know I can’t imagine like a you know, a body worker, a yoga teacher going, OK, well, let’s just tie your head here, you know, like poke you over here to get in the right, you know, I’m like, no, no, no. We have to get cooperation and work with relaxation.
[00:35:48.305] – Karen Rohlf
And yeah, you know, from my perspective, from a training perspective, you know, because I don’t have the technique you have to be able to put my hands on and you know, actually affect things, but I’m going to learn because you have lots of resources for people. So maybe you can share a little bit about what resources are available, where people can learn some of this.
[00:36:13.095] – Karen Rohlf
And, you know, I know you travel around, you know, back when we could do travel, giving clinics and you have online offerings in the university. So, yeah, maybe give an idea of what you have.
[00:36:27.795] – Renee Tucker
Well, it’s still in progress, you know, that is always working on it. But yeah. So I wrote the book originally “Where Does My Horse Hurt” 10 years ago or something now. So I do have the website wheredoesmyhorsehurt.com and that’s a little long. Sorry, but there’s a lot of free articles there just for horse health, body work, just for information. If you want to hop over there and start there and then if you’re interested in learning the technique, that’s the tuckerbiokinetic.com.
[00:36:59.235] – Renee Tucker
And I have some YouTube videos on Where Does My Horse Hurt. YouTube Channel Where Does My Horse Hurt. We have a suspensory course where people who want to learn how to fix that themselves and work on other courses. But basically, if you would like to hop over to wheredoesmyhorsehurt.com I have an email list and it’s called 50 Secrets Your Vet Doesn’t Know. And that’s mostly that’s like, you know, the stuff that I didn’t know as a veterinary then I learned it this other stuff. You can start and then you get all the information you need, hopefully.
[00:37:39.075] – Karen Rohlf
Nice. Sounds good. Oh, very interesting.
[00:37:43.185] – Karen Rohlf
I’m looking forward to diving into going over and visiting that website and some of this stuff, because I really ,I feel like there’s a lot of, you know, synergy between what you’re doing and how you know well, of course it can help every horse.
[00:37:57.975] – Karen Rohlf
But I think, you know, there’s there’s a lot of nice synergy there. And I’d love to learn some of these techniques, too. I think that suspensory stuff is really interesting.
[00:38:14.595] – Karen Rohlf
Thank you so much. Anything else you want to share while we’re here now? I think you’ll be on again.
[00:38:22.905] – Renee Tucker
Yeah, I would love to come on again and if people have a question we could answer those and because I’ll go on about horse stories all day.
[00:38:29.865] – Karen Rohlf
That’s a great idea. So next time. Yeah, I’ll do a little callout and so anybody who’s listening, if you go over to my dressage naturally land Facebook group, it’s the group that’s open to everybody. And if you think of questions that pop in your head or if you like this podcast, you know, let me know because I do take requests and we’ll definitely have Renee back. Thank you.
[00:38:58.935] – Renee Tucker
Thank you so much. That’s awesome. Thanks everybody for listening.
[00:39:04.095] – Karen Rohlf
[00:39:11.845] – Karen Rohlf
If this episode resonates with you, make sure you subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening, training horses is a long game. The more you listen, the more pieces of the puzzle.
[00:39:24.385] – Karen Rohlf
You’ll have to see all your learning resources, visit dressage and actually thought that that’s where you’ll find free videos, online courses.
[00:39:33.955] – Karen Rohlf
My book, you can sign up for my Wednesday Wisdom Email or even book a private console. Most of all, remember you got this. Never underestimate the possibility for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine till next time. Love your horse, move in harmony and enjoy the process.
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