I've been photographing Louise Mauferon-Vernet treating either my horse H or other clients' horses for just over a year now. Watching her work methodically, treating each horse holistically is lovely to see, as each 'patient' visibly relaxes over the hour or so of their treatment.
More recently Louise has been treating H, initially using her hands as part of her traditional manual osteopathy, but she has also introduced a new FacialEdge tool to her treatment process. H's first FacialEdge treatment was towards the end of 2018, and he had a second session a couple of weeks ago. I have to start this by saying that whereas her previous treatments took place in the morning, this was an afternoon visit. H isn't an afternoon person; he doesn't like being ridden or made to do things, when he feels he should be either eating or tucked up in bed.
I knew Louise would be up against it and H lived up to expectations! The good news was that he was generally in good shape and I'd certainly noticed he was 'softer' in his neck and more willing to work into an outline - even when doing our endless roadwork - so plenty of plus points there. However, once Louise got to work on him, he was prone to over react, possibly because she managed to pinpoint a few areas that needed her TLC. I think it's fair to say that once he was allowed to have some hay to satisfy his hunger, he relaxed better into Louise's treatment.
His poll and neck were, as seems to be usual, still quite tight, particularly on the left which is his weaker side. That said, Louise got some excellent neck bends and he reacted less as this element of his treatment was completed.
As the treatment on the rest of his body went on, H did put in some quite volatile reactions, mostly nashing his teeth, and no bites were forthcoming, but his facial expressions were quite clear, he would rather have been left alone. Again, with a little cajoling, he did behave better and really enjoyed having his pelvis treated. How Louise manages to manipulate horses in the way she does, given how tiny she is compared to a horse of H's size, is amazing to watch. It seems effortless and I can tell you, H doesn't make picking out his feet easy even on a good day!
Following H's second FacialEdge treatment, he has been working well. He will work into an outline more readily, so now it's a case of keeping him there. This is part due to my lopsided riding technique, but also because he does suffer from quite a short attention span, so anything than catches his eye result in a loss of concentration.
Working in collaboration with Louise has given me a great insight into how she works with horses, whether they are in or out of work. Each one is different to the previous or next and she adapts her treatment plan to suit the individual equine character.