Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When Your Shimmy Won't Shake

    For the past six months I have been taking belly dancing classes on Monday nights.  Casey feeds the horses so I can go shimmy and shake what my momma gave me.  I really love the music and getting the chance to not worry about crap for an hour and a half.  It turns out that I'm a total natural when it comes to sucking at belly dancing.  My instructor is very patient and encouraging.  I think she has finally come to terms with the fact that it's me and not her. Surprisingly, to myself, is that fact that I'm so bad that I haven't quit yet.  I just have fun even though it looks like I'm going through self inflicted seizures with my left hip locking up.
     The morning after a class, I took Autumn out for a ride in the forest.  As we were moseyed along I began to notice how her gait made my hips move.  My right hip swung freely and my left hip sort of jabbed forward a bit. It was just like one of my signature seizure shimmies I expertly execute in class. Autumn had injured her stifle (sort of like a knee in the back leg) a few years ago and it has caused a hitch in her giddy up and apparently my shimmy. 
     Now, two babes like Autumn and I just can't go through life without shaking our money makers.  I talked to some good horse friends and got a recommendation for a horse body worker.  A horse body worker essentially watches the horse move and identifies improper body movement.  From there they work to relieve body tension and then help the horse to recognize its balance and fire up it's muscle memory to have them move correctly again.  It can take one session or many depending upon each case. 
     It just so happened that a horse body worker was coming into town in two weeks.  My friend Debra was able to squeeze us in and Cindy drove us to the stable the day of the clinic.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  We entered the arena and the body worker, Cindy, had me go over a little of Autumn's history then had me trot her around.  Autumn hip hopped around the arena not looking too sound.  Since her injury, I basically just ride Autumn at a walk when I ride and sometimes we canter when she needs to get some wiggles out.  Cindy began pushing on different points on Autumn.  At first Autumn did not seem too thrilled with all the attention but she continued to be patient.  Cindy had her assistant, Julie, help her push against Autumn to help get the releases they were looking for.  They broke into a sweat as they pushed hard against Autumn's 2,000lbs.  They would have knocked over a normal 1,000lb horse pushing that hard.  At this point Autumn starting groaning, licking her lips and getting sleepy eyes. She was in heaven. 
      She had me trot Autumn around again and she still hip hopped around.  Cindy and Julie went back to work getting Autumn back in balance.  Again, I trotted her and Cindy had me encourage her to extend her front right leg and tuck up her belly.  Upon giving her those cues, Autumn lowered her head, reached far across the ground to get her strides as her back rounded out.  It was the most sound I've seen her in years.  It was amazing.  Cindy said she just needed to remember how to move correctly again after years of favoring and compensating from her stifle injury.  She needed to know it wouldn't hurt to move that way again.  I asked her when we would should have our next follow up session.  She told me she thought that we would not need one as long as Autumn was moving well.
     Leaving that day was hard.  Autumn didn't want to leave her new pushy friends that made her feel like a new filly.  Plus, Autumn drew a crowd that couldn't resist feeding her carrots.  It's been over a month and Autumn is still moving nice and smooth.  When I ride her my hips glide evenly with her gait. As for my belly dancing...I still suck and I still love it.

Two girls that know how to shake it.

  Thanks for reading.  If you would like to get in touch with me or would like to be added to my mailing list email me at

Copyright (c) 2014 October 15, 2014 


  1. Hey Lady !!!! Keep at it !!!

    My pal I have just visited in NC drums for the dancers !!! Just go and have FUN !!!

    Hugsssss for Autumn too.... so good she is all comfy again !

    Wish someone could give me a new spine ! (and hips and ....well all joints !)

  2. That's a great blog Margaret. I'm so happy that Autumn is able to move well again. That's pretty incredible. I guess for Autumn she just had to remember how to go back in time before her injury and start using her mussel memory again. However, as far as belly dancing goes, you have no memory bank to rely on so it's just onto moving in that unique Margaret way!!!
    love you aunt

  3. Laura wrote: "Does this mean I'm going to see you on the plaza in one of those little Samba outfits? Go Mags! ;-)"

  4. I have missed your blogs...seems they always make me laugh out load, or shed a tear. This newest one is such a great discovery! I would love to catch up with you so you could show me the 'trick' to get them to lower their head and round their back. (Unless you could just explain it to me). I have been trying to get Hobby to lower his head and as soon as we start to do anything faster than a walk, his head pops right back up.

    Thanks so much, and keep those blogs coming!!


  5. That's great Autumn is in balance again. Maybe she could show you a few moves. Doesn't matter you shake anyway you want. Always enjoy your blogs!!!Karen

  6. great read :) I started reading it thinking 'oh no Margaret needs a body-worker" I lover that you went on to your horses bodywork sessions. Truly an amazing link to all our well being. Fortunately horses can break thru their muscle memory blocks at a quicker rate than us humans. I could go on and on about the subject I have such a passion for it all, just happy you are putting the story out there, being aware of these issues in my horses and myself has changed my life forever, and would be an amazing change for everyone :)
    Julie C.

  7. I have been wondering what happened to you! Have you been working on your book, too?
    Gay B.


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