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Collaboration Matters

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Hi, my dear listeners of “Let’s have a chat!”

I just returned from a trip to New York and Connecticut. Every few months, I get on the road to visit my furry clients at their barns or homes. This time, I combined the trip with a stint into NYC, my old stomping ground, where everything started for me.

Back then, I followed my gut. Since I was nine years old, I knew I belonged in the US. In my early twenties, I was an advertising executive. Though I only spoke literally, and I mean literally, 50 words of English, I went for it and apprenticed in a big NYC ad agency.

I carried vocabulary cards in my purse to help me through the urban jungle. I remember being booted out of a bagel shop because I couldn't order fast enough. I loved the speed, the intensity + the energy. But over time, I missed being with horses.

And that eventually led me to where I am today. But that's not what this podcast is about. Well, it is because of everything that happened to me once I came to NYC, and as I continued to follow my gut, my life unfolded to today, moving from being an ad executive to a relationship coach for animals + their people.

As a relationship coach for animals and their people, I am about improving or fine-tuning your relationship with your animal.

If you have communication issues, I can help.

If you want to know what your animal thinks, I can help.

If your animal is sick, lame, or despondent, I can help determine what is happening and provide a prescription or plan.

Now, the stakes are usually higher when the animal is a horse. Most horses live on borrowed time. You might wonder what that means … well, horses; unlike cats, dogs, birds, and turtles, horses are often a commodity. Horses get traded up or down. Horses are moneymakers or ribbon winners. Horses need to perform in a certain way to earn their keep. Not all, but many. You see how that raises the stakes?

Ok, let's jump into the story.

I had spoken with the horse, Q, a gorgeous brown show jumper, and his trainer the week before over the phone. Q wasn't happy jumping in a particular arena. During the call, he showed me that he was uncomfortable, and the arena held memories of being physically uncomfortable. I had pointed out to the trainer that the horse had a sore neck, and he also felt his right hindleg was unreliable, as he had put it.

When I met the horse in person a week later, he showed me the same issues again. The energy flowing through his cervical vertebrates was interrupted between C4-6, and his right hindleg barely had any power flowing through.

When I assessed the rest of his body, I noted that his front hooves were also restricted. The horse had received several joint injections over the last few months, and his people were wondering what to do next.

As I was just about to ask the horse what he would need to help him, my next client, Adrien, walked into the barn. Adrien is a veterinarian who specializes in chiropractic and acupuncture for horses.

I knew together, we could figure out what this horse needed to help him return to what he liked: jumping fences. Adrien had a few minutes and joined us in the stall with Q.

I pointed Adrien to the neck first, and as she palpated the horse, she immediately felt that the middle of the neck was much warmer than the rest. Adrien let my clients feel it,, and they agreed.

Next, I demonstrated the restricted flow in the hindleg through muscle testing. I asked Adrien if chiropractic would benefit the horse, but after palpating the rump, she suggested acupuncture. She invited me and the client to feel the muscles around the hind-end to feel the knots and tension in the muscle. Every muscle was tight, from the sacral ligament to the tensor muscle to the sacral ligament and the hamstring group. As Adrien probed, stroked, and pushed the horse's hindquarters, the horse relaxed more and more. He licked, chewed, blew his breath out through his nose, and lowered his head.

We also discussed the hooves, and muscle tested if he wanted a little wedge between his hoof and shoe to shift his weight. Q agreed. When a horse is that tense in the behind, the front end endures a lot of the compensatory weight that gets shifted to the front. Helping the hind end will make it easier on the front hooves. We were addressing it from all ends.

Since the muscles were so tight, chiropractic did not seem appropriate. But starting with acupuncture and offering him relaxation could eventually lead to a chiropractic assessment.

Adrian also showed the clients how to stretch Q's hind-end in three ways daily to help him relax. Q immediately showed us how deeply he needed this work as she demonstrated the different moves. He licked, chewed, and sighed again as Adrien and his people worked on his hind end.

By the end of the assessment, the family made an appointment for acupuncture and had a plan to help Q come back into his body.

Now, it was time for me to work with Q on balancing his energy centers and releasing the pain memory he had experienced a few months back while jumping.

During our Chakra balance, the horse expressed how much he loved being in the family and wanted to stay. I asked the owner why he would say that. Were they considering selling him?

Turned out the family had another horse on lease. It is not uncommon when your main horse is laid up due to lameness to lease a horse for the interim. The reality was that the family needed one horse, not two. If Q doesn’t get sound and pain-free and if he stays anxious in the arena, taking off with a rider, he would have to go to another home. And he wanted to stay.

During our Chakra Balance, I explained to Q that his family would take care of him, getting help for his body, while he could help release his concerns about the arena to make the rides for everyone pleasant again.

When I ran into the family in the barn aisle a few hours later, the young rider stopped me.

She said, "Nicole, Q was so amazing today. He was so relaxed. He wasn't worried about the jumps. He is usually anxious and concerned about them when we ride by them. But today, he was so good and so relaxed. I felt he was almost sleepy.

She couldn't believe the difference in Q. She described him as relaxed and sleepy. That cracked me up. Horses can be activated when in pain or energetically out of balance. Once back in alignment and comfortable, they can appear sleepy when finally relaxed. As the girl said, usually, riding past the jumps caused Q to be anxious. But that day, he had barely noticed the jumps.

Yay. Yay. Yay.


Adrien had walked in at the right time. And she was the perfect collaborator: open, curious, and knowledgeable. She took the information Q had given me to the next level of resolve by suggesting acupuncture and muscle stretches. After that was figured out, my helping Q balance his energy by releasing some of the issues stuck in his tissue was the final piece that brought him peace and his person.

See how their relationship just went from apart to back together?

Their relationship is much more enriched because Q's peeps can get hands-on and help him relax.

How their relationship in the arena can expand without anxiety getting in the way.

Today, I leave you with this. We can all immensely benefit from collaborations around our animal's well-being. As a client, a practitioner, and most importantly, as an animal. There is no guarantee that Q will stay with this family. Kids go to college, and life shifts and changes, but for now, he is on his way to health and well-being, which secures him a promising future.

Reach out to me if you want to collaborate with your animal's veterinarian, trainer, or trimmer. Collaboration matters. It can save a life.

Thank you for listening.

Goodbye for now, until next time.

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