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Becoming a student of Dr. Deb
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Chemgettys
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 Posted: Sun Dec 9th, 2012 03:10 pm
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Dr. Deb,
I went to a clinic you held in Michigan many years ago and afterwords read everything of yours I could get my hands on.  Unfortunately, geography and money did not allow me to ever participate again.  Now I find myself with the time and the means, but this time because of a back issue cannot ride again.  I still want to learn everything I can, because I have a deep interest in what you have to teach.  Is is possible to participate without being able to ride?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2012 04:01 am
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Of course it is. Can you, perhaps, learn to drive, even with your back? -- Dr. Deb

Chemgettys
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 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 12:32 am
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Thanks for getting back with me Dr. Deb.  At this point it is not possible but the interest will not go away and so I thought I could immerse myself in the theory:)  I really miss the horses and because I teach science, your approach really suits me.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 03:15 am
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Theory is good but practice is better -- and often possible, even with injuries. Can you do "ground work"? -- Dr. Deb

Chemgettys
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 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 10:14 pm
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Ground work is possible, though I have no horse at this time.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 06:58 am
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Dear Chem: Can you lease, borrow, or share a horse?

We have at our barn a lady in her mid-60's who has had Parkinson's disease since she was about 40 (she told me once that if a person had to have Parkinson's, they ought to wish it come on earlier, because this, she says, gives a person time to adapt to its demands. Also, she told me, it took some time for her doctors to get her meds properly adjusted).

It always astonishes me to watch her, because she's one of the few Parkinson's sufferers I've ever seen -- especially one who has had the disease that long -- who can still walk without any assistance. Not to say that it is a normal walk; it is shuffling and, characteristic of this disease, somewhat irregular in rhythm. But the lady does not fall over backwards or (very often) forwards, and she has enough arm, hand, and core strength to handle a gentle horse.

And a gentle horse she has; a 20-yr. old TB X WB mare that she's owned for years. On the few occasions when this lady has felt well enough to ride, I observe that she is a lovely rider -- of the old-fashioned Fort Reilly cavalry-school type: very correct and elegant; rather a rare style nowadays and especially in California. Most of the time what she does, however, is take her mares for "walks". The walks involve a certain amount of walking and hand-grazing, followed by basic "ground work", i.e. untracking or a little bit of lateral work in-hand. Usually also the lady will lunge the mare over cavalletti poles or low jumps. A long time ago, before her Parkinson's came on, the two of them were quite the stars at jumping.

The bottom line is, I do believe this lady and her horse maintain each other. The lady comes out faithfully, every single day, and mixes the supplements and feeds and grooms the mare. Then they go for their "walk", in which the lady gets just about as much exercise as the horse does. They need each other, and I actually worry some what will happen to the lady when the mare dies. Our farm owner and I have talked about this, and the farm owner says, "well, I have a lot of older horses. We'll give one to her when the time comes."

So -- maybe you can find a situation like this. You might be surprised how much insight you can gain from "creative grooming," which I will be glad to teach you, along with whatever groundwork seems appropriate to the animal you choose. Getting a part-lease on a horse could be your best holiday gift this year! Cheers -- Dr. Deb

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2013 09:41 pm
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Oh if you are still near south central MI I would love to help you study. I have several horses that I love doing groundwork with. They would love extra attention.


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 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2013 09:44 pm
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Hi DarlingLil,
I am just north of Muskegon.  Where are you located?  I am interested.

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2013 01:02 am
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I am in southern Michigan. Near Brooklyn, 15 miles from the Oh line.


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 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 09:17 pm
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Oh, I wish you were closer.  It looks as if you are a little over 3 hours away.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Sun Jan 20th, 2013 01:31 am
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Your welcome. Sorry too, that you are so far away.


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