Turns out that the post-surgical rehab process for horses isn't so different from the monotony and elbow-to-elbow confinement of international flights. The same basic rules apply:
Duke stepped out of the trailer and curiously surveyed his surroundings with the high-headed periscope posture he reserves for novel new environments. I could almost read his mind: big buildings, morning traffic, distant clip clop, horse smells, no pasture in sight. Lots of horse trailers, but no busy arena, and very few horses to be seen. Weird. But there's an embankment full of clover and grass, and the one horse in view is being lead by a woman who is letting him graze on it, so it can't be a bad place. Duke snorted and relaxed, and looked off hopefully towards the nearest green patch.
Extended navel-gazing isn't really my thing, but it occurs to me that I would have been totally lost and frantically searching the internet for information without the support system I have, so I'm passing a few thoughts along should anyone out there need a friendly been-there-done-that perspective.
Here's what I know about learning how to bounce. YMMV.
A friend who is observing my session fills me in on some details of his celebrated past as his knots slowly melt under my hand. "Really!" I exclaim, and look with wonder at the old gentleman I'm standing next to. His jaw is set stoically and you can still see the marks in the soft tissue across his nose where the stud chain rubbed for years, but his wise eyes soften and he lifts his head proudly. It's an honor to work on such a noble creature. I swear he stands a little taller when I take my camera out to get a couple of shots.