I am a Certified Equinology Equine Bodyworker level 1.
This means that I use massage, acupressure, some myofascial release, stretches, exercises and what I learned through training and coaching to do my bodywork.
Can you relate to the following...
Does your horse?...
-Have trouble with a lead or lead changes?
-Pins its ears, bits, stomps a foot, swish his tail, and or move its head towards you when you put on your pad, saddle and or do up your saddle?
-Used to do something really well and now doesn’t?
-Have a hard time with lifting its legs comfortably for the farrier?
-Seems off but not lame?
-Flinchs when you brush or pat it?
-Have an old or new injury?
-Drift to the outside of a circle?
-Drop a shoulder to the inside of a circle?
-Have a hard job or just started a new kind of job?
-Have a job that asks a lot of it like showing, mountain trails, long trailer rides or calving season?
-Have a vice like tail twitching, bucking at certain times of the ride, like when you ask them to lope?
...then body work can help your horse.
How does it help?
Bodywork is not to replace good veterinary care, or your own hard work in conditioning your horse. It will compliment your already good regime.
It will do this by increasing circulation, relaxing muscles, increasing range of motion, allowing muscles to heal faster and reducing pain and inflammation.
The result of this makes your horse more comfortable, straighter and stronger. Then in turn can prevent injuries and perform better.
For a competitive horse, it increases range of motion which will increase their stride length. Less strides means less fatigue. Because they don’t have to work so hard to get the same job done, they will be able to run longer and recover sooner.
For the Horse that isn't performing well, or vices related to pain.
It will take pain away and bring them comfort. Once that happens you can get better mobility and start to work on strenthening.
For the older or chronic horse.
Increase circulation relieves any pain brought on by arthritis or old injuries. This will allow them to keep working or retire comfortably.
On top of that great stuff, I check for your horse's posture,strength and weakness'. My bodywork will help by relaxing the overtight muscles. You can then take the exercises, that only take a couple of minutes, and easily intergrate it into your routine for strengthening.
What to expect out of a session?
1. Gathering their history. Age, breed, old injuries, jobs, and your goals for them and our session.
2. Posture assessment. I will look to see what your horse's posture is while standing still. I will check to see if they have straight hips, back, shoulders, legs, neck even their eyes and ears when standing.
3. Range of motion assessment. Can they move their joints evenly on both sides, like jaw, poll, back and or hips for example.
4. Muscle assessment. I will note any muscles that are sore, atrophied, or overly large and tight.
5. Movement assessment. I will watch them move in a straight line and or circle to see how they move.
6. Bodywork starts. The answers to all the questions will give me a detailed assessment of how your horse typically moves, its strengths, and its weakness’. The answers to these will also allow me to know how I am going to bodywork these areas before I start. The session may have what looks like a typical quiet massage, a deep massage, muscle activation through exercise/physio, and or stretches type of work.
Each session will last one 1hour.
7. At-home exercises or stretches. The owner will be given about 2 exercises or stretches tailored to each horse based on what I found that day. Working on what looks like the primary issue and or second issue. Depending on how much compensation or changes your horse makes, those exercises can change too. I start with just 2 because they do not take more than a couple of minutes a day, so the owner stays motivated to keep up the exercises.
How many sessions?
Depending on your goals, here are some options.
A.Just an information gaining session to see what your horse needs. 1 or 2 sessions.
B.Do you want to try to make timely changes in your horse's body. 5-6 sessions 2-3 weeks apart. Then play by ear to see how long they can hold this change by themselves.
C.Slow but steady changes. Have them seen once a month for 7-8 sessions.
Sessions need to take budget, schedule, and time frame into consideration. You can pull from any of the above suggestions and make your own program. The important thing to remember is that when the body does have good blood flow, range of motion, and strength, it will be able to take better care of itself and need less help doing so. Just like us, our bodies can self-heal. Sometimes it/we just need a little help.
I would love to hear from you
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