How will I know if a Horse will benefit?
Some information about Equine Bodyworks
"By the time you notice a problem with your horse's movement, muscular dysfunction has already taken hold," Leslie Berro says "With a consistent equine therapy program customized your horse's needs, you can avoid injury, improve biomechanical function, and enhance the overal performance of your equine athlete. Prevention is the best medicine"
Did you know that?..... "When the muscles are tight, the horse shows discomfort by stretching his neck upwards or to the opposite side during rest periods. During motion, the horse is fine on straight lines, but on circles he will be off. Eventually he will be off on all movements"
This quote is referring to the brachiocephalic muscle that runs on each side of the neck, attaching on the base of the skull and first cervical vertebra and running downwards to anchor on the upper end of the humerus (point of shoulder)
This muscle can become stressed/sore/tension when 'free forward movement is prohibited'...
Did you know the horse has a neck ligament that originates from the back of the skull and attaches with a segment at each of the neck vertebrae it then continues along the back across all the vertebrae.
Many back or neck injuries/soreness stem from a weak or tense ligament caused by incorrect riding
Equine Kneads teaches their participants bodywork. Equine Bodyworkers are to use their hands only; no instruments - they are not to diagnose, treat, cure , or use any instruments.
A horse is made up of 60% MUSCLE which is the organ for locomotion
Any Horse in work, Any retired horse and Any horse on Rehab/Lay up can benefit from Massage……Why? (good questionJ )
Horses in work can have muscle tension that will turn into a spasm. A spasm is contracted fibers unable to obtain their own release. It WILL grow in time. As it grows the horse can become “off” or “not move right” this can be as a result of the spasm. Horses will learn to compensate themselves by not traveling straight, acting girthy, back sore, swapping leads, tossing their heads or head shy (jaw pain), refusing fences. The list is endless.
ALSO……..they will start to use their joints to compensate for the lack of muscle.
Do you know of a horse who acts 'girthy'?....That is not always a behavioral issue but can be perceived as one. The girth lies on the pectoral muscle which can become bruised, torn or sore. Once that muscle is injured and the horse is continually girthed they may display "behavioral" problems even after the muscle is no longer sore. Massage can help with that!
Did you ever slip on ice, fall in a hole in the yard or just sit or sleep wrong? You wake up the next day sore, right?-------Horses can become sore from rolling, playing in the field, getting cast in a stall, slipping in the aisle and many times horse owners are unaware.. All the owners know is that when they go to ride the horse 'does not feel right' or is 'acting bad'....When in fact the horse may be sore and now is asked to; bend, collect, engage their hind end, jump a fence, extend for Dressage, collect for Western Pleasure, pivot on their haunches for Showmanship and cannot. The sore muscles combined with the demand to perform can exacerbate the initial soreness and create bad behavioral problems.
Have you ever had a 'kink' in your neck and were unable to turn your head? Horses hold tension in their upper neck. If a horse were tense or had a spasm it would be uncomfortable for them to bend or turn their heads..Massage will help loosen those sore muscles so they are soft/supple and able to stretch and bend without injury!
Massage can help relieve the initial discomfort or soreness and aid in keeping a horse balanced & supple! The horse will be MORE willing to perform since they feel better!! And of course……..they will be happier horses.
A Retired Horse can benefit because the #1 BENEFIT of MASSAGE is INCREASED CIRCULATION…..As a result of the increased circulation the body releases endorphins (body’s natural pain killer) and loosens all of the muscles rebalancing your retired equine partner!
Boosts immune system
Many older/retired horses may have medical issues such as Cushing’s Disease, Navicular and/or Laminitis…Massage is VERY helpful in loosening the shoulders which become sore from hoof pain. Many times the older horses have lower back & Gluteal (rump) pain from 'rocking back'. If a retired or older horse moves around less, Massage aids the body by increasing the circulation which also will help with digestion and overall mental well-being.
A horse in Rehab/Lay up can have 'muscle memory'...the horse may "think" they are still injured..Massage will help INCREASE the circulation and PROMOTE RAPID HEALING .... This will help prevent any more injuries and re-injuries!
Horses do not speak the English language so we have to adapt and create a 'Joint Communication'. This course will show you how to better understand what horses are telling you.
The Certification Program will show participants how to apply the "nurture stroke" which can be used to comfort a horse. It can also help horses at Shows to quiet them...Or...if a horse is colicking it can help with pain..
If you are interested in participating in the Program, please check the Certification Program page for available dates!!