Alternative Therapies for My Horse, Why bother?

Equine Bodywork~ why is it important? We all know that massage, chiropractic, and other similar therapies are being utilized more than ever before. There is a new thought process among horse people called Integrative Medicine. This is the combination of traditional veterinary medicine (western medicine) and alternative therapies (eastern medicine). Horse owners are beginning to realize the benefit of staying ahead of injuries and illness, by taking a whole body wellness approach to equine management. But why? I can assure you that many riders and horse people do not routinely see these practitioners. Instead, they spend that money on their horses. In my mind, the answer is quite simple. We know if something is not quite right in our bodies. If we are feeling a little off, we take it easy that day. If we are feeling ill, we go to the doctor. If our glutes are tight, we do stretches. Get the idea? On the flip side, our horses do not have a way to verbally communicate how they feel. Are there subtle clues, absolutely! But all too often by the time we figure them out, there is a full blown problem. Horses want to please. I haven’t met one who didn’t. Not one. I’ve certainly worked on some who were more difficult than others, but all have a desire and perhaps even a need to please us. I think that is why so many of us are drawn to them. This incredibly large and lovely creature who can really do as he pleases, yet CHOOSES to do what pleases us. Wow! So with that being said, these magnificent horses will do as we ask until they can no longer. By utilizing bodywork techniques, you have a barometer for your horse. Initially, you will get a baseline. On session one, this is how your horse feels. Over time, this can be used as a gauge. Is my horse improving (that’s great)? Is my horse staying about the same (which is ok sometimes)? Or, is my horse getting worse (not ok)? In the coming weeks, I’m going to do my best to explain some of these modalities and their uses/benefits. I will also try to give some quick tips or techniques you can implement into your training program, and might even post some video how to’s. Stay tuned……

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