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You will need veterinary permission from your vet before any manipulative or complementary therapist can treat your horse; this is a legal requirement of The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

 

As a horse owner/rider you may have experienced a massage for yourself and know the relief it can bring to your tired and stiff muscles. Our equine friends often require similar relief, but obviously cannot verbally express their need. Instead, they often show their discomfort through changes in their behaviour, or way of going. For example they may become defensive to the touch or irritable whilst being tacked up, unwilling to move forward, refusing jumps, working with quarters in or out, not striking off in the correct canter lead, disunited canter, general stiffness, change in disposition, unable to back up, or "just not quite right".

Muscle tension is often caused by over using or over stretching a muscle or group of muscles. This can result in muscle spasm and microscopic tears in the muscle, leading to pain and movement dysfunction. Overstretching can result from a specific incident, such as a fall or slip, whereas overuse injuries tend to be cumulative and can take time before you notice the effects.  Muscle tension can also occur secondary to other conditions or injuries, as the body tries to compensate and protect the painful area.

As an Equine Body Worker Karen will calmly and thoroughly evaluate areas of muscle tension in your horse and use a variety of sports massage and soft tissue mobilisation techniques to help relieve them. However, as a holistic therapist she will also discuss with you other aspects of the horse's care and exercise regime in order to treat the "whole" horse and not just its' symptoms. This is because muscular pain can be exacerbated by many factors, including too little, too much or incorrect training, stable management, farriery, saddle fitting or dentistry issues.  Sports massage in isolation will not "cure" your horse and optimum horse health requires a whole team approach, including your vet, farrier, dentist, saddle fitter and trainer, but most important of all, You, the owner.

After Equine Body Work many riders have immediately noticed an improvement in suppleness, quality of gait and relaxation in their horse or pony.