Massage, Bodywork & CranioSacral Therapy
Every horse deserves the very best, whether a top-level jumper or a trusted trail buddy and best friend. Our aim is to help the horses we work with be more comfortable and happy in their work, their bodies and their overall well-being, by facilitating the body's own self-healing. Bodywork can be a valuable addition to your horse's health care regime, relieving tension and restrictions that develop in your horse's muscles and associated connective tissue.
We work in partnership with your vet, farrier and any other health care providers, to develop a customized treatment plan to help relieve pain and soreness, improve range of movement, attitude, and behaviour, and improve overall performance.
A treatment session aims to help bring your horse back into balance, both physically, mentally, emotionally and nutritionally. The specific treatment methods used will depend on your horse's needs at the time.
Depending on the restrictions found, more than one treatment may be necessary. Remember it has likely taken some time for the issues to build up, so it may equally take some time to unravel them too. The body believes everything the brain tells it - but the beauty of horses is they don't believe that they can't heal, as so often people do, which is why we get such great success from treating them.
I feel extremely privileged that I get to combine my work with my passion for horses. Horses don't think in words. They feel. They experience the simple energy of their emotional state of being. They teach us to be fully present and give us the opportunity to experience "what is". Horses are perfect teachers because they uncover your real motivation. They tell you when you're wholeheartedly committed or faking it. Horses connect with our souls - the very part of us that links us to everything.
Equine Bodywork is never a substitute for veterinary care and works best as part of a collaborative approach in which the horse's vet, rider and trainer, and other health-care professionals all work together to achieve the best results.
Equine Massage, Bodywork and Craniosacral Therapy Can Help
Improve immune function.
Relax and reduce stress levels.
Decrease any inflammation or swelling.
Increase mobility and flexibility.
Reduce scar tissue and soft tissue adhesions.
Relieve pain and discomfort.
Manage hormonal and emotional changes.
Reduce susceptibility to injury.
Promote optimal performance.
"Healing is not just about pain at the site of injury, but instead the full body-mind condition."
Equine Craniosacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch approach that can create dramatic improvements. It releases tensions deep into the body to relieve pain and dysfunction, and improves overall health and performance.
Few body structures have more influence over your horse's health and well-being than the central nervous system. And few body systems have more impact on the central nervous system than the CranioSacral system - the fluid and soft tissues that protect the brain and the spinal cord.
Your horse endures stresses and strains and his body absorbs them. But his body can only handle so much tension before the tissue begins to tighten and potentially affect the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately this can compromise the function of the central nervous system and nearly every other system in the body.
CranioSacral Therapy releases those tensions to allow the entire body to relax and self-correct, using gentle touch techniques to release any restrictions found.
By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CranioSacral Therapy naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens resistance to disease, and enhances health and well-being.
Benefits of CranioSacral Therapy
Improved proprioception, awareness of body and limbs.
Improved attitude and trainability.
Enhanced partnership and performance.
Improved immune function.
Reduced pain and inflammation.
"Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?"
The need for your horse to be physically comfortable cannot be overestimated when it comes to his quality of life and is an essential element of the respect and understanding that leads to a healthy, happy horse.
In massage therapy we treat restrictions in the soft tissues of the body, including muscle, tendon, ligament and fascia. This allows the joints to realign to their natural healthy state. As the horse's posture improves, the horse is more comfortable and movement and biomechanics continue to improve.
A healthy body and good fluid movement develop when each part of the horse is moving independently with softness and suppleness.
You might want to offer your horse something in return for all that he has done for you. We get so much from our horses that it's great to give something back.
An older horse will appreciate massage to ease his potentially aching joints. A younger horse will benefit from massage to help him enjoy learning to stand still and accept treatment.
A horse recovering from injury or trauma will benefit from the love and attention that massage will give.
A horse who struggles to work through from behind, or to work through his back, or to relax to the contact, or to bend correctly, or to pick up canter on the correct lead, or to halt square, or to move laterally, could benefit from massage.
A horse who often canters disunited, or is reluctant to go forward, who stops at fences, or rushes his fences, who always has a pole down, or struggles to make the distance, could find his performance improved with a massage.
A horse who naps, or bucks going into a canter, or who bites when you do up the girth, or is ticklish to be brushed, who refuses to stand to be saddled or mounted, or rushes off for the first few strides, might find his behaviour improved with massage.
"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
Equine Stretching and Mobility
Core stability and strength are as important to horses as they are to riders. Maintaining stability, posture and balance can contribute to more effective training, improved performance and can reduce the risk of injury. There are a number of exercises, performed from the ground, which can supplement ridden work to help improve core stability.
By performing these specific exercises, the core muscles that make for good posture, a strong back and assist in carrying the weight of the rider can be strengthened. These include the deep internal muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, thoracic sling, and back, together with the more superficial muscles of the trunk.
Maintaining a healthy musculature, flexibility and suppleness is an important factor in reducing the risk of muscle or tendon damage. Proprioception (body spacial awareness), coordination and balance are all vital to good performance. If improvements are made to elasticity, flexibility, range of movement, and reflex response time, then the reaction speed of movement is increased, resulting in better coordination.
Stretching also improves the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids allowing more oxygen and nutrients to enrich the muscles and for the toxic by-products of metabolism to be removed more efficiently, an important factor in preventing fatigue and reducing recovery time.
Benefits of Stretching
Increase stride length, range of movement, engagement, flexibility, athleticism and suppleness.
Reduce muscular soreness, tension and stiffness.
Reduce the risk of injury to joints, muscles and tendons.
Maintain the current level of flexibility.
Increase mental and physical relaxation.
Enhance body awareness.
"Not seeking, not expecting, he is present and can welcome all things."
Equine Bodywork is never a substitute for veterinary care, and works best as part of a collaborative approach in which the horse's vet, rider and trainer, and other health-care professionals all work together to achieve the best results.