Getting the most out of professional equine therapy
Many horse owners these days are turning to various forms of alternative therapy and bodywork in order to improve their horse’s comfort and performance. The big question is – how can you get the most out of your therapy session?
Whether your horse is receiving a program of treatment for a particular problem, or is treated regularly for maintenance as part of their management routine, there are a number of things riders can do to extend the benefits of professional help and assist in preventing new problems from occurring.
First, do no harm
Pain in any area of the body needs to be identified and addressed as early on as possible. All the therapy in the world cannot erase compensation arising from issues such as saddle fit, hoof balance, teeth problems or arthritis. Dealing with these issues properly is the first step in gaining long lasting benefits from professional therapy – otherwise, don’t be surprised if the issues keep coming back!
Prolong the benefits of professional therapy with your own therapeutic routine
Once you have a cleaner slate to work with, speak to your therapist about stretches, exercises and simple massage techniques you can use in between regular treatments.
If your horse has a few problem areas due to injury, or learning to use their muscles differently as their training advances, products such as the Equine Acu-light and Impulse Line Power Pad allow the rider to target treatment to the important areas with ease.
For whole body benefits, the Activo Med Therapy System can be used as part of your regular warm up and recovery routine at home or while competing. Professional therapies such as massage can be used to treat muscular pain, by addressing tightness, spasm and adhesions in the muscles. Massage also increases blood flow, which assists tissue repair by delivering nutrients and carrying away waste. An evenly distributed full body treatment system like that provided by the Activo Med therapy system can help keep muscles more relaxed while continuing to deliver the healing benefits of increased circulation.
Minimise saddle damage
Although your saddle may be the best fit possible for your horse, any saddle is going to have some impact on the horse’s back by the time you add the weight of a rider. Professional therapy is a sensible way to treat saddle soreness and monitor for any problems as your horse changes shape during its career. But how can we prevent horses from becoming sensitive and sore again? The Draper Therapy Saddle Pads are beautifully made with a comfortable lining for sensitive backs, while delivering the benefits of Celliant technology as you ride. Using a Draper saddle pad in conjunction with a correctly fitting saddle can go a long way toward keeping your horse’s back comfortable and free of saddle pain.
A sound horse is a happier horse and a better athlete. A well rounded approach to managing your horse’s soundness will help you to reap maximum benefits from professional therapy – your horse and therapist will thank you for it!
Cat provides remedial and sports massage therapy to horses in Adelaide and surrounds. Cat is passionate about improving and sharing her knowledge in the fields of equine therapy, rehabilitation and training for soundness, with the firm belief that as horse owners we never stop learning.
You can read more about her and the services she offers.