What is Equine bodywork?
Bodywork is the utilization of modalities that address the soft tissues(muscles, ligaments, and tendons) of a horse. This can include sports massage, advanced soft tissue techniques, stretching, range of motion exercises, spinal mobilization, muscle activation, and focal point work. Think about it, 60% of a horses body weight is muscle and it’s often the last thing we think about when we’re addressing lameness, performance, and behavioral issues. The soft tissues of the horse support their entire skeleton, that means their joints too. Healthy muscle function protects joints by reducing the unnecessary stress and pressure put on them by tight, restricted or imbalanced muscles. It also increases range of motion, lengthening the stride which creates more efficient movement and increases stamina. It addresses tight muscles that can no longer secure their own release by returning them to their normal functional range. Most importantly, by increasing oxygenated blood flow to muscles it helps reduce recovery times, promote muscle elasticity, and restore length and proper function to help protect from injury in the first place. Coupled with a thorough understanding of anatomy and biomechanics we can utilize these techniques in a targeted manor to address muscle imbalances and help create a more balanced horse that can move with lightness and efficiency.