Equine Holistic Services
Equine CranioSacral Therapy
In the early 1900s, an osteopath named Dr. William Sutherland discovered that when pressures were applied to the bones of the skull, the sacrum and pelvis were affected and vice versa. However, whereas traditional osteopathy focuses on the individual bones themselves, craniosacral focuses on bringing balance throughout the skeletal and muscular systems with a specific focus on the individual bones of the skull, spine, and sacrum.
The technique is a very gentle hands-on therapy that encourages the horse to release the restricted movement of the bones of the skull, spine, and pelvis. Through Equine Craniosacral work, issues that are very often seen as conformation issues have been shown to be postural issues. As a therapy, it offers an excellent and extremely effective alternative to more conventional therapies such as massage and physiotherapy, especially for nervous and anxious horses.
Many horses are forced to retire from injuries and wear and tear caused by a lack of preventative care and treatment. Equine Craniosacral therapy can help horses combat the physical stresses and strains imposed on them (competing, training stressors, dental compromise, or even just pulling back when tied up) and allows them to rebalance their bodies so they are able to perform more effectively and comfortably over a longer period.
Equine craniosacral therapy helps top-level competition horses maintain peak performance and competitive edge and is gaining popularity in many disciplines, especially eventing.
Equine craniosacral can help horses that suffer from head shaking, lameness, hindquarter injuries, head traumas, temporomandibular joint (jaw) dysfunction, and many other conditions.
Shiatsu massage stimulates the body’s natural healing ability. Shiatsu is based on the same principles as acupuncture and can be used to help both acute and chronic conditions. Shiatsu is a very effective form of bodywork for maintaining optimum equine performance.
It’s important to remember...
Your horse’s body works as a whole unit. Dysfunction in one area can affect seemingly unconnected regions. For example, forelimb dysfunction can be associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and vice versa.
Try to remember to listen to the small signs of fatigue or irritability before allowing them to contribute to a larger issue. Having your horse receive regular assessments and bodywork is an excellent way to help manage the tension-fatigue-dysfunction cycle.
Equine Kinesiology Taping
Kinesio-taping application is often used as an adjunct modality to assist with:
Inflammation reduction (stocking up)
Ligament | Tendon support
Scar adhesion release
Facilitate increased flow at energy meridians
Therapeutic Ground Work utilizes the principles of natural horsemanship and in hand movement patterns to bring forth balanced structural integration. Individualized exercise plans are created to enhance soft tissue remodeling for the best outcomes achievable in supporting the horse during daily activities, specific wellness goals, and athletic performances. Much like therapeutic exercise for humans, therapeutic groundwork for our equine teammates is vital in maintaining body-wide wellness and mental stability.
Range of Motion
The main objective of successful training is to achieve the best possible performance, improve athletic ability, and keep the horse injury-free. Vets and therapists are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of Range of Motion activities. Maintaining healthy musculature to include flexibility and suppleness is important in reducing the risk of muscle or tendon damage.
Range of Motion is an important aspect of elongating the muscle fibers and can assist in the reduction of injury by lessening the tension on joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
Tendons are less elastic than muscles and therefore are dependent on the elasticity of the muscle body. Proprioception (body spatial awareness), coordination, and balance are all vital to good performance and health. If improvements are made to the elasticity, flexibility, range of movement, and reflex response time, then the reaction speed movement is increased. The result is better coordination.
Range of Motion activities also improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids allowing more oxygen and nutrients to enrich tissues and for toxins to be metabolized more efficiently. This is an important factor in preventing fatigue and assists in the reduction of recovery time.