When mobility becomes restricted the horse will compensate. In time, this restriction detrimentally affects the rest of the body. The primary objective is therefore to restore mobility and improve overall health.
Mobilization, Massage and Stretching
Mobilization techniques may be used where a joint or organ has become restricted, opening up the neurological pathways, restoring essential blood flow and eliminating toxins.
Massage keeps muscles healthy, builds up those that may have wasted, maintains strength and suppleness and prevents atrophy, even during a period of box rest or restricted work.
Passive stretches help to keep or restore joints and muscles to full working capacity.
Laser Therapy and Laser Acupuncture
Laser therapy optimises healing for shorter lay-off recovery times from a range of conditions and injuries. Quick, painless and non-invasive, low level laser therapy can deliver remarkable results in pain-relief, wound healing and soft-tissue repair. Both acute and chronic conditions can be treated effectively with rapid healing of good tissue quality with limited scarring.
Low level laser treatment optimises natural healing by modulating relevant cell activity with light of controlled wavelengths and energy density.
The anti-inflammatory effects of laser are often relied upon when drugs are contra-indicated but increasingly the value of considering laser first is becoming apparent.
With laser, inflammation is reduced as part of the optimised natural healing process so it addresses the problem rather than the symptoms as NSAIDs tend to do. From muscle spasms and bowed tendons to mud fever and capped hock there is a laser therapy protocol to help.
Fascia is a web that surrounds every bone, muscle, organ, and blood vessel. If this fascia develops a restriction, perhaps from an injury or from repetitive training, it can cause pain, swelling, misalignments, decreased range of motion and lameness. The fascia becomes inflexible and hard.
The Barnes Method of Myofascial Release is a therapy technique to lengthen the fascial tissue with a gentle pressure into the restriction or tissue barrier. The tissue then becomes soft and pliable, the pressure will be taken off pain sensitive areas and motion is restored.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cranial sacral therapy techniques involve light finger pressure with energy healing to specific points on the horse's body.
These techniques have been found to be particularly useful for head shakers, head tossers, head shy horses, TMJ Dysfunction, castration, uneven head carriage, lameness, or where symptons suggest a previous head trauma such as pull back on a hard tie.
Benefits of Magnetic Therapy include:
Improved circulation - Reduced muscle tension - Aids recovery of muscle fatigue - Stimulates tissue oxygen supply - Soothes skeletal aches - Eliminates toxins - Aids cell renewal - Reduces inflammation - Reduces pain - Enhances healing - Alleviates symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism - Stimulates the production of elastin and collagen essential in the development of new cells - Renewal of damaged tissue
The magnetic rug can
Increase healing time by up to one third
Enhance circulation and reduce inflammation
It can be used before exercise to warm the muscles, or after exercise to allow muscles to cool down slowly.
Reiki and Energy Healing
Reiki is a form of hands on healing or spiritual healing. Universal life force energy is channelled to the horse in a gentle, non-invasive way. It may be done on a general level, allowing the horse's body to direct the healing energy wherever it needs to go. This energy can work physically, mentally or emotionally.
During a healing session, the horse's brain releases endorphins which have a sedative-like effect and also act as painkillers. It is suitable for all conditions and can help other treatments work on a deeper level. It may also be able to succeed when all else has failed.
"To achieve the competitive edge in modern-day equestrian events, it is becoming increasingly necessary to maintain an open mind to all techniques that may enhance your horse's performance and wellbeing. To have a closed mind is to put oneself at a disadvantage."
Blyth Tait MBE, Three Day Event Rider; Individual Gold Medal winner in Atlanta Olympic Games 1996; Olympic Bronze Medal winner Atlanta Games 1996 (with New Zealand team); World Champion 1990-1994, 1998-2002.*
*Healing for Horses by Margrit Coates, Ebury Publishing 2001