I use muscle release therapy as part of day to day care in just the same way as I use regular foot care, dental care, vaccination and tack check. As a guide, 2 - 4 sessions each year might be typical, but this will depend on the needs of the individual horse and the type of work they do.
This is a time when it is particularly important to support good posture, release muscle stiffness or spasm, and prevent patterns of 'compensation' from becoming established. The sooner after an injury it is possible to arrange for some therapy, the better - but always subject to veterinary approval. Bowen therapy can also be very relaxing and help soothe the horse and reduce stress.
Relaxing therapy can help the horse cope with the stresses of box rest, and promote healing through increase of blood supply to tthe muscles. Bowen can also help as the horse returns to work, keeping muscles soft and functioning well as they regain strength.
Stiff or sore muscles can make it difficult for a horse to perform certain actions, such as striking off on one particular canter lead, or making an effective jump. Regular maintenance of muscle health can prevent these types of frustrations for horse and rider, and allow both to enjoy their work together. Many clients are able to tell when to book the next session for their horse because they can feel an reduction in their horse's performance.
Many horses start working at around 3 or 4 years of age. However, their musculo-skeletal system continues to develop and they may not reach physical maturity until around 6 or 7 years old. This is a time when they are particularly vulnerable, adapting their balance to be able to carry the weight of the rider effectively, and building up strength. Appropriate care of their muscle health at this time can be a good insurance in helping to give them the best chance of a long and successful ridden career.
If you long to have better balance, to be able to sit more deeply in the saddle, or to be able to achieve a more relaxed porture, then it may be worth investing in some therapy for yourself as well. Rider balance can effect the horse's performance. But it can work the other way as well; some clients know both they and their horse need therapy when they start to develop unusual aches and pains after riding. This could be because the horse is a little sore, and is pushing the weight of the rider more to one side in an attempt to protect certain muscles.
I am keen to help children understand and relate to the process of therapy for their pony. To do this, I have assembled activity packs that are included free of charge with each visit to a child's pony.
All packs are subject to availability, and contents may vary.
Learn more about the antomy of the horse.
The Muscle Magic pack includes anatomy charts and stickers, as well as an anatomy colouring book.
Continue the spa session and pony makeover!
Contents will vary according to availability, but might typically include any of the following :