Rubbing Your Horse the Right Way
“Balanced muscles protect the horse from the jarring forces of landing, improve energy, prevent injury and relieve fatigue……Fatigue is the primary cause of sports injury in any species”.
This is a quote from a very detailed article on balanced muscles in our equine friends. The article speaks about the importance of posture, proper nerve transmission and how everything has an effect on everything else within the body. This is called adaption and is prominent in equines, and probably most other animals too. In order to hide a weakness, they will adapt their body so as not to appear injured. The strain on the area taking the adaption can in turn become a weakness so another area adapts, and so on. This is one of the basic principles learned when studying bodywork: the idea of onion layers. Often when treating a horse, an area of concern will show itself and will be treated. The following week another area of concern will show itself, as this was what was hiding under the previous area, and so on. When doing bodywork on an old horse or athletic animal that hasn’t had any treatments, the issues build up and each session is like peeling away the layers of an onion.
You can read more about balanced muscles in the above mentioned article: http://www.equinewellnessmagazine.com/articles/balanced-muscles-mean-a-longer-athletic-career/
I particularly love the reference to how we blame injuries on everything but the source itself: a fatigued and undertreated horse. When a horse gets a massage, some might say, “Gosh, he’s spoiled, isn’t he?” If this horse is an athlete and a lot is asked of him in competition, they get very puzzled because, as many people still do think, they see him as an animal fit for the purpose and why would we give him any extra attention?! I would love it if more people realized that horses are just like human athletes, and when they compete they work hard and thus deserve therapy, rest and a good diet… just like any sports person.
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