Great question! This is also something that you should be asking every professional that touches your horse. I am certified in CESMT (sports massage) EMFT (Equine Myomanipulative Functional Therapy) and EFT (Equine Flexion Therapy). I've also been through courses for rehab, Masterson, muscle unwinding and tensegrity balancing. I attend several continuing education courses per year. I have a varied educational background and can tailor my bodywork sessions to fit your horse. Please read my bio in the About tab to see my full education.
Yes. This is also a question that you should ask every professional who touches your horse.
No. You have to be a vet or a human chiropractor to get certified as an animal chiropractor. I started learning massage as a horse owner because my horse's chiro adjustments were not holding for more than a few weeks. Chiropractic can be an excellent modality to mix with soft tissue bodywork. While chiro addresses the spine and joints (and the viscera that is associated with spinal vertebrae), bodywork addresses soft tissue that is affecting the bones and joints. Sometimes, what I do can be used in place of a chiropractic treatment because it releases the soft tissue enough that the subluxation goes back in place. Sometimes, if a subluxation has been active for a long time, I can soften the tissue enough that then a chiropractor can help the bone or joint back into place. I still use a chiropractor on my own horses.
That depends on your situation. If your horse is coming off of an injury or has a significant compensation pattern, in an ideal world, I would like to see it 3 times within 2 weeks, then as needed. That situation has better results if you are doing your homework between sessions.
Some horses can be almost completely maintained by their owners with a "check up" from me about every 45 or 60 days.
Some of my more competitive clients schedule their horses every two weeks or once a month.
Honestly, the answer to this question depends on your horse's starting point and how often you can mix bodywork and corrective exercises into your routine.
Again, that depends. If we are working through a significant compensation pattern, ideally, your horse would have a day off afterward and you would be doing your homework and possibly some in-hand corrective exercises. This is because with this type of bodywork (craniosacral/tensegrity balancing) I am directly communicating with your horse's nervous system. During this type of bodywork your horse's body is sensing my inputs and making neurological changes based on the new somatosensory information. If you were to ride your horse too soon afterward, repeating the same-old patterns, your horse's body will fall into the same-old patterns and you would have wasted your money on me.
I can do a more "cowboy" massage for my horses that I know need to go to work. I have several rodeo and day working cowboy clients and for those horses I focus more on muscles, trigger points and some tensegrity balancing. Even in those cases, I recommend that the ride directly after focus on maneuverability, using the new range of motion and instilling new body patterns.
If you have a horse, it needs a bodywork session. Some of my sessions focus more on behavioral/emotional issues. Some sessions are a mix and some focus on muscles and performance.
Yes. Some of my clients are vet referrals and I always refer to a vet when something is out of my jurisdiction. If you are contacting me because you think your horse is in pain, I will probably refer to a vet or do an assessment before I agree to work with your horse. Bodywork does not fix pain. It is an excellent complimentary therapy to help recognize and change the core reason for the pain, but the pain cycle needs to be stopped and that takes veterinarian intervention.
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