Equi-Therapy™ UK

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ARE YOU FIT & FLEXIBLE…..? WHAT ABOUT YOUR HORSE…?
by Gilliyan H. Carter - Dip FTST, IIHHT, ESMT
Equine Sports Massage Therapist

Assessing your horse is an overall observation taking into account his nature, fitness level, way of going, personality, routine and even the time of year. All of these factors can change your horse's physical and mental state and inevitably effect his performance. Once you have decided what are the 'normal characteristics' of your horse it will become easier to spot a problem should one arise.

I am sure that most horse owners have regular health checks for their horses including vaccinations, regular worming, visits from the blacksmith, dentistry, chiropractic checks and massage therapy to ensure their horse remains fit and healthy. Unfortunately there are still horse owners out there that don't, and still expect maximum performance from them. I believe that regular maintenance is invaluable to help reduce injuries and skeletal or muscular imbalances before they turn into serious problems.

Assess Your Horse….

It is possible to identify a problem with your horse simply by the way he stands. Take the time to watch your horse in his natural state noting how he stands when resting, before making any assessment. Once you have achieved this you can then begin to study his overall symmetry as described below:-

Look at your horse, study him, does he look even, in proportion, does he have a short back, a long back, good shoulders, strong hind quarters with even muscle development throughout? Does he look happy, contented, and comfortable with a spark in his eye? If the answer to these questions is yes, that's great you're on the right track. If the answer to any of the above is no, then there is possibly an underlying problem that has gone unnoticed and requires attention. Act now and your friend will soon be back on top form. It is easy for things to go unnoticed when you are with your horse everyday such as weight loss or condition changes, but all can be rectified quickly and easily with the right professional guidance.

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