As horse owners, sometimes we look at our horses and notice something wrong. It's strange, your horse was fine yesterday and today your horse is "off." He may not perform as he used to, may have unexplained lameness, is stiff or just doesn't want to pick up that lead. You may want to add another member to your care team. An equine therapist is one member of a team who care for your horse and this team is headed up by the the owner and the veterinarian, and also includes the farrier, nutritionist, trainer, saddle fitter, groomer, and other specialists.
The definition of an Equine Therapist is best explained as: "General term for therapeutic methods that center on the body for the promotion of physical health and emotional and spiritual well-being, utilizing various systems of touch and manipulation, relaxation techniques and practices designed to affect the body's energy flow." The aim is to find an equine therapist who promotes the well-being of your horse optimizing his performance.
Some problems where an Equine Therapist can help is: Soft tissue restrictions, negative movement habits resulting from past injuries, general anxiety, and issues due to ill fitting saddles.
Unfortunately, the qualification requirements for equine therapists vary from Province to Province, State to State and in different countries so asking for credentials may be difficult as there are numerous of animal massage schools around offering anything from home study courses to programs spanning several months to specific graduate and post graduate study degrees.
However, before employing anyone, ask where they were educated, be comfortable with the person and choose a therapist that offers the type of therapy that compliments your goals and expectations of your horse remembering that no therapy is a substitute for veterinary care. The therapist should be honest in what they can deliver and should be able to explain in detail the techniques that they will be using on your horse and why.
A therapist may utilize numerous techniques from equine massage, red-light therapy, laser therapy, cycloidal vibration massage, accupressure, and chiropractic, just to name a few. Some horses tend to rest more than usual after treatment, so don’t be surprised to hear contented snoring soon after the session. Just hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Contact Aequus-Therapy for more information on equine therapy services.