With Happy Horse Sports Therapy, osteopathic techniques will form the bulk of the session, with other modalities such as massage, stretching, myofascial release and cranio-sacral therapy added, if the therapist feels they will be of benefit. Depending on what the therapist feels and the horse’s disposition, the TENS machine and photonic torch may also be used. The therapist might also assess the fit of the saddle, if the horse presents with back pain. We’ve also had great success with kinesiology tape, and may tape your horse at the end of the session.
There are benefits to every type of therapy, which is why a session is tailored specifically to your horse, using techniques from modalities that will help your horse best.
Horses can continue physical activity even in the presence of muscle/body tightness and mild discomfort. In fact, to some observers, they will appear 100 per cent sound. In the presence of tightness, as we humans know, other ailments are just around the corner. Muscle tightness leads to an entire chain reaction as the body tries to adapt. Tightness in the lower back, for example, will soon evolve from localised discomfort into a notable change in a person’s stride and posture. That change in posture will create tightness elsewhere in the body, such as the hamstrings or the base of the neck. As these areas of tension spread, the overall mechanism quickly loses its optimal functioning ability and its aptitude for top performance is hindered. Just because we cannot see the tightness does not mean it isn’t there. The muscle group could be malfunctioning. Any muscles that are not entirely toned, loose and in harmony with its surrounding muscle groups is working against the horse. In osteopathic language, this is called the ‘terrain’.
This is where osteopathy and massage are critical tools to release tension and restore the horse’s body to its optimal state. Resolving the terrain early on can prevent an injury further down the track, by eliminating the ‘chain reaction’ referred to above.