Healthy Backs Workshop

Healthy Backs Workshop

Did you know that there is a lot that you, as a horse owner, can do to help keep your horse’s back healthy? If you’d like to know how to do it, why not book a Healthy Backs Workshop?

Steve won’t be teaching you chiropractic therapy – that takes years of study – but there are other useful, non-invasive therapies that are safe, easy to learn and will benefit your horse’s spine and joints. Steve uses elements of all of these therapies to back up his chiropractic treatments where appropriate. You can learn any or all of these at his workshop.

Joint Mobilisation

Joint mobilisation involves slow and careful movement of joints to the end of their normal range of motion, and flexion, extension and rotation of the limbs. The benefits of joint mobilization include: stimulating nutrition of the joint cartilage; increasing joint range of motion; and reducing tension in the surrounding soft tissue. Joint mobilization can be used as a preventative measure to keep your horse flexible.

Strengthening the core

This is Pilates for horses! Core training comprises a series of simple exercises which increase the flexibility of the joints between the vertebrae and strengthen the horse’s core muscles, particularly those which hold the horse’s back in a rounded position during work.

As well as helping to develop strength, balance and flexibility, core training reduces the risk of injury. It is especially useful for:

1) horses that have a hollow top line or weak abdominal muscles. Core training helps to maintain the contraction of muscles over a longer period.

2) young horses that haven’t been ridden yet. Core training will activate, strengthen and condition the muscles of the back and abdomen that will be used to support the rider.

3) improving performance in equine athletes. Strengthening the deep stabiliser muscles reduces the risk of pain and produces a better athletic response. When a horse moves at the trot, canter or gallop it must stabilise the back for the transfer of propulsion from the hind limbs.

4) horses that are being rested due to injury. Core training will help the horse to regain lost muscle tone and core muscle strength.

Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient eastern technique that uses the fingers to press specific points on the surface of the skin to stimulate natural repair processes. Acupressure is based on the Chinese meridian theory that all the body’s organs are connected by a network of channels (meridians) through which energy (‘chi’) flows. This flow of energy can get blocked due to injury or illness. According to the theory, specific areas on the surface of the skin relate to specific organs or areas of the body. Pressure on these points can release energy blocks in the channels.

Horses, like humans, are prone to energy blocks. Releasing these blocks can have a beneficial effect on the musculoskeletal system by strengthening muscles, tendons and joints, as well as promoting physical and emotional energy.

Stimulating the acupressure points has also been shown to release endorphins and other chemical catalysts for pain relief.

TTEAM (Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method)

TTEAM is a therapy devised by Canadian horsewoman Linda Tellington-Jones and is based on the Feldenkrais method of bodywork for humans.

It considers the horse as a whole – body, mind and spirit – rather than concentrating on just the physical side of the horse. TTEAM uses movements that influence the nervous system and integrate body and mind.

TTEAM bodywork increases a horse’s awareness of his body, improves balance and co-ordination, and builds confidence and trust.

It isn’t necessary to learn the whole of TTEAM philosophy. In his workshop Steve concentrates on just a few aspects of the bodywork, and on TTOUCH. Tellington Touches are circular touches and gentle lifts which help the body’s cells to function normally. They awaken cellular intelligence, release stored memory of dysfunction, and help the horse become aware of his body.

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