Thursday, January 7, 2010

Horse Health Care: Bodywork and the 10 Percent Solution

When it comes to horse health care and bodywork, do you go for the major power of an equine chiropractor or osteopath, or do are you more of a do it yourself kind of horse lover?

Which works better?

In my experience, both work well, and each has a place in any good horse health care regimen. For instance, if you horse has a major lameness issue caused by a spinal misalignment (or subluxation) but you want to show him this coming year, then calling in a professional equine chiropractor or bodyworker may be just the ticket. This kind of bodyworker may need only a few sessions to realign your horse's spine, and may get you back in the saddle again quickly.

On the other hand, if your horse is older and little swaybacked, but still doing his job great, doing your own bodywork as part of a horse health care maintenance program may be perfectly adequate. Or, even if your horse has a more major problem and money is tight, as long as your horse isn't in major pain doing your own bodywork works great, too. After all, the more you practice doing bodywork yourself, the better you will become.

Equine Bodywork and the Ten Percent Horse Health Care Solution
I've been doing bodywork for almost a decade now, and I'm always amazed at how much improvement I can create in my horse's health just by doing a little bit at a time. While people like you and me, who do our own bodywork, definitely are not going to achieve as much in a single session as a professional bodyworker, we have the advantage of seeing our horses quite often. That means we can do bodywork on our horses much more often, even if each session achieves somewhat lesser results.

I call this the ten percent solution. It could also be the two percent solution or the twenty percent solution, depending on the effectiveness of your bodywork. The point is, no matter the level of your bodywork, if you work on your horse two to three times a week, he's bound to improve. Really. I've seen it happen. I have seen beginner bodyworkers work absolute miracles on horses that had chronic health problems.

Think about it like an equation:

If your bodywork is ten percent as effective as the equine chiropractor's work, then ten sessions of your bodywork is equal to one session of his.

Now that may sound a little discouraging because it means you have to work ten times harder than the chiropractor, but there are huge advantages:

- You build a better relationship with your horse every time you work on him.
- You get better at bodywork every time you do a session.
- Your horse appreciates you every time you ease his discomfort.
- Not to be forgotten is the fact that you didn't pay the call fee for the equine chiropractor to come work on your horse.

Need I go on? Of course, if you are going to do bodywork, I suggest you do two things:

- Continue to learn about bodywork by attending workshops, reading books, or watching DVDs to improve your work and keep adding new techniques to your toolbox
- Never doubt yourself. Doubt is the strongest force that will interfere with your bodywork. Faith, hope, trust, and belief in your ability to be an agent of healing for your horse is much more useful.

In short, even if you don't know anything about equine bodywork (and the DVDs you ordered from Amazon have not yet arrived), you do know your horse. If you do nothing more than lay your hands lovingly on your horse's source of pain every single day, you WILL be an agent of healing for your horse ... one percent, two percent, ten percent at a time.

Make sense? For more info and inspiration, check out a couple of my other posts related to bodywork on my blog here:

There is Nothing That Cannot be Healed
Can a Roach Backed Horse be Fixed?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment