Why not make one of your new years resolutions for 2021 to get more hands on with your horse? There’s lots of techniques you can use at home to help your horse feel great and keep their body in great condition! They won’t replace your professional bodyworker but it will definitely make a huge difference to your horse.
Grooming is so beneficial to our horses muscles, and you can help to keep your horses muscles supple through using different techniques while grooming! Most if us have probably been taught to groom in the direction of the hair, but you can also use cross-fibre friction to help reduce and break down any adhesion’s within the muscle and fascia!
Start by grooming your horse as normal, in the direction of the hair to warm the muscles up. Be as vigorous with this stage as your horse will allow. Then, using the flat of your hand, go over the horse and have a really good feel for any tension, areas that are warmer or cooler to the touch, or that your horse reacts differently in (moving away from you, pulling faces, dipping their back away from your hand etc). These are areas that are potentially sore, so you may want to spend some extra time in these areas, but remain gentle. Then work at 90 degrees to the direction of the hair, which will generally also be cross-fibre to the muscle. You can continue to use your hand, or you could try using your horses favourite brush or a rubber curry comb. You can also work in circles if the horse prefers this.
Always start gently and keep an eye on your horses body language while doing this- it should be pleasurable, not painful for your horse! Do this every time you groom your horse and you will get a good idea of what your horses body is like, and pick up on any areas of tension quickly to enable you to get a professional bodyworker out to see your horse 🙂