EQUINE MASSAGE

Let me help your horse feel better for competition

HUNTER JUMPER TRAINING

I have over 20 years experience in training, let me work with you to meet your riding goals

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SUE GRAF

AZ6A4318editWhen I was 8 yrs old, my Dad bought me a pony. He always said it was the worst $65 he ever spent. I am now 34, living in a place I love, working a job I love, and getting married to a man I love. Oh, and I get to play in the dirt with 1200 lbs of living, breathing souls. It begins with a passion; Passion is a funny thing. I have a passion for horses. There is something about them that intrigues me, comforts me, and energizes me. Growing up, it was all I wanted to do. I could sit on the fence post at the barn in Michigan and watch my riding instructor give lessons for hours. My Mom would drop me off at 8am in the summers and I’d do whatever needed to be done – clean stalls, clean water buckets, move horses around – it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be there.

Why Massage

There have been many segments to my interaction and life with horses. The most recent addition to my education, Equine Massage, is the most powerful so far. Every horse I see needs (and deserves!) a massage - they work so hard for us and give so much. I walk by and see tight muscles, compensation for weak muscles, and imbalances in the body. I believe ANY horse that has sustained an injury, no matter how slight, will continue to have a weak link unless we fix the underlying cause – and bring balance back to the body. Massage is a modality that works well in conjunction with chiropractic adjustment as well. With the massage first loosening up, balancing, and helping the body to come into symmetry, often a chiropractor can then come in and realign the bones more easily and with more effectiveness. Don’t know if your particular horse needs massage? There are so many types of horses that I work on, from high level Dressage, Hunter, and Jumper horses, to Endurance horses, Trail horses, and Miniature horses. I often find different patterns in different disciplines, but a muscle is a muscle. If it gets tight, if it has a knot, if it is overdeveloped or underdeveloped, it isn’t able to function properly. Muscle tissue needs to lie flat, have enough nutrients and hydration, and be able to contract AND relax in order to do its job. If a muscle is in spasm, it is contracted all the time. If that muscle happens to be a major back muscle, it is then also pulling bones out of alignment.

“Oftentimes we are dealing with layers of a problem,” says Katie Crossan, DVM who practices chiropractic in addition to regular veterinary medicine out of Kirkton Equine Clinic in London, Ontario. She offers the example of a horse that tends to get stuck in its sacroiliac (SI) joint (where the pelvis connects to the spine) on account of a hock problem. “They’ll end up with muscle spasm around the SI joint because they’ve been hiking their hind end to avoid flexing their hocks.”

With reduced movement of the pelvis, the lumbar vertebrae compensate by moving more than they are designed to, which in turn leads to more muscle spasm along the lumbar spine, she explained.

“We might need to inject the hocks in the treatment of that horse, but what we find is that if you don’t address all the other issues, it takes much longer to get that horse back to the level it was competing at before. If you leave it to work through all the secondary issues on its own you won’t be nearly as satisfied with the outcome.”

For Crossan (My Horse), that may also include working with a massage therapist or an acupuncturist. “If you don’t do something to address that muscle spasm, then you have a harder time getting your adjustment to hold, because you really can’t separate out muscle function and joint function.”*

* Published by Canadian Horse Journal in 2014; Written by Lindsay Day, used with permission.

TESTIMONIALS

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JUDY WESTLAKE

Dressage Trainer
Bolero is 1000% better!!! His whole back has changed shape and is so much more relaxed. Thanks again.
When my horse Woodstock came to me, he was quite the mess. I bought him under the premise that his performance days were over, so I truly didn't know the extent of his discomfort. Over time, improvements in his physical health revealed gaps that feed and exercise just didn't address. Equine massage therapy offered the gateway to improve my horse's physical health. Through massage, other modalities, like chiropractic, infrared and magnetic therapies have been identified and used concurrently with great success. Finally, a happy surprise has been the improvement in Woodstock's mental state. Not only is he moving his best ever, he is happy and relaxed because he's no longer achy and in pain. Equine massage therapy is one of the best gifts you can give your horse!

LAURA PETRIE

Woodstock
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JEREMY THOMAS

CEO Conference

CONTACT

Here's how you can reach me:

  • 949-290-1240
  • Coto de Caza, CA

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