Happy Horse, Happy Rider

There have been many segments to my interaction and life with horses. From a bratty pony when I was 8, to a TB mare I took to college, to a teaching and training career that spanned 25 years in both the Midwest and California. In addition to teaching and training, I studied and got certified in Equestrian Pilates for riders. This started my love for biomechanics – the art of the body moving efficiently and correctly. That passion then switched over to biomechanics in horses – and that’s when I became involved in Equine Massage.

I studied and got certified through Equinology in 2009. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for my life’s work. It is with great passion and energy that I work on horses in this way. I am always interested in new modalities, new problems, and new solutions. Horses are our best and kindest teachers and I love working with them to help their bodies function as well as they can.

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

FOR SALE

From time to time I have some of my own horses for sale, take a look

SUE GRAF
Sue When I was 8 years old, my Dad bought me a pony. He always said it was the worst $65 he ever spent. She was a chestnut mare – a Shetland pony – whose name was Ginger. You can imagine how many times I fell off that pony. But it all begins with a passion. Passion is a funny thing, and for me it’s always been about the 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.   Some things never change. 
Why Massage

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. With the massage first loosening up, then balancing, and finally helping the body to come into symmetry, often the work can help a horse get more comfortable in their body. This is when health and performance often get better and better for horses. A regular bodywork program can be an integral part to a horse’s health and well being plan.

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 many other modalities – western and eastern medicine alike.

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 work on all ages and all disciplines. I’ve worked on horses as young as 3, who are just starting their life in training, to horses as old as 25, who are slowly coming to the end of their careers.

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 compromising multiple muscles and connective tissue in the back and the haunches. 

TESTIMONIALS

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
Bolero is 1000% better!!! His whole back has changed shape and is so much more relaxed. Thanks again.

Judy Westlake

Dressage Trainer
CONTACT

Here's how you can reach me:

  • 949-290-1240
  • Orange and San Diego County, CA

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