Imagine this concept for a moment: an animal whose natural way of movement is severely compensated by the addition of a rider and saddle on its back. In addition, its hooves are carved in a geometric configuration that we deem to be "correct" to ensure durability and stability for our purposes. Now to get a clear understanding of the impact of this relationship on the muscular skeletal system of the horse, imagine yourself with an ill-fitting backpack, a considerable load that is constantly shifting, and a pair of shoes that do not fit. Now imagine how your body would feel physically and emotionally after hours trekking in the hills! Think you might enjoy a therapeutic massage session?
The horse has brought sheer joy and love to people all over the planet for thousands of years. For this reason, it is my intention to bring one of the top healing modalities, with a 100 year old history in the USA, to the global equine community. As a former anatomy instructor at one of the top massage schools in America, it is very apparent that the horse benefits hugely both physically and mentally from various forms of bodywork. It makes perfect anatomical and physiological sense. As an endurance rider who has kept Arabians in his backyard as well as Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, I have experienced first hand the benefits of regular Cranial Sacral therapy, Structural Integration work and other forms of physical therapy for the equine athlete. They stay emotionally and physically sounder if bodywork is added weekly to their regimen. And who better to administer this work then their "owners" who have an intimate relationship with them. Many of us use every means possible to insure their mental and physical performances remain in tip top shape, but often neglect a form of physical therapy, which is as important as nutritional supplementation. If the equine athlete is pushed to extremes, the need is even greater!
I have been an equestrian most of my life and everything I know that principles that apply to people are applicable to the horse. To a sensitive rider, the value of SI work on the horse is both physically and emotionally obvious. Performing Structural Integration on both horse and rider enhances their interaction and can create a new level of harmony between them. Equine cranial sacral and myofascial trigger point work are brilliant and effective forms of physical therapy for restoring normal function and range of motion for the equine athlete. Most importantly, the horses deeply appreciate this form of communication and compassion with us. It creates a whole new realm that enhances our relationships with them. It is a magnificent approach that allows us to give back to them for all that they have done and continue to do for us.
Judah Lyons has been practicing and bodywork for over two decades. He is an avid horseman and guitarist.
Judah Lyons is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.