Those of us fortunate enough to quarantine in the same vicinity as our beloved grass-guzzlers are familiar with social distancing, since isolation is fairly typical—albeit self-imposed—on one’s own farm. It is much easier to manage the comings and goings of vets and farriers and other visitors that require access to the barn, our interactions are limited, and there is always a project to keep us busy. However, the reality is that many riders boarding in commercial barns currently have limited or no access to a pastime that provides the very therapy we all need right now: fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and a mental lift during times of stress.
With that in mind, we wanted to keep the topic light this week and offer something both digestible and useful for those experiencing a pause or an inconsistency in riding: a quick primer on equine body work. Recently, we discovered the advantages of equine rolfing and began incorporating that into our rotation of monthly maintenance routines, even with the occasional visit from our favorite massage therapist. This prompted us to explore the advantages of complementary therapies for the purpose of both preventative and regenerative measures, resulting in the brief glossary below. There is so much more to understand, and so we intend to have an in-depth conversation with experts in each area, for a more comprehensive series on equine body work.
In the meantime, while competitions are on hold until the dust settles, and we school or hack as we are able, perhaps now is an opportune moment to reach out to a local equine therapist to see how your horse can benefit from an extra bit of TLC.