Island of Heart Surrounded by the Sea of Intuition
horse massage / chiro basics
I was wanting to learn a little about horse massage and
chiropractics that I could do myself. I have looked into going to some classes for training but everything I see cost way more than I want to spend and I can't take off for weeks at a time and stay in another city while I take a class.
Are there any good books or videos or inexpensive classes that you guys know of?
Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks in Advance
The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!
Crazy, I am sending you a PM with some possible options. For a touch-based skill like massage, you really need in-person guidanace to get you going, even just to be able to do a bit for your own horses.
For chiro, regardless of how many weekend courses are out there claiming to qualify one to do this sort of work, the risk of permanent damage to the horse is great enough that I feel it is inappropriate for lay people to attempt adjustments. You really do need all the background education that a DVM/chiro (or possibly a good human chiro who has gotten good equine training, i.e., more than a course a few days long, though I personally prefer to use a DVM).
Courses like the ones you describe exist in the form that they do (time consuming, expensive, etc) because learning massage and chiropractic well is not simple and is best done under qualified supervision. I think books are great for learning theory and understanding why techniques exist the way they do, but I would be very hesitant to recommend a book or video as a way to learn the "how" of these practices. If you are looking for simple exercises to do between your regular chiropractor or massage appointments, your chiropractor/massage therapist will most likely have good tips for you and can show you how to do them appropriately (carrot stretches, leg stretches, tail stretches etc). For theory, I really like a little spiral bound book called "Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses" by Jack Meagher. Very interesting read.
Crazy...I have a great 3 day Hands On Course at my place in May that teaches you FEEl as well as where to work/where not to work/what muscle syou're working on, etc. The 4th day class also teaches you saddle fit basics, common ailments (and how massage can help), My Proven Rehab Therapies-for EPM, arthritis, cold and sway back horses, and Biomechanics-taught by Dr. Nancy Nicholson-author of 'Biomecanics of the Dressage Horse and Rider". I've added this to my curriculum, because even though you know the rehab therapies...if that horse isn't working CORRECTLY, then it won't be as helpful, and work as quickly!
I also, if you cannot leave for 3-4 days, have a great Basic Equine Massage DVD that teaches you the Basics-for beginners! It's only $40 inc s/h.
I've been a CESMT since 1999, and teaching this since 2006. I have many students all over the country, and even in Alaska! You can check my site for before/after pics, my students and their sites, to see how they're doing, etc. Happy to answer any questions for you, now and especially after the class.