Being in the human world causes a horse’s stress levels to increase and a complete return to homeostasis is not always possible. Homeostasis is when the nervous system is in the most relaxed state. In the wild the horse’s nervous system is regularly in homeostasis, because being in a herd is natural, stabilising and normal. A body that is subjected to ongoing stress will be more susceptible to illness and injury and the horse-human partnership suffers.
Equine Hanna Somatics, Equine Massage and Equine Acupressure are gentle, natural, holistic methods that help domesticated horses regulate their stress levels, improve physical comfort and functionality and facilitate the body healing itself. By adopting a proactive approach to supporting mind and body health, it results in a healthier more willing equine and a closer animal/human bond, which means more fun together and longevity. Also if illness and injury can be avoided it means less vet bills and worry!
Furthermore ridden horses are the equivalent of human athletes and as it is the norm for human athletes to have bodyworkers helping support and maintain their musculoskeletal systems in optimum health and functionality, surely our equine athletes deserve this too? For their wellbeing, but also from a welfare perspective. Equine Sports are increasingly under public scrutiny and the concern for the welfare of ridden horses is growing. Including equine therapies and natural compassionate training methods that support our horses’ physical and mental wellbeing demonstrates commitment and awareness of taking the best care of our equines AND it helps address the growing Social licence issue (Social Licence is the public's acceptance of horses being ridden and taking part in equestrian sport).
No as long as the horse is in good health and the treatment is for maintenance/wellbeing. Ref: November 2020 update: The new RCV guidance found in Chapter 19 of the supporting guidance: 19.24 states:
" 19.24 Musculoskeletal maintenance care for a healthy animal, for instance massage, does not require delegation by a veterinary surgeon. However, the animal must still be registered with a veterinary surgeon. Maintenance should cease and the owner of the animal should be asked to take their animal to a veterinary surgeon for clinical examination at the first sign that there may be any underlying injury, disease or pathology. Alternatively, the musculoskeletal therapist may ask the client for formal consent to disclose any concerns to the veterinary surgeon that has their animal under their care.".
It is however courteous to inform your veterinarian to keep them updated with the steps you take to support your horse’s wellbeing.
Where necessary I will work in close collaboration with your veterinarian and other equine professionals to support the complete health of your horse.
If your horse is lame or in anyway displaying signs of illness or injury a veterinarian MUST see your horse before any Equine Bodyworkers or Equine Therapists. This includes: Equine Physiotherapy, Equine Chiropractic, Equine McTimoney Chiropractic, Equine Musculoskeletal Therapy, Equine Massage Therapy, Equine Bowen Therapy, Equine Myofascial Release, Equine Acupressure, Equine Feldenkrais, Equine Hanna Somatics. This list of therapies and modalities is not exhaustive.