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  • Writer's pictureElisse Miki

No Amount of Bodywork...

Can undo training styles that create physiological distress in the system or that encourage poor biomechanics.

A little while back I wrote a blog on the relationship between Therapy and Horsemanship with Josh Nichol, A Horseman's Pursuit. This importance cannot be highlighted enough.

No amount of bodywork can undo training styles that create physiological distress in the system or that encourage poor biomechanics.

What this means is I cannot help you if your horse is consistently being trained in inverted or imbalanced postures. It can become a vicious cycle of working on the physiological structures only to have it all undone the same week by reverting back to old movement patterns or worse yet, training that encourages poor biomechanics. How your horse feels about your training will be the ultimate determining factor how well (or not) their body will be able to hold the bodywork accomplished.

The horse always has the final say on if what we are doing is working or not and their physical body never lies. Sadly, I have treated many horses whose owners have reported “excellent” training but when I assess their bodies that is not the story that is found to be true. This is why I stand firm in my values around assessment as many of the measures such as active and passive range of motion leave less room for subjective interpretation. The tissues will present, move, and feel as they do. A healthy vital body will feel as such and the latter is true for dysfunction.

So, the next time you may wonder why your horse seems to keep reverting back to old patterns or just never seems to get better, it’s time to take a look at the ways in which you and others are handling your horse, right down to basic haltering and leading.

All of these skills set the foundation and tone for healthy functional movements and the reason behind our new Bodywork and Horsemanship clinics created by myself and Kylie Bartel, Counseling Therapist and Rider Mindset Coach, who has apprenticed under Josh Nichol.

Working with a trainer that understands what sound physiological movement is supposed to look and feel like is key for creating lasting change and honoring the needs of your horse.

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