Have you noticed that there is a rapidly increasing industry around fixing horses muscles and bone problems?
And have you noticed that you have to KEEP on having your horse attended to with body work, to keep them happy and performing well?
Why is that?
Why do horses need so much body work to perform successfully, to keep going, to not break down? And hey… please be aware that I’ve had a whole career fixing horses muscles and bones and I know how much body work they DO need, to perform well.
AND I know how many talented people there are out there fixing them up for you and what a great job they do and how useful they are!
WHY do our horses need so much body work?
You can’t see me shaking my head here while I’m writing. Because most of you aren’t going to like what I’m going to say and even so… it still needs sayiing.
99 point something percent of horses need body work because 99 point something percent of horses are not being ridden properly. The things that most of us were taught about riding has sooo… not been useful to our horse (my dry Aussie understatement of the year) and has made it so much more difficult for our horse to carry us with strength and ease. I already talked about how we can change that in an earlier blog. Here is that article if you haven’t seen it yet.
Here is the other cause.
99 point something percent of horses need body work because 99 point something percent of horses are carrying unnecessary emotional stresses and tensions that are then reflected as muscular-skeletal problems. Nobody taught us THAT either.
If you sit back and think about it, you’ll notice it for yourself. Have you ever been really stressed at work and had those muscles over the top of your shoulders get all tight and tense and end up giving you a headache or really bad neck pain? The bottled up emotions leads to stress, leads to tension, leads to muscular cramping, leads to bones out of alignment, leads to the pain in the neck and eventually a headache, all of which leads to bad moods and even temper tantrums.
Horses have the same emotions to stress to tension to muscular cramping to pulling bones out of alignment pathway that we do. But they can’t scream at their boss and quit their job, take two asprin and go and lie down. And their temper tantrums have huge repercussions for us – we can get hurt.
For me it used to get so bad, that I needed massive pain killers, lots of body work and many multiple visits to the chiropractor to put things right again.
I didn’t know back then, that the links between those neck and shoulder muscles and my lower back muscles had both of ends of my body reflecting that emotional stress and tension in similar ways. Be aware that it is the same for a horse too. Anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of how that happens, is welcome to ask me in the comments below.
Well I do things differently these days. I understand that fixing THE CAUSE of the tension in my body is the most effective way of feeling good overall. It’s sooo… fast and sooo… effective.
And fixing the cause of the emotional tension in our horse is the fastest way to their good health and well being too.
The bottom line is, that 99 point something percent of horses need a heap of body work because nobody taught us how to systematically change the cause.
You can fix a horses back until the cows come home, but if you aren’t fixing the cause of the problem, then you may as well get a match and burn your money up – at least that way it would keep you warm.
So how do we do that?
As important as it is to fix old problems, we’ll get to that later – because how to avoid NEW problems is more of a priority I think. How we can avoid the emotional stresses that cascade into tension to muscular cramping to pulling bones out of alignment?
It’s simple – help your horse to live the routine of their lives without stress and anxiety.
Stop the emotional upset way back at the beginning and you wouldn’t even have to worry about the stress and tension and muscular cramping and bones out of alignment, hey? I know that’s a kind of a derrrr answer, but the simplest solutions are very often the best solutions.
So how can we do that?
I give you the big picture answer in those FREE LESSONS The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse on the Training Programs page here. You use your own unique connection to your horse (The First Key) to notice when they are afraid or stressed and take action to help them develop a comfort zone with this part of their routine (The Second Key), using your early warning signal that I call Not Quite Right (The Fourth Key) as a practical inner guidance system to help you to help your horse.
If you’ve had them before and want to refresh your memory on The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse and can’t find them easily, just email me and I’ll organize for you to get them again.
I see unhappy, stressed horses everywhere I look.
I see horses carrying tension when they have their feet done – there is the cascade of emotional stress to muscular tension to bones out of alignment starting right there.
I see horses getting tight and tense when they are being saddled. There is another cascade of emotional stress to muscular tension to bones out of alignment starting right there.
I see horses tight and tense about being haltered or bridled. Does your horse drop his nose happily into the halter and into the bridle? Because if they don’t, there is yet another cascade of emotional stress to muscular tension, eventually pulling bones out of alignment.
Floats and trailers and traveling is yet another issue. I see horses getting on floats and trailers that are stressed about that – another start of another cascade that takes away our horses mental emotional and physical well being.
I see horses out of their comfort zone when a rider gets on and because of that, NOT lifting their back up to carry their rider with strength and ease. 99 point something percent of horses I see are not carrying their rider with strength and ease. 99 point something percent of horses are carrying their riders with an arched back that will be causing the horses physical damage.
I can go on and on and on and bore the crap out of you – slight claustrophobia waking through gates, rugs, when we pull on the reins to stop because so many of us were taught to pull on the reins to stop.
Then there’s the way we train them. OMG how we “train” them – that is the biggest cause of the cascade of emotional stress to muscular tension to eventually pulling bones out of alignment.
Some of these causes of emotional stress are big – like the training issue. Some of them are little – like a horse who is a bit worried about the rug on a windy day – but every single one of these causes adds on to the next until we have a big fat muscular skeletal problem and a horse with a bad back.
Sooo… here’s the BIG but simple answer folks – you can PREVENT a horse from having problems with tight tense backs and bones out of place by systematically eliminating all the causes of emotional stress in their lives – by step by step, practically and systematically addressing each and every cause of tension and getting all of these activities into your horse’s comfort zone.
That sounds like a big job.
Well yeeesss… but not that big really in terms of a lifetime of mental emotional and physical well being. It’s an enjoyable job and an incredibly awesomely rewarding job that will bring both you and your horse enormous happiness.
AND the more we do, the faster and faster and easier it gets to do.
And of course… you don’t have to go there – you can always keep on doing things the same way …
The best blogs are a conversation. So please… PLEASE… join in the conversation in the comments below. Even if it’s just to tell me that you think I’m full of it! 🙂
In the next blog, we’re going to talk about how you can clear up OLD CAUSES of that cascade of ill health that has resulted in a horse’s emotional stresses and muscular tension and bones being out of alignment.