Keeping your horse fit year-round is important. In the winter we all slow down and move less, and this can lead to loss of muscle tone and flexibility. When spring arrives our horses want to frolic and get moving again. However, their bodies may not be ready for increased activity, which can lead to early season injuries. Ouch!
To avoid debilitating injuries causing you and your horse to miss the best time to ride and compete, try a simple acupressure session. There are four acupressure points that you can stimulate on both sides of your horse’s body that can help maintain muscle and tendon strength by enhancing enervation and nourishment to those tissues. By supplying the proper energy and enrichment to the muscles and tendons, your horse will be able to incrementally build to his optimal performance level without injury.
The Acupressure Session for Training Chart below shows the four acupressure points and their locations:
How to perform an Acupressure Session
A session incorporates therapeutic intent with the understanding that your connection with your horse is a dynamic energy exchange between two equal partners. It begins with selecting a location that is safe and has few distractions.
Take three deep breaths then rest one hand on your horse wherever it is comfortable. With your other hand place the soft tip of your thumb or two-fingers (see photographs), depending on what is most comfortable for you, on an acupoint shown in the chart.
All of the acupoints on the chart are bilateral; we suggest you work with these points on both sides of your horse. Watch your horse’s reaction to the point work. Healthy energy releases are: yawning, deep breathing, muscle twitches, release of air, and softening of the eye. If your horse is overly reactive to a particular point or exhibits a pain reaction, move on to the next point. Try that point again at a later session.
When you have completed the point work, give your horse a hug, and allow him to rest or turn him out for at least 24 hours for his chi to circulate and replenish his body.
Learn how to use acupressure to treat a variety of conditions in Amy and Nancy’s other articles here on AWG, and in their books on canine, feline and equine acupressure: