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Wizard Ride 169: The Spa

August 18, 2010

Spa day for Tabitha

Saturday, 8/14/10

The Spa in August… No, not The Spa as in Saratoga, the spa as in Wizard’s wonderful massage session!

My friend is working on her equine massage certification and has been practicing on a variety of horses. On Saturday, Wizard was a lucky recipient. This was his first-ever massage, but he was familiar with body work since the chiropractor has worked on him several times over the past year and a half. Basically, it was adhesions on the left and muscle soreness on the right. On the left side, my friend found adhesions on the left side on his shoulder, tensor fascia latae, and fascia latae. On the right side, there was some muscle soreness in the shoulder, glutes, biceps, femoris, tensor fascia latae, fascia latae, semi tendinous, semimembranous, and inside thigh, as well as a few spots on neck and back. Click here for muscle groups. All of the areas she found went hand-in-hand with the issues the chiropractor has found in the past, as well as the issues I feel under-saddle. A few times, Wizard backed away when she was working on the sore spots, but he also sighed, licked, and chewed when things felt good. He’s so expressive.

The big test of the massage was how he felt afterwards. I rode for about 20-30 minutes and he felt GREAT! The ride was simple and relaxed, working in a loose and forward frame. I encouraged him to stretch as much as possible since his muscles had just been worked on. The biggest thing I felt about the ride was that I was able to maintain my own position extremely effectively, and I deduce that it was because he was more comfortable. He was straighter and stronger than usual. He comfortably picked up each lead in just two tries.

There was an S-curve of jumps set up in the outdoor arena, first two cross rails and lastly a small vertical. I started out warming up over the X and then put together the S-curve, trotting to get the correct lead if he was on the wrong one. Our work with the trot-in and canter-out poles is helping him learn distances. He took a long distance a few times, which is fine by me since it felt confident and comfortable.

The results of the massage were clear and it was a good indication that a horse like Wizard responds nicely to body work. It also spoke volumes for my friend’s hard work!

Wizard and Me

Wizard and Me

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