Ready for a full summer of riding? Acupressure can help your horse overcome stiffness and get back in shape.
During the summer, we get excited about hitting the trails. Our horses also know it’s time to get out and get going. Most are full of themselves and happy to frolic in the open. Younger horses have no trouble stretching and strengthening their legs in the pasture. They can get back in shape and ready for summer trail rides just by romping in the fields, together with some directed conditioning training. But middle-aged and senior equines need more attention. They are more apt to conserve their energy and aren’t as eager to flex their joints and muscles.
Training and Acupressure
Start slowly and allow your horse to build his strength and flexibility while increasing his endurance. By adding acupressure sessions to your training program, you will further support his conditioning program. The goal of early season training is to avoid injury by carefully and incrementally enhancing the performance of your horse’s muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Offering an acupressure session as part of your grooming regime, before and after exercising your horse, will improve the overall quality of your conditioning program.
Acupoints for Training
Bladder 11 (Bl 11), Great Shuttle –
Used to benefit the health and strength of bones while relaxing muscles, tendons and ligaments. Bladder 11 can ease the discomfort of arthritis and other joint problems, and resolve neck and spinal pain or stiffness.
Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34), Yang Mound Spring –
Commonly used to increase the strength and suppleness of tendons and ligaments. In TCM, the Gall Bladder is closely related to the Liver organ system. The Liver is responsible for providing blood to the muscles and other regions of the body as needed for proper movement. Stimulating this point means the muscles and their connective tissues receive nourishment while toxins are removed.
Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), Big Vertebra –
Benefits the spine and forelimbs while also supporting the horse’s immune system. It is known to help replenish nutrients and relax the tendons and ligaments (“sinews”).
Heart 7 (Ht 7), Spirit’s Gate –
Offers a host of benefits for both the horse’s spirit and body; it helps with the circulation of blood and chi while also clearing and calming the mind. It can be used to reduce heat in the body and support the movement and health of the shoulder, fetlock and hoof.
You want your horse to be healthy and fit so he can enjoy riding throughout the season. It’s up to you to help him feel his best so you can share many spirited hours of riding. Acupressure is an effective and simple way to support the health and well being of your equine friend.
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual. They own Tallgrass Publishers, which offers acupressure books, DVDs and meridian charts for horses, dogs, and cats. They also founded Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, which provides hands-on and online training courses worldwide, including a Practitioner Certification Program. animalacupressure.com or firstname.lastname@example.org