This simple acupressure session will help your horse adjust as the colder temperatures of winter move in!
As night temperatures dip and the chill lasts longer into the day, a horse’s coat begins to naturally thicken in preparation for the coming winter. Horses also instinctively know to increase their grass consumption in order to enhance the body fat they need to sustain them through the colder months. Physically, then, our domesticated horses are no different than horses in the wild. Preparing for seasonal shifts is part of their evolutionary DNA.
The only difference between wild and domesticated horses is that we need to pay attention to their needs and comforts as temperatures drop. Giving your horses enough feed to meet their increased demand for more nourishment is critical, while making sure they have sufficient exposure to the cold helps their coats grow thick and lustrous. By allowing your horses to adapt to seasonal change as naturally as possible, you are supporting their well-being.
Help from Chinese medicine
Horses aren’t as inclined to dash around the fields and paddocks during the winter because they need to preserve their internal heat. In Chinese medicine, retaining internal heat during the colder times of the year is essential for proper internal organ function. These organs nourish the bodily tissues from the tip of the horse’s nose to the very edge of the hind hoof.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers us a treasure trove of guidance on how to help horses maintain their body heat and withstand cold. The body’s heat is life-promoting energy called “chi”. Maintaining a harmonious flow of chi and circulation of nourishing blood is the best way to keep your horses happy and healthy.
Try a Tui Na session
Offering your horse acupressure-massage (Tui Na in Chinese) every three or four days as part of your grooming regimen provides the necessary circulation of chi and nutrients to keep his body well-nourished and consistently warm his organ systems.
Tui Na (pronounced “tway nah”) can help your horse adapt to the colder weather and is intended to help balance all the energy pathways or channels throughout his body. The more his energy is balanced, the better his chi and blood will circulate.
A hands-on technique
The Jing-Well Points shown in the chart circle the coronary band on the horse’s four legs. All of the major energy channels where chi flows begin or end at the coronary band. These points are where the horse’s chi is most accessible. The Jing-Well Points are known to balance the energy of the entire body.
Use the soft tip of your thumb to slowly and gently, yet with intent, rub downward three times on each of the acupressure points shown in the chart. Circle the coronary band, including behind the heel bulb, three times on each leg. This Tui Na session will help your horse enjoy his transition to the increasing chill of late fall and winter.