Equine Massage Helps in Horse’s Recovery

by jennygott

Karen and Ravi. Picture taken by Country Imagery

Karen and Ravi. Picture taken by Country Imagery

Animal’s Name: Rockin’ Ravi

Barn Name: Ravi

Breed: Holsteiner           Age: 13

Discipline: Hunter / Eventing

Ravi’s Person: Karen

Karen and Ravi have been a team for the last four years and started competing about a year later in hunter and eventing. While they love competing, their biggest goal and achievement is about their personal relationship and being on the same page. This will make perfect sense after you hear Karen’s answer when asked about her favorite class, “I don’t have a favorite. Anything that we do where we’re totally in sync is great –there’s no better feeling!” I imagine that many horse people can appreciate and understand exactly what she means. Ravi seems to be most comfortable and engaged in Hunter competitions, indicating that they’re his favorite….plus, “the fences are a little less scary!”, says Karen.

“Anytime, we stay together as one unit is a top achievement! We like to challenge the status quo, which gets this older rider in trouble now and again. We’ve done hunters, low level jumping and dressage and earned a championship in hunters though it is unrecognized. We once entered a jumper class where all the jumps were crazy colors and different from what we normally school and Ravi went around like a trouper. I was very proud of him that day.” These two are a wonderful example of what a horse and rider team should be; respectful, compassionate and patient. I’m honored that Animal Intuition gets to be part a small part of it all. Ravi is a gentle soul and it’s always a joy to work on him and with him.

Karen’s husband, Mark, visits the barn nearly every week. When Ravi hears Mark’s voice his ears perk up and he gets a light in his eyes because he knows he’s going to get extra pampering, special treats and even more grazing time than normal. It’s lovely that Karen’s family is supportive and involved in Ravi’s life. Of course, it’s clear that Ravi gets lots of pampering and shares both work and leisure time with his people, which is likely what makes for such a great team. Karen says, “They love to just ‘be’ together. There’s nothing better for peace of mind. He trusts me and I trust him.” If you’re heart is bulging with love just a little by now, check your pulse. Our clients are amazing and remind us daily of the wonderful, kind and gentle animal-loving people in the world. Thank you Karen and family!

So, you might be wondering how we came to be part of Ravi’s care team. Well, Ravi injured himself last summer. There was no detectable swelling on any limb, nothing showed up on x-rays, he was just “off.” After six months of just walking under saddle, vet bills and a trying a few other things, Karen decided to try massage ….and she said, “it made a huge difference!” It looked like Ravi was carrying himself in a protective way to prevent re-stressing the injury, compensating and over using other areas of his body. The initial weekly course of massage loosened the muscles to

Ortho Ease Massage Oil helps soothe sore muscles.

Ortho Ease Massage Oil helps soothe sore muscles.

where he could carry himself properly again, as well as relieve pent us stress and tension he was carrying. Ravi didn’t go from lame to perfectly healthy instantly but after several weekly massages, which included aromatherapy using essential oils to help manage discomfort and potential swelling, he was much better. Karen brought him back into work slowly and they’re now jumping again. He’s fit and back to moving well, taking long strides and distributing his weight evenly. “I still have Animal Intuition out to give Ravi ‘maintenance’ massages, helping prevent injuries and keep him loose and mobile. It’s in his best interest and mine. I want to keep him healthy and moving well. After all, he’s carrying me around”, Karen remarks. One more thing that Karen noted since her experience in having us help Ravi recover, “consider massage earlier in the process if your horse is not feeling sound and to help in recovery. The muscles have to be loose for your horse to move correctly…..just like for us riders to ride properly”.

This team has some future goals that they’re looking forward to achieving, especially now that Ravi is healed and healthy. Karen said, “I’d like to show in some of the Red Pine Horse Association shows this summer and maybe go to some eventing clinics or the Long Lake Hunter Pace. And, also, we have a goal for both of us to stay healthy!” These sound like some fantastic goals for both of them. We’re all about healthy horses and love that they’ve got some new things to shoot for too. We wish you the best as you tackle all you set out to do!