As you guys have probably read, I have been a bit concerned about Tia's back right hip. She seems to be sticky through her stifle area and really doesn't seem to have much ability to bend..at all. Now, I know how to treat a stifle injury. Straight lines, poles and hills. Got it. But, my brain wasn't to sure that was just what was going on. I started thinking, "you know, her sudden mood swings, the kicking, the not bending, the running from pressure, I wonder if this is ALL pain related?" So, when Nikki said her Massage Therapist was coming out for Ber Ber, I asked if she would be willing to take a look at Tia as well.
Before I go any further, I just want to say, I have never been much for equine massage therapy. I know it works on some horses and a lot of people swear by it. If you would have asked me if I used a massage therapist I probably would have laughed at you....Not Anymore! Having April take a look at Tia was the best decision ever. EVER!
(For those interested, here is April's website. She was super nice, treated Tia with the utmost respect, talked to her the entire time, extremely friendly and down to earth. I really liked her, and so did Tia!)
April started at her front end and ended with her back end. From getting her to pop her neck, working out three huge knots in her neck, stretching her legs, working on her stifle/hip area and stretching the back legs and we must not forget Tia's favorite stretch...the wither stretch! I have never seen this mare as relaxed as she was last night.
After Tia was done, I had to run and give a lesson so I couldn't stay, I was told she went right to sleep in her stall while April worked on two other horses.
Now, I need you all to really realize something. When this mare first came home, she was flighty, scared and refused to do anything she didn't want to do, which included picking up her feet. Last night, she picked up and let April stretch out all four feet with no fight at all. There were a few times last night that I got a little teary eyed. She has come such a long way. There is no way April would have been able to work with her right after I got her without me feeling like I was putting April in danger. She really is turning out to be a nice mare with tons of potential.
That being said, I am now an advocate for Equine Massage Therapy. If you feel your horse is off, stiff, or just not themselves, have an EMT come out and just check them over. More times then not, its something small that can be fixed for a lot less money then the vet will charge just for the farm call!
I made the right decision for Tia. And I do believe that Tia thanks me for it!