By: Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis
As the riding season begins go slowly and allow your horse to build his strength and flexibility while increasing his endurance. By adding acupressure sessions to your training regime you will be further supporting 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 prior to and post exercising your horse will improve the overall quality of your conditioning program.
Acupressure, by supporting the body’s natural capacity to create and circulate chi and blood, can help prevent early season injuries while also increasing your horse’s comfort during well-paced fitness training. By applying light pressure to the acupressure points you are helping to provide nourishment to specific bodily tissues while also removing toxins that can build up while training.
The acupressure session provided in this article can be used for any age of horse, but it is especially important for middle-aged and senior horses. All horses need to increase their flexibility by enhancing lubrication of their joints while also enhancing the suppleness of their tendons, ligaments and muscles for good conditioning.
Acupressure Session for Training
Bladder 11 (Bl 11), Great Shuttle – This point is used to benefit the health and strength of bones while also relaxing muscles, tendons and ligaments. Bladder 11 can ease the discomfort of arthritis, joints, as well as resolve neck and spinal pain or stiffness.
Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34), Yang Mound Spring – Gall Bladder 34 is 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 regions of the body as needed for proper movement. The muscles and their connective tissues are receiving nourishment and toxins are being removed by stimulating Gall Bladder 34.
Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), Big Vertebra – This point benefits the spine and forelimb while also supporting the horse’s immune system. Additionally, it is known to help replenish nutrients and relax the tendons and ligaments (“sinews”).
Heart 7 (Ht 7), Spirit’s Gate – Heart 7 offers a host of benefits for both the horse’s spirit and body since it helps with the circulation of blood and chi while also clearing and calming his mind. It can be used to reduce heat in the body along with supporting the movement and health of the shoulder, fetlock, and hoof.