Equine Back Soreness
OH MY ACHIN’ BACK: Acupressure for Your Horse's Sore Back
Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis
Horses are not really designed to carry heavy loads on their backs. Their muscles and the bone structure of the spinal column are sensitive to pressure. Hence, they cannot perform properly and comfortably when overly stressed. Domesticated horses have suffered the role of “beasts of burden” for centuries. And, acupressure can help your horse recover from lower back soreness.
Riders now know that the first line of defense in avoiding back pain is careful saddle fitting. Additionally, training that assures that the back muscles are engaging smoothly for impulsion, consistent natural hoof care, and regular bodywork are also needed.
Adding acupressure-massage to your horse-care regimen every fourth or fifth day can make a world of difference for your horses’ comfort and your enjoyment of your equine sport.
Use gentle (about 1 pound of pressure) direct thumb pressure to the points shown below. Begin your acupressure session with the opening protocol of tracing the bladder meridian 3 times both sides. Then start with Bl 23. Locate this point by finding the caudal edge of the last rib and drawing a ling upwards to dorsal process about 3 inches lateral to the midline, that is Bl 23. Stimulate this point for 20-40 seconds, begining with gentle pressure and adding more as the horse allows or until you feel a release at this point. Move to GV 4, directly on the dorsal midline and complete the session by working the Bai Hui point, on the dorsal midline at the lumbo sacral joint.