As it turns out there are alot of different body workers out there, and they work under many different banners or titles, holding lots of different qualifications and lets face it, there isnt really a governing body to hold us accountable or keep us in line. There are a few professional associations some of which arent difficult to join, and only a couple that require ongoing professional development. With so little regulation and so much to choose from how do you know im the right person for the job?
Well firstly, i might not be! I wont ever treat a horse that requires veterinary treatment and a solid diagnoses, and no other bodyworker or manual therapist of any kind should be either. We may often say you have some soreness at x or a potential problem at Y but if you want a definitive diagnoses, and an appropriate treatment plan based upon it then you really do just need to bite the bullet and start with the vet.
I may also not like your horse, or they may not like me, or perhaps the owner is the probpem (lol). Its important that you have a good relationship with the people you choose to have working with your horse. You need to be able to comfortably communicate with them freely at all times, with no fear of saying what needs to be said. If you dont trust your practitioner, and their knowledge and understanding then they are not for you.
Also please be mindful that not all modalitites work in the same way, and your horse may have a preference for a certain type of bodywork. It can take horses that have not had alot of body work some time to adjust to not just the process but also the practitioner. Some modalities require more repeated treatments and others can work very quickly. Its important you understand what youre trying to achieve and a good practitioner will help you understand how best to achieve that and how long it might take (even if that means telling you to call someone else). The very best body workers are not afraid to refer you to other practitioners and professionals as required.
If you are calling a bodyworker to save money on a vet there is a very good chance what you really need is a definitive diagnoses from a vet. A good bodyworker may attend and assess your horse, but if they are really good, they will also tell you that whilst they may be able to alleviate some of the symptoms your horse is presenting, those symptoms will most likely return and often fairly quickly if you dont address the root of the issues. In short, they may be happy to treat your horse to help them for now, but will also tell you to call the vet and get a diagnoses.
A good therapist will be happy to talk about their qualifications, me included. Ive worked hard to accomplish the things i have in my life and if you let me i can quite literally talk about it for hours! If your chosen practitioner is reluctant to discuss where, when or how they achieved their qualifications its likely they have something to hide (this goes for ANY equine professional in any industry). Remember, if your you practitioner isnt qualified they wont have appropriate insurance cover and this leaves both you and your horse unprotected.
No one modality works on every horse, in every case. What works for your friend at ponyclyub may not work for you, what works for your horse ned may not work on your other horse ted, and what works on ted today, may not help ted tomotrow. If you find a practitioner you and your horses like, hang on to them. But dont be afraid t o try new things especially if for some reason your not achieveing the desired results.
Dont get caught up in the most recent fad just because everybody else is doing it. Sure you should try new things, and sure you should continue to use them if they get the desired results but your horses couldnt care less if you’re keeping up with ths joneses.
So i guess the short answer to why me is 50% why not, and 50% maybe not. I am passionate about helping horses, and im not shy about saying what needs to be said, even if perhaps you dont want to hear it. Ive already lost a client or two along the way by telling them things they didnt want to hear and im sure it will happen a few more times too. If you want someone with honesty amd integrity to see your horses, somwone who has a very high level of understanding of the anatomy and physiology of your horse, someone who has studied health and welfare, recovery and rehabilitation, nutrition and pasture management, behaviour and movement, and then gone on to study massage, photonic therapy, tissue mobilisatiin, EMMETT and myofacial release, along with more in the pipeline just to get a taste of it all, because i want all the tools to help all the horses (particulalry the tricky ones), then please reach out to me now and I’ll help you and your horse as best as i can.
And that my friends is really all i can do, and what I promise to do for each and every horse…the very best i can.