I’m sure im not the only horse owner who has heard the term ‘it cant do any harm’ or similar. But the truth is it absolutely can. The worrisome part is that its often said by my fellow therapists. So lets talk for a minute about why it matters.
So for those of you who know me personally you would know im quite active. I train weights at the gym, i like to run at mooloolaba and im also a bit partial to climbing mount coolum. So i often see a chiropractor, physio and masseuse myself (ps. If you use these professionals on your horses you should absolutely be trying them for yourself to gain a better understanding of the benefits of these various therapies, and when and how you might use or not use them).
Now for the interesting part….twice in the last 12 months ive had ‘just a massage’, you know the ones that cant do any harm…..
In one instance i had an over zealous masseuse work on my glutes with such gusto that i was unable to run for near 6 months without pain or discomfort. I saw the physio and had a rehab program to follow and it took quite some time to recover fully. But it was just a massage..
The second time i had a masseuse go in a little hard on my shoulder, and likely had i had the oppurtunity to rest it some mild soreness would have been the end of it however i followed it up with a pretty hectic work week and here i am 2 months later seeing a physio, banned from lifting weights at the gym, taped up and facng potential down time from working.
This also highlights a need for some downtime after a session, and knowing when your horse is telling you to back off.
So choose your therapist wisely. Read their reviews, get recommendations from friends, avoid the witch doctors and quick fixes or gadgets and gizmo’s , ask about their education, ask about their insurance, and most importantly ask them to talk you through the, why and how of their particular treatments. A good therapist’s will always have time to answer your questions.
Its important to understand that sometimes your horse will feel worse before they feel better. Its also important to understand that you as the owner have the right to halt treatment immediately for any reason if you choose to do so. Do not be afraid to ask a therapist (or any other equine professional for that matter), to stop, explain themselves, or leave if it comes to it. If something isnt right, you know your horse better than anybody else.
So take the time to get to know your therapy, and the provider. Understand that one bad review doesnt make a bad therapist nor do many good ones give you any guarantees. Take the time to make the choice that feels right for you and your horses!
As always, happy horsing!