The Benefits of Equine Somatics
The benefits of Equine Hanna Somatics are comfort, ease of moment, better circulation to muscles, following your requests more easily, happier, improved conformation/posture, joints move more easily, coordination, precision of movement.
In April 2017, I completed my 3-year training course and am now a Certified Equine Hanna Somatics practitioner. You can schedule a session for your equine friend at your barn for $100/session (within 20 miles of Holland, fees can be arranged for greater traveling distances).
How Do I Know if Equine Hanna Somatics Would Help my Horse?
There are many things that your horse may do that can be a sign of unnecessary muscle tension. Here are a few:
- When leading your horse, does the hoof strike sound heavy, loud on 1 or more hooves?
- When leading your horse, or watching your horse walking, does anything catch your eye that doesn’t look right? For example, I’ve noticed things such as, overuse of head/neck to urge the horse’s body forward when legs/body are stiff.
- Having any difficulty with your horse’s balance when lifting legs to clean hooves?
- Are some joints creakier or stiff or just not moving well?
- Is your horse having problems that aren’t being addressed even after vet/chiro appointments? If muscle tension is the cause, there aren’t many modalities out there that focus on releasing muscle tension with the horse doing the movement like Equine Hanna Somatics does.
Prepping for an Equine Somatics Session
When – pick a good time of day, avoid feeding times; high activity times. Also, pick a day when the horse can have a day “off” after the session to integrate the session into their body.
Where – pick a place your horse is familiar with and the ground is level. It’s best if there aren’t other horses in the immediate vicinity, as in a shared paddock. It’s also recommended that there is room for the owner to hold the lead line and stand in front of the horse, so you can watch your horse for signs of relaxation during the session (licking/chewing, sighing, yawning, quivering lip, lowered head, etc).
What’s a session like?
I’ll do a verbal intake about your horse with you.
Then, I’ll observe your horse walking, moving, and assess what areas might be held in chronic muscular contraction, making movement more difficult/less efficient.
Sessions include a series of leg lifts, where the horse is doing most of the work and slowly releasing down to full rest. This activity lowers muscle tension levels being held in the brain 24/7, even when the muscle is not being used! I also help release tension in the head/neck and tail. Your horse will relax during and after the session. It’s a great idea to let your horse walk a bit afterwards to integrate the new changes in his/her body.