Horses are remarkable self healers. They have been healing themselves long before anyone could say, "Call the vet!”.
If you provide the pathway for the body to engage in passive physio, this can help our horses maintain physical fitness, and overcome injury.
Make no mistake, I use the vet when needed too. What I am saying is though, our horses possess remarkable ability to heal themselves, but we need to facilitate it.
You might ask why.
Firstly, by nature our horses naturally hide discomfort or pain -- The weak one gets eaten by the lion so they hide it. It’s only later on in the safety of the resting herd that the horses can then practice passive physio.
In nature, passive physio and preventative muscle building is achieved through varying terrain, water crossings, and up hill, downhill movement, variable feeding, fighting, procreation and foraging.
Our domestic horses are often denied these basic, natural and everyday habits and in addition required to work in ill fitting gear, poor posture and pain.
Before long our domestic horses reach a stage of shut down, which is a protective mechanism.
We had a passive physio day at our 21 day clinic, and you can see how the horses chose to move, or rest in seemingly ‘uncomfortable’ positions.
The horses were not made to stay in these positions, they were offered to them, and allowed to move when they desired, often staying for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
The water is always a favourite, all that splashing is a wonderful range of motion for the thoracic sling, front legs, shoulders and stabilisers.
This is another form of consent, listening and observation.
For the Horse!