When you are familiar with how your horse feels and acts on a daily basis, it is much easier to take charge of your horse care before major problems arise.
Whether you have an equine bodyworker check your horse regularly, or you do it yourself, it could mean the difference between giving your horse a couple of days off active duty and months of recovery time from a serious injury that you didn't know about until it was too late.
How often do you scan your horse from head to tail? Do you see your horse every day...
once a week...
twice a month? When you go see your horse, do you just feed, brush and ride? Or do you spend a few minutes to scan your horse, running your hands over them and looking for changes from your previous visits? As an equine massage therapist, there have been several occasions that I was the first line of defense for my equine clients.
It is my job and I have been trained to make note of subtle differences in muscle tone and slight imbalances in a horse's body.
I can often detect the tell-tale signs of a very recent strain that may become more serious if it is not addressed.
My clients know they can count on me to let them know if I find anything unusual with their equine partners.
Don't leave your horse care to chance.
There is no reason why every horse owner can't learn to identify these subtle changes in their horses as well.
It is simply a matter of paying attention to detail and setting aside about 2 minutes each time you visit your horse to just run your hands and eyes over them.
Really soak in what your are seeing and feeling.
Notice the lumps and bumps, the slightly tighter muscle on side versus another.
Make mental notes of all the things you find each time and whether they are always present.
This is they key to early detection of problems and proactive horse care.
Know what is normal for your horse and familiarize yourself with basic equine first aide.
If you notice something strange going on in your horse's body or behaviors, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.
Veterinarians are much more tolerant of the caring horse owner that is being proactive with their horse's health than you might think.
They are usually happy to talk to you about any concerns you might have with your horse.
They'd rather get the call from you early on and nip problems in the bud.
So the next time you are out at the barn visiting your horse ask yourself, "Did I touch my horse today?".