I have access to a lot of therapies for my horses: multiple types of body work, a Bemer set, proprioception pads, poles and more. I love all of them. But at the risk of upsetting my body workers, these therapies don’t work without doing the work to support quality of life in the horse.
If the horse keeps moving in unhealthy ways that continually need repair, these therapies will provide only temporary relief. I believe many types of body work can certainly pave the way toward change, allow muscles to feel better, and help a horse find a path toward better movement – but if you don’t learn to ride the horse in good movement, you will be actively fighting the body work. If you don’t work on your own balance, your horse will have to tighten their neck, shoulders and back to balance you and stabilize their own body. If you don’t learn about teaching your horse to carry themselves in healthy and sustainable postures, your horse will continue dysfunctional movement that requires bodywork repair.
The goal is to let the movement be the therapy- using therapies to assist you in getting there. The therapies are not the end- they are not a get out of jail free card. They are just the beginning.