From Endurance to Dressage
Body Work for the Human
It is no secret that I consider bodywork for my equines an integral part of my "program." While I wish both horses could have monthly work, my budget doesn't allow that many visits a year. Izzy sees the bodyworker/chiropractor at least quarterly, and Speedy just got a session after nearly three years.
I used to see a human chiropractor pretty regularly. And then I didn't hurt so much anymore, so the visits went from several times a week to several times a month to several times a year to ... I don't know how long it's been. And once I quit going, I simply couldn't find time for it any more. I've managed a few massages over the past year, and I do a lot of stretching, but nothing was helping the pain that started to develop in my hip.
We recently added a new regular to the ranch, Deborah Goaldman. Deborah's been riding the ranch owner's Thoroughbred mare who doesn't have much of a day job. During a recent conversation done over grooming, I explained the method that CC, the chiropractor who works on my horses, uses. He combines the Masterson Method (lots of stretching and manipulation of the muscles) with traditional chiropractics.
Deborah revealed that she is the owner of Healing Stream Body Wellness, a practice (for humans) that uses "the body's natural healing ability and allows it to self-correct at its own perfect timing." Deborah is a registered practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy® and Reiki Master. That's a mouthful, I know. We talked about what Ortho-Bionomy is, and I was immediately intrigued. Deborah describes her practice this way:
The practitioner uses gentle movement to find and follow a path of greatest comfort and ease in the body. This direction of comfort and ease is the same direction of an overly shortened muscle. The body is positioned to shorten the muscle further and then held with gentle compression for about 30 to 60 seconds. By exaggerating what the body is already doing, the brain becomes more aware of the muscles that are too contracted and sends signals for them to relax.
A session lasts approximately an hour and a half and costs $60. After hearing what the session would entail, I scheduled an appointment with her. My hip has been in near constant pain for the past year and a half, and I was ready to try anything.
I cannot say enough good things about the body work that Deborah did. That was the best hands-on session I have ever had. It was like a yoga class met a chiropractor who then switched to massage but without any pain or sharp movements. The whole thing was relaxing, soothing, and very effective.
As Deborah worked on me, I had to stifle a giggle because her techniques were the exact same ones that I've seen CC use on the horses. Both of them stretch and rotate limbs. Both rock the body to generate movement down the spine and neck (or poll!). And both really listen to and watch their patient for signs of a "release." I of course didn't yawn, roll my third eyelid, snort, blink, or hang my tongue out like the horses do, but I did take enormously deep breaths, and I might have even groaned a bit.
In fact, I enjoyed the session so much and felt such immediate relief of my hip pain that I scheduled a second visit. The walnut-sized knot that has taken residence just above my left my seat bone is now the size of a pea. During that second session, I might have fallen asleep; it was that relaxing.
If you are suffering any body pain due to an injury, stress, or just because sitting the trot is so damn hard, give her a call. I can't guarantee she'll be able to fix what ails you - she already told me she can't improve my sitting trot, but I know you'll at least feel better after a session with her.
Now I know how my horses feel!
Good for you and your horses. Having had a lot of bodywork done for myself and our horses in the past, and also being a first level Reiki practitioner and having studied the Masterson method I recognize the very best of all treatments for body pain and tension. You are very fortunate to have them in your area !!
8/7/2019 04:11:01 pm
I didn't realize it before, but you're right. I am not sure I can ever go back to a traditional massage. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: