Leverage and Leaning
By leaning against the horse's body as you perform the
massage techniques, you use your body weight to
apply the pressure. You NEVER want to push into a
muscle. Pushing not only will fatigue your own body, it
can also cause damage to the horse's muscles by
applying too much force.
The proper way to lean can be accomplished by putting
the majority of your weight onto one foot - which will be
your "back foot". You will need to stand facing your
horse with your spine straight and your feet shoulder
width apart with your legs slightly bent at the knee. Place
one foot slightly behind and one foot slightly in front of the
other. It is important to put your weight onto the "back
foot" and use the front foot for balance and stability.
Using the arm opposite of your "back foot" to apply the massage techniques will help keep your spine straight
and provide the leverage you will need. Using proper leaning technique will also help keep you from applying too
much pressure by "pushing" into a muscle instead of leaning and allowing the muscle to relax. If you use the
arm on the same side as the "back foot" you will probably find yourself pushing into the muscles by using
strength instead of leverage. And, you will most likely be twisting your spine.
So, if your left foot is your "back foot", you will use
your right arm to apply the massage technique and
vice versa. Be sure to tuck your pelvis under by
tightening your abdominal muscles so that you will
flatten your back. This is very important. If your
back is arched, you will cause strain to the
muscles and pressure on your lower spine.
I realize this can be a little hard to follow. Hopefully,
the photo will give you a good idea of how to "lean"
properly. If you are a visual person, I will also be
discussing body mechanics during the video
demonstrations of the techniques. (Videos coming
soon - if you would like to be notified when the
videos are available, please join the email list ).
You can practice leaning on the wall before practicing on your horse. It will help you to get the hang of it before
trying it on your horse. That way you can concentrate on learning this technique correctly without having to worry
about getting stepped on or kicked by your horse.
Once you have mastered the proper way to stand, there are some things you will want to keep in mind about the
proper way to use your body.
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended
to replace professional opinions or recommendations.
Consult your veterinarian for advice about any medical condition or
treatment needed for your horse
One of the most important things to remember when performing massage techniques on your horse is to use
your body as leverage. You accomplish this by leaning