Acupressure for Older Horses
It seems no horse appreciates acupressure more than an older horse. After working on quite a few different horses, I’ve come to realize this. Their responses are usually much more pronounced than younger horses (although I’ve had some younger ones really enjoy their acupressure session too!)
If you think about it, older horses are often the ones with more issues. Arthritis is almost a given, their immune systems are usually a bit weaker, and they may be carrying some emotional baggage as well. So it’s really no wonder that they would love a gentle, healing modality such as acupressure.
Of course, I use the term, older loosely here. A 14-year-old horse who’s been competed on nearly all her life could be considered older. A 25-year-old horse would definitely be considered old!
But I thought I’d share a few fairly easy-to-find acupressure points that any older horse will likely benefit from:
Governing Vessel 14
This point is found in the dip just near the base of the mane (directly on top of the neck). It’s great for strengthening the immune system.
Large Intestine 11
This point is found by lifting the front leg and following the crease near the elbow. The point is at the end of this crease. LI 11 supports the immune system and also helps with arthritic conditions.
Found in the center of the dip on the outer hock, this point is known as the “Aspirin” point. It will help to relieve pain anywhere in the body.
Found just above the front part of the shoulder bone, this point is great for arthritis. I almost always use this point when working on older horses.
This one is a little trickier to find, but if the horse is resting one hind leg, it will be easier to locate on that side. It can be found just below the tip of the tibia which is on the outer hind leg, in a small crevice. This point is another one which I use all the time (and not just on older horses). It will help to strengthen the immune system and regulate the circulation of chi (life energy) throughout the body. It’s also very useful for digestive issues, which older horses can be prone to.
Remember when using acupressure, use the forefinger or thumb and apply light pressure for about 15-20 seconds (though longer won’t hurt). Horses will typically show a release of some kind if the point is helping them. They will yawn, lick and chew, sigh, etc. Give these points a try on your older horse and see!
For more information on acupressure, click here.