Post-Performance Acupressure for Horses
It’s almost summer–the time of year all of us horse people look forward to! The hours of daylight are growing longer and we can spend that extra time in the saddle or at the barn, enjoying our equine friends.
When I was a competitive barrel racer, summer was when I hit the road the most, and I often went to rodeos or jackpots a couple times a week. I didn’t know about acupressure for horses then, but I wish I had. It’s a great tool for equine athletes.
Acupressure is very beneficial for helping a horse wind down after competition. It can relax the muscles as well as ease pain and stiffness throughout the body. It’s safe and gentle, but deceptively powerful–especially if used on a regular basis.
For a review of what acupressure is and how to apply it, see this post.
I recommend these post-performance acupressure points:
Lung 1: (bilateral) Located in a depression in the middle of the pectoral muscle. This point relieves fatigue and strengthens the lungs.
Large Intestine 4: (bilateral) Found just under the inside of the ‘knee’, slightly below and behind the top of the splint bone. This point relieves pain in the body and specifically targets neck, shoulder, foreleg, facial, and mouth pain. It is also good for calming.
Bai Hui: Located in the ‘spongy’ depression where the lumbar vertebrae end and the sacral vertebrae begin. This point benefits any lameness issues and strengthens the hindquarters.
Bladder 60: (bilateral) This point is located in the skinniest part of the outer hock. Known as the ‘aspirin point’, Bl 60 relieves pain and reduces swelling in any part of the body. It also relaxes tendons and strengthens the back.
*Bilateral means acu-point is found on both sides of the horse’s body.
(Source used: Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual)
The post-performance acupressure points should be used after tack has been removed and your horse has been cooled down. Even if you don’t compete or don’t technically have a performance horse, these acu-points can be helpful after a long workout or trail ride as well.
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