Other Disciplines Copy
There are many disciplines not discussed here such as polo, vaulting, endurance, trail and equitation. Many of these disciplines run parallel to those discussed above and observing any discipline will reveal the hallmarks that define it. Once the major movements of a discipline are identified (galloping, jumping, collection etc.), it is merely a matter of examining what muscle groups accomplish the task and then designing the massage to maximize those areas.
When choosing a horse for a discipline, a guardian should have some clear ideas or good guidance from a professional to select the horse most capable of the task within their budget. Unfortunately, this only happens perhaps half of the time. Unrealistic expectations can account for many of the cases you are likely to see. Frustration on the part of the horse and rider lead to tension. In many instances, the horse will stoically press on to please the rider while his body takes the brunt of the wear-and-tear. Other times, the horse chosen is suitable for the job but the training is too aggressive, the conditioning is insufficient or the horse is not allowed to properly transition from one task to another. Horses in transition are fantastic candidates for massage because their bodies are undergoing so much change and the muscles are receptive to stimulus.
In any case, a massage therapist should endeavor to work with horses in a discipline where they feel knowledgeable. If there is no particular discipline you feel passionate about or versed in, then it is wise to work on a variety of pleasure horses, school horses and work horses (cart or parade types) while you gain confidence. At the same time, explore areas of interest by attending shows, talking to competitors and even taking lessons. Magazines, websites, books and videos are excellent sources of information.
Congratulations! You have completed the study material for Chapter 1: Behavior and Handling.
Please complete the following activities for this section. When you have completed the exercises and feel you are familiar with the information that has been presented, you may take the quiz for this section. If you have any questions regarding the exercises, please contact your instructor.