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Equine Performance and Wellness Q and A with a Professional Bodyworker

Equine Performance and Wellness Q and A with a Professional Bodyworker

Breaking it Down: A Beginners Guide to Equine Massage, Chiropractic, Bodywork, PEMF. Todays post features Q and A with Olivia Wagoner of B4 Equine Services


As a fresh horse owner, I found myself perplexed by the mysterious concept of PEMF and Bodywork. How does it differ from Equine massage? The baffling acronym alone, P-E-M-F, created an air of curiosity. I listened as fellow horse enthusiasts swapped tales of its incredible benefits, speaking of its ability to soothe sore muscles and promote overall well-being.

Equine Bodywork

Equine Bodywork and PEMF

We’re about to dive deep into the magical world of equine bodywork and PEMF (that’s pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, in case you didn’t know). And let me tell you, it’s like finding a diamond in a haystack when you stumble upon Olivia Wagoner of B4 Equine Services. She’s here to break it down for us, thank goodness! So saddle up, folks, because we’re about to get the lowdown on the differences between these two treatments and where the heck we should even start with them!

Olivia’s business, B4 Equine Services, is based out of Frederick County VA. She travels all over northern Virginia and works on all age, discipline, and breeds of horses. She offers equine sports massage, PEMF, myofascial release, fascia/muscle scraping, red light, and kinesiology taping.

B4 Equine Services

Olivia Wagoner, B4 Equine Services, LLC

Equine Massage, Chiropractic, and Bodywork  

 Q: Can you give our readers your professional overview of the differences in Equine Massage, Chiropractic, and Bodywork ? 

A: There is a time and place for every type of therapy modality when it comes to horses, especially high competition horses who have strenuous and stressful jobs. When a client asks me what type of therapy they should get done for their horse, I always suggest massage as the very first step. Why? With massage you are working on releasing the tension and stress within the musculature of the horse, when this is supple and relaxed it is easier for a chiropractic adjust to last.

B4 Equine Soft Tissue

If you have a chiropractor out to adjust your horse but their muscles are tight, that horses body is going to pull itself right back into the restriction your chiro just alleviated! Now in my opinion a bodyworker is a step above a massage therapist. They can do massage but they may also be certified in myofascial release, k-taping, cupping, cranial-sacral, etc. A bodyworker is exactly what is sounds like, a practitioner who addresses the WHOLE BODY of the horse, not just the muscles.

Pulsed electro magnetic field therapy

Q: What is PEMF?

PEMF stands for pulsed electro magnetic field therapy. This therapy creates a gentle pulsing magnetic field into the horses body. This magnetic field is delivered via coils either in a blanket like a Bemer or loose coils like Magnawave. PEMF works at the cellular level by stimulating the cells and allowing the cells to become more permeable. PEMF is a wonderful tool to reduce recovery time, reduce pain, improve performance, prevent injuries, increase blood flow and circulation, and just help the horse have a longer career overall.

 Q: What are the common conditions or injuries in horses that can be addressed through equine massage or PEMF therapy?

A: There is a multitude of conditions I see when working with clients. Anything from minor sore backs due to being introduced to a new job or higher work load, coming back from an injury, locking stifles, navicular, ringbone, kissing spine. I mean the amount of injuries or conditions PEMF and or massages can help alleviate is never ending. (There are contradictions for both modalities that need to be discussed with your trusted practitioners. For example some contradictions would be pregnancy, cancer, active bleeding, broken bones within a certain time frame)

Q: How frequently should horses receive equine massage or PEMF therapy to maximize its benefits?

A: When I have a session with a horse for the very first time I can usually gauge how often I would like to see that horse. Now that may be different than what the owner wants or finds feasible and that’s okay, majority of my clients have no trouble putting their horses needs top priority. If the horse is extremely sore, I feel significant muscle spasms, and the horse is performing or being ridden often I recommend a session every two weeks to a month. Once the horses musculature has softened I recommend doing “maintenance sessions.” Maintenance sessions look different for every horse, some may still be seen monthly, some may be seen every other month. It all depends on the horses lifestyle and what the owner thinks is best for their personal horse.

Q: Can equine massage or PEMF therapy help improve performance or enhance recovery in all horses?

A: PEMF and massage is a wonderful tool to have in your “secret” toolbox for improving performance and enhancing recovery when it comes to your equine athlete no matter their age or discipline. Both modalities are great ways to prevent injuries, avoid unwanted vet bills, and keep your horses off the sidelines.

PEMF and Equine Massage

Q: What are some key considerations for owners when looking for a qualified equine massage therapist or PEMF practitioner?

A: I advise owners to do their research when looking for any type of practitioner for their horse. Ask questions, and lots of them! Are they certified, with who, how many certifications do they hold, are they insured, how many clients do they work on within a week, what competition level are majority of their clients, have they dealt with clients with certain ailments in the past (navicular, kissing spine, injections, etc). Another great question I find people over look or forget to ask is, “How long have you been around horses?” Unfortunately equine massage and PEMF is a business that people think is “quick money”, some people who have never been around horses get into these businesses and honestly don’t have the experience needed to understand horses body language, gaits, or even biomechanics to do this job efficiently.

Q: How can someone get an appointment set up with you? How far do you travel?

See also  Equine Massage: Q and A Methods to Begin and Valuable Insights from A Professional

A: I try my best to stay on top of messages but I am working on horses everyday and have my own personal horses so sometimes replies are slightly delayed. I travel within 2 hours from Stephens City VA. If my travel time is over an hour away, I try to have three plus horses on my schedule in one area to make the most of my time and energy.

You can visit Olivia Wagoner, B4 Equine Services, page right here on Home of Horses to get in touch!

Equine Therapy

Q: Do you have a unique or special tips you can share with owners preparing for winter?

A: Don’t skip out on bodywork during the winter months! Make next riding season painless, both for you and your horse, by staying on a consistent schedule with your chiro, bodyworker, and saddle fitter.

Every horse can benefit from bodywork. No matter if it’s a brand new foal, a retired trail horse, or anything in between. Every horse lives a life that causes tension or stress and it’s our jobs as owners to help alleviate and reduce that.

-Olivia Wagoner, B4 Equine Services, LLC

Conculsion

When you take into account all these factors equine Bodywork and overall therapies becomes a game-changer. Getting the right equine therapist can absolutely boost your horses health, performance, and happiness. It’s a game-changer.

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