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Equine Body Work

I am a firm believer in equine body work. I have been amazed again and again at how a little massage, some manipulating and energy work can make such a huge change in my horses.

I used it often for Billy Blaze and when Sky was having so many troubles this spring I used it again!

I love using essential oils along with the body work of my favorite Equine (and Canine!) Body Worker, Heidi Chretien. I often will apply oils for a few days leading up to our scheduled appointment to help get the horse ready. I also do some meridian work, as taught by Jim Masterson of The Masterson Method. Then for a few days after Heidi has been here I will support her work by letting my horse rest and applying more oils!

Many years ago I went to school to be an Equine Massage Therapist. I loved my class and learned so much about horses, their bodies and how they work – and sometimes don’t work! My allergies got pretty severe which caused me to have to stop doing this as a form of income. But I can work on my own horses to an extent. There are many things I just don’t feel confident helping my horses with – that is when I call Heidi!


Bonnie relaxing into her session.

Bonnie had been showing me some signs of needing body work. She had been stiff and walking a bit wonky in her hind end. She would still run and buck and play, but she was always stiff. She would often roll and then just sit and sit on her butt before getting up. She didn’t often roll all the way over – that is often a sign that something is out along their neck and spine.

For the last couple of days I have had a persistent headache that would go away when I did some grounding techniques. This alerted me to the fact that one of my ponies was have a bit of a headache.

At first Bonnie was a bit apprehensive. It was sprinkling and cool so I had the great idea to do this in the garage! Bonnie hasn’t ever been in the garage. I drug the black horse trailer mat to the big door so she could stand on that instead of on the slick concrete. She walked right in without hesitation! I was so proud of her. She was very relaxed about moving around on the mat and even walking on the concrete. But when Heidi came in she got a bit tense. She doesn’t typically mind situations, like the garage, the horse trailer, the remodeled horse shed, etc. but when you add in people she can get worried. Heidi took her time approaching her, kneeling down and talking to her. When Bonnie has a bit to settle into a situation, without anyone pushing her, she will settle right down.

Once Heidi started putting hands on her, Bonnie walked forward to lean on me a bit. It’s best to not touch the horse while Heidi is working so I allowed her to lean for a quick second, then I asked her back up. As soon as Heidi did a little work on her neck area, Bonnie began to relax and understand what was going on! I’m pretty sure she’s never had body work done before, aside from the oiling and the Masterson Method I have done for her.


Bonnie and Heidi

I love watching the horse as changes start to happen. Vertebrae begin to realign, sometimes with an audible click, muscles relax and tension is released. When Bonnie started to feel this she was yawning and yawning, shaking her body, rubbing her lips on the floor and pawing a little bit.

Bonnie yawning and yawning, then shaking to release tension.

Bonnie yawning and yawning, then shaking to release tension.

Working on the fascia between the vertebrae.

Working on the fascia between the vertebrae.

Bonnie paying attention to what is happening in her body.

Bonnie paying attention to what is happening in her body.

A session will last between an hour and an hour and a half depending on what is going on with the horse. Sky’s session was definitely an hour and a half and Bonnie’s was close to that long! It’s so interesting to me how even though Bonnie hasn’t ever had a foal or been driven in a cart, she still had some pretty major issues that needed attention. You would be surprised how much body work can help your horse! No matter if it’s a big time competitor or a pasture pet.

I highly recommend Heidi Chretien as your equine body worker! She is extremely reasonable. You can contact her at (406) 599-9095. (I have her permission to share her phone number.) She does travel a bit as she has clients all over Montana! So definitely call and check with her no matter where you are located. If she can’t make it to you, then she may be able to point you in the right direction.

Bonnie smiling during her body work.

Bonnie smiling during her body work.

If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below!

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