HORSEPLAY: Acupressure assists horses with bodily discomfort, mental perfectly-getting

Enjoy OUT! IS your horse sounding the alarm that it’s in soreness? Untold accidents to humans have been induced by a horse in suffering. I acquired extra about a noninvasive ache-reduction strategy when I caught up with Bridget Stumbaugh in the course of the Olympic Peninsula Equine Network (Open up) Trails campout and fundraiser previous thirty day period at Layton Hill Horse Camp. There, I watched her perform acupressure on Laurie Corson’s horse, Nova.

“I brought her in this article to see Bridget simply because she’s obtaining key soundness challenges,” Corson stated.

Her the latest complications have been brought about by Nova pulling back again from the hitching submit with all her could possibly to test to no cost herself. A horse can do some critical bodily damage by pulling back like that, these kinds of as harmful the to start with neck vertebra. It is a typical cause of horse problems. Even even worse would be if the guide rope were to crack and the horse fell backward. An incident like that could fracture neck vertebrae and lead to debilitating neurological issues it could even be lethal.

“She’s obtained problems from it,” Corson reported. “One time, she just about knocked herself out pulling back again.”

Corson said Nova is an unusually intelligent horse, so a lot so, she has to spell out the phrase stroll —
W-A-L-K — if the horse is within earshot. Usually, Nova begins bouncing close to with exhilaration.

Soothing scents

Stumbaugh utilized aroma remedy on Nova, and it aided with Nova’s agony and her behavioral difficulties as very well. Stumbaugh makes use of Youthful Dwelling Homeopathy Oils, carrying a misting bottle filled with a blend of oils matched to an personal horse with her.

Corson reported Nova tends to internalize her problems and fears instead than most other horses, who tend to act out.

“Basically, Nova will get an ulcer,” Corson mentioned as she rolled her eyes.

I knew what she intended by it. It’s so significantly less difficult to diagnose an external, somewhat than interior, damage.

However, complications and all, Nova continues to be Corson’s preferred pet.

“This sort of intervention has been a serious eye-opener for me for the reason that I can see my horse is actually delighted with it,” Corson said.

I very first achieved Stumbaugh about 19 a long time ago when she assisted Marie Dickinson’s 4-H horse club, Sidekicks, when my niece was a member. I recall Stumbaugh lights the air with her shiny smile in the course of the group’s weeklong stay at the Clallam County Truthful. She generally came to the rescue of club users in distress with a simple, “Here, let me assistance you.”

Need to support

So, it doesn’t shock me the official dental assistant is now concentrating her life on assisting horses really feel far better. Her curiosity in equine acupressure commenced from a drive to aid her own horses.

The purpose of equine acupressure is to give again the horse its condition of well-currently being. If the problem is induced by bodily injuries or sickness, then the proprietor really should make contact with its veterinarian. Acupressure is intended to enhance physical healing and help an animal’s mental well currently being.

“I operate strictly on meridians,” Stumbaugh claimed. “Radius meridians are the channels that go to the crucial organs. Each organ has its individual meridians, for instance, like the lung meridian, the spleen meridian and abdomen meridian.”

Horses, like individuals, have 12 main meridians, and along these meridians, we find acupoints, distinct anatomical places exactly where we can affect qi (pronounced chee). Qi, in some cases spelled chi, is primarily based on the belief that qi is the vital electrical power that flows while the human body alongside pathways known as meridians. Practitioners imagine stimulation of factors together the meridians rebalance qi.

Both acupressure and acupuncture use the identical meridians, but acupuncture takes advantage of needles where by acupressure works by using tension.

There are numerous requirements that decide how acupressure is utilized to a horse. Stumbaugh, a licensed practitioner, assesses the horse’s response to operate stress, agony and remedy, and then chooses individual points alongside the meridians to implement force for a selected sum of time with the purpose of clearing blockages in those people meridians.

Acupressure is thought to launch hormones in the human body that reduce soreness and panic and minimize irritation in hurt tissues.

Modern day physiologists have set forward the “neural speculation,” stating that the impact of acupressure or acupuncture is transmitted mostly though stimulation of sensory nerves the peripheral and central anxious technique thought of the most rational basis for defining meridians.

As a person residing with various sclerosis, a disease of the central anxious procedure, I’m nicely knowledgeable of how the circulation, or any impediment of circulation, in the sensory nerves has an effect on the complete human body, triggering problems this kind of as serious soreness, inflammation, muscle mass spasms and even balance problems.

“It typically will take an hour or two to locate out what is going on — and the horse alone will tell you what’s bothering them,” she stated. “Then there is a street map, these kinds of as the a person that is just on best of their again, on the suggestion of the withers, that goes on down the aspect.”

She follows the street map of meridians to take a look at the stream from stage to important organs.

“Like the liver and substantial intestine, they are sister organs,” Stumbaugh mentioned. “It’s my task to uncover if it is essentially dependent in the liver, or if it’s coming from the massive intestine.”

She mentioned applying the road map, manipulating force points and seeing if or how the horse reacts will help her to explore exactly where the problem originates.

“You’ve acquired like alarm points, supply points, which can notify you which is deficient or effective,” she stated. “So essentially, I’m helping the horse’s body glimpse for the discrepancies and then doing the job to retain anything in stability. It is like a domino impact when one particular organ is not operating effectively, the suffering or problem spreads to a different region.”

It’s identical notion for the muscle acupressure details. Adhere to the highway map to discover the a sure muscle place that will signal where by the animal is owning issue. When you release that place, they’re likely to come to feel improved. Which is when you’ll see the horse present signals of happiness and aid by behaviors like licking their lips, chewing, yawning and shaking heads.

“My favorite is when they do a finish entire body shake it’s like indicating thank you,” she stated. “I adore executing this operate, and I do it for the enjoyment of the horse. And it is very worthwhile for me to be equipped to see a horse go from becoming in distress to getting comfy.”

“Bridget has helped a lot of our rescues that have come to Open up,” explained Valerie Jackson, Open up president. “When the horses appear in there, they are pretty upset, so Bridget will perform on them to aid calm them down and get them to chill out.”

For a lot more facts, go to Stumbaugh’s Facebook site, Nose to Toes Equine Acupressure, e-mail her at [email protected] or cellular phone her at 360-460-2953.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the 2nd and fourth Sunday of every single month.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like outlined, remember to electronic mail Griffiths at [email protected] at the very least two weeks in progress. You can also phone her at 360-460-6299.