An Emphasis on Horse Care: When and Why Our Horses Get Acupuncture and Massage

At True North, we can pretty easily say with confidence that our horses get more acupuncture and massages than we do!

 Dr. Heather Woodruff at the ring with the True North team at the 2018 Country Heir Horse Shows in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by  Fine Art Horses

Dr. Heather Woodruff at the ring with the True North team at the 2018 Country Heir Horse Shows in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Fine Art Horses

 Caitlyn Shiels' Cavalier II with Dr. Heather Woodruff of Foxwood Equine

Caitlyn Shiels' Cavalier II with Dr. Heather Woodruff of Foxwood Equine

Why? Because we place extremely high importance on each of our horses feeling and performing their best, and in the last year, we’ve found that to be even better achieved with the incorporation of a regular acupuncture and massage program.

For acupuncture, we have the privilege of working with Foxwood Equine Sports Medicine and for massage, we have our very own in-house masseuse! Okay, not quite, but we do get to work with one of our own True North adult amateur clients, Katie Hawkins, a certified animal acupressure and massage therapist who owns and operates Unbridled Equine.

With Katie riding and showing with us, and Foxwood Equine Sports Medicine attending the vast majority of all of the same horse shows that our team does, we’re able to keep all of our horses on a regularly scheduled program, with acupuncture performed while we’re at horse shows and equine massage performed as a supplement in between treatments.

We use the acupuncture from Dr. Holly Schmitt or Dr. Heather Woodruff at Foxwood Equine Sports Medicine while we’re at horse shows, because we know that’s when our horses are working their hardest.

We’ve found that the acupuncture is able to help identify and alleviate any pain points that the horses may have – any muscle soreness or anything of that nature. And with massage or acupressure from Katie regularly scheduled in between acupuncture sessions, the two therapies coupled together are really able to help with reducing any inflammation and swelling, releasing endorphins to increase energy and reduce pain, and even in making our horses calmer for training and competition.

As an added bonus, the more we’ve maintained a regular schedule of both acupuncture and massage, the less of an intense session they require when they see Katie for massage or Holly or Heather for acupuncture! By both keeping them extremely fit at home to handle the workload that horse shows require and by supplementing their care and fitness programs with these therapies, we’re really able to keep them feeling and performing their best!

 Cavalier II

Cavalier II

Emily Riden