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ACUPRESSURE- Alternative/Natural Therapy for Horses


(an article about an Alternative & Natural Therapy for Horses)

By Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis,

authors of Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual


It is dark and downright cold.  The ride starts at 5:00 a.m. and it is 3:30 a.m.  Too cold to sleep and Samson, my 8-year-old gelding, is probably just as cold and stiff as I am.  He’s been able to move around in a pen to keep his blood circulating, but I’ve got to do something to help him warm-up and prepare for the many miles ahead….

Endurance and pleasure trail riders know how important it is to have your horse feel energized and warm before heading out for a cold winter ride.  Cold, stiff muscles, tendons, and joints can cause injuries and certainly will affect the animal’s ability to perform at his best.   Many riders are offering their horses’ Acupressure Treatments as part of their warm-up routine to maintain their animal’s health and fitness.


Acupressure is an ancient healing art.  This noninvasive, deceptively gentle treatment can profoundly impact your horse’s balance of energy, health, and general attitude.  For trail riders, acupressure is particularly powerful because it is safe, drug-free, and always available. 

Our friend Sara was riding in the high planes of Colorado Rocky Mountains last summer with a group of her horse-buddies.  Two days into the four-day ride, she noticed that her 16-year-old mare, Gracie, was having difficulty breathing and showing signs of distress.  She was not sure if it was the altitude or over exertion, but she knew she had to do something quickly. They were at least 25 miles from any hope of finding a veterinarian. Luckily, Sara had been to Tallgrass Animal Acupressure clinics and had her Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual with her.  She searched through the book and found specific acupressure points to use for respiration and anxiety and she performed a complete treatment. By the next morning, Gracie was bright-eyed and ready to hit the trail..

Acupressure has been used to treat animals for 1000’s of years.  It is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and since the Chinese valued their horses and live stock so highly they used acupressure to keep them healthy and strong.  Acupressure has proven to:

-Relieve muscle spasms

-Build the immune system

-Release natural cortisones to reduce swelling

-Release endorphins necessary to reduce pain

-Enhance mental clarity required for focus in training and performance

-Resolve injuries more readily by removing toxins and increasing A Winter Treatment

Offering your horse an acupressure treatment on a cold morning will help to enhance the flow of Chi, life-force energy (pronounced “Chee,” also seen as “Qi”), and blood.  By performing the treatment, “Acu-Points for Winter Trail Riding,” you are actually giving your horse the advantage of:

-Balancing the flow of energy throughout his body

-Boosting his immune system

-Reducing the potential for fatigue

-Increasing fluid in his joints to enhance flexibility

-Reducing any minor soreness or pain

-Sending more blood and nutrients to his four limbs, and

-Supporting his body’s ability to regulate his temperature in relation to the external temperature.

Whenever you take a break from the trail or at the vet checks on an endurance ride, use this treatment to give your horse that extra edge.  Your horse will enjoy the ride and you will be more assured of hearing those glorious words from the vet – “Fit to Continue!”

Stay tuned for the next article on how to prepare for an accupressure session!!

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