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Some issues that can be helped with the bodywork Tara performs:

  • Biting, tail swishing, ears back, fidgeting when groomed and being saddled
  • Difficulty holding legs up for the farrier
  • Hooves that just won’t balance even with regular corrective trims- laminitis, navicular, contracted heels, long toes, flares, cracks, thrush etc.
  • Trips or stumbles, drags hind toes along the ground
  • Horse heavy on the forehand/difficulty collecting and holding a frame/hollow backed
  • Bucking, rearing, running off
  • Girthy/cinchy or cold backed
  • One-sided/better on one rein than the other
  • Bracey or argumentative
  • Head shy, sensitive around the ears or poll
  • Saddle slipping to one side
  • Rider gets a sore back or legs during/after riding
  • Loss of power/speed/stamina, sweats excessively, tires quickly
  • Difficulty picking up a canter lead, cross firing at the canter
  • Behaviour changes/difficult to catch/not a part of the herd
  • Atrophy/muscle wastage and/or uneven muscling
  • Generalized tight, sore muscles, short striding, uneven stride length

The bodywork Tara performs is based on releasing the muscles to allow the body to realign itself and heal. The whole body is treated and all aspects of the horse’s physical state, environment, nutrition and mental/emotional wellbeing are addressed. The initial session takes approximately two hours, starting with a thorough examination of the horse, releasing of past muscle memory, trapped emotions that are negatively affecting the horse, energy/meridian balancing and then the muscular and skeletal releases can be performed.

At the end of the session the owner is instructed on exercises to perform with the horse along with any nutritional, hoof health and mental/emotional issues needing addressed which will be discussed in detail so that they themselves are part of the healing process and are then also in a position to prevent further issues occurring in the future.

Please see my links page for a link to a Free Yoga for your Horse video that all horses will benefit from doing.

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Equine Touch - What is it?

The Equine Touch is a gentle, body-based modality, non-invasively addressing the connective tissue (fascia, muscles, tendons and ligaments).

The tissue is mobilized and "stimulated" by using specific moves, over precise points of the horse's body. Firstly a very specific body balancing foundation address is applied to the whole body. What is applied to one side is repeated on the other.

Additional, specific Area of Concern addresses can be later applied; to have a greater chance of success in encouraging longer lasting changes when applied to this balanced and relaxed body. These areas are chosen according to tissue response and the horse’s reaction to our touch.

By addressing the meridian pathways, together with muscles and fascia, The Equine Touch crosses the line between physical bodywork and an energy modality. It can have the effect of inducing deep relaxation, releasing hypertonic and traumatized muscles, improving muscle tone, encouraging recovery from injury and muscle atrophy, reducing the pain spiral and assisting in detoxification and lymphatic drainage by increasing circulation.

The horse’s awareness is changed and it is encouraged to rebalance not only physically, but emotionally for deep relaxation, also encouraging the autonomic nervous system to drop toward repair and renewal. 

When I was looking to go barefoot with my three horses, I was thrilled to find Tara. She has been a great source of knowledge and encouragement in making the change to barefoot riding and has helped me greatly with advice, not just about my horses’ feet, but with changing their feeding regime and with saddle fitting. I wish I had found her many years ago- it would have saved my horses (and myself) lots of angst. My horses used to get really anxious when the farrier arrived- now they are calm and relaxed and we are all much happier and healthy. We have all benefited from her skill and enthusiasm. I recommend her for her pragmatic, down-to-earth approach and the fantastic, gentle way she interacts with horses.

- Jill McIlraith, Dunedin.