Ever since his lameness episode back in February, Freedom has seemed slightly off to me. Not lame, per se, but not 100%. It has manifested itself in small ways — like he was unwilling to land after a fence on the left lead or felt slightly off on small circles.
My saddle fitter, who also does body work, thought he’d probably strained something by slipping on the ice so I continued to massage him.
I’d always wanted to try acupuncture on Freedom. When Kroni was sick one of the vets did some give him some relief. I could see that it really relaxed him. I’ve read that acupuncture can be very helpful in treating lameness, muscularskelatal pain and sore backs.
While there is still some disagreement about how acupuncture “works,” the Chinese believe that it can help reestablish energy flow called
Qi, or Chi, when it is disrupted by an injury, stress or illness. Inserting needles stimulates the nervous system which releases endorphins and relieves pain. Acupuncture also works as an anti-inflammatory, so can be used to help reduce swelling and it has calming effects on nervous or high strong horses.
Interestingly, horses were among the first animals that were treated by the ancient Chinese using acupuncture, probably because they were essential to both farming and warfare. In fact, they identified 173 acupuncture points on animals.
Tune in tomorrow to learn about Freedom’s acupuncture treatments.