Category Archives: People and Places

UNDERSTANDING MUSCLES AND FASCIA IN OUR HORSES – WITH GILLIAN HIGGINS, HORSES INSIDE OUT






I’ve written about Gillian Higgins previously.  Her company, Horses Inside Out is fascinating to me… probably because she has such a great architectural mind as well as a very artistic mind.  You’ve probably seen her work with the insides of horses.

click image to go to website

HER NEWEST EMAIL – UNDERSTANDING MUSCLES AND FASCIA IN OUR HORSES

Todays email was again, fascinating.  Here you go!

UNDERSTANDING MUSCLES AND FASCIA IN OUR HORSES – WITH GILLIAN HIGGINS, HORSES INSIDE OUT
By Jessica Limpkin, Equine Massage Therapist

 

This week I have been really excited about the return of ‘Webinar Wednesdays’ with Gillian Higgins of Horses Inside Out. This month’s webinar was on the subject of ‘Understanding Muscles and Fascia’. Being a Massage Therapist these are of course 2 of my favourite subjects!

 
 
Watch a recorded version of this webinar in the Horses Inside Out Academy
As I am sure you can imagine I was excited to take part in this webinar and find out what more I could learn in order for me to improve my knowledge, understanding and of course my treatments. I have also been recommending these webinars to my clients, as even though there is tons of in depth information included in the webinars, the way Gillian presents the information with a great enthusiasm and sense of fun, there is something for everyone to learn and every horse can benefit from an owner/rider/trainer with a more in depth knowledge of how their horse works!

As with all of Gillian’s webinars, the benefit of watching live is you are able to ask questions during the webinar and have them answered live by Gillian. However, there is also the opportunity to purchase life-time access to a recording of the webinar at a later date from the Horses Inside Out Online Academy and I definitely think this is worthwhile with this particular webinar as the run time was over 2 hours and there was so much to take in you may need to pause and take notes!

 

 
 

During the webinar you will learn about the different types of muscle contraction and how to recognise them and what types of exercises or movements require each type. These are: · Dynamic contractions (Eccentric and Concentric) · Static contractions (Isometric)

 

 

Gillian also explains DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and the importance of cross training. Something I am often discussing with my clients. We all know how it feels when we complete a tough workout at the gym, or a long walk or run that we are not used to doing. We feel it in our bodies, not the following day but actually the day after the day after…….. that is DOMS and horses get it too! It is so important to design your horse’s exercise plan with this in mind.

 
 
Gillian also advises in this webinar how to structure your horse’s training around this. And how to design your horse’s exercise plan around their age and stage in training. You will also learn how to test for sore muscles and develop your palpation skills. I think this is really important for all horse owners to learn, I am always happy to demonstrate to my clients how to check their horse’s muscles for tightness or soreness.

If you regularly do this with your own horse you will learn what is normal for them and what is not, and also when you need to call in a professional such as myself to treat your horse. And hopefully if you can do this you will be able to call in the professional before your horse gets too sore and this either leads to a pathology in the body and/or they feel so sore you get bucked off! Gillian then went on to explain the stretch and recoil systems in the horse’s body. This is the way in which the body stores energy created from movement and used it to propel the body forward.

 

 
 

It is truly quite amazing how much the soft tissue in the body contributes to energy and movement. Moving at slower speeds requires more strength from the body, where as moving at faster speeds requires more stretch and recoil contribution to movement. And we then got on to learning about the Fascia, which is actually the largest system in the body. The 3D web that encapsulates the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and organs. I think Fascia could have had it’s very own webinar. Although I do understand why Gillian linked muscles and fascia together in one webinar as they are so intrinsically linked. In this webinar you can learn about the 4 different types of fascia: · Superficial · Intermuscular · Visceral · Deep You will also learn how fascia is innervated, making it a sensory organ, often said to hold emotions and feelings. I often talk to clients about how fascia needs to slide and glide and how it requires hydration (not only with water but also good nutrition) and also how pressure points (such as ill-fitting tack) can cause dehydrated fascia. I’l also explain how fascia has a ‘memory’ and can return to shape once it has been stretched and how it has a high proportion of proprioceptors assisting in our horse’s awareness of where their body is in space. This is all explained in this webinar.

 

 
 

I could easily write my own blog on the fascia, going into more detail, however I would never be able to present it in quite the same way as Gillian is able to with her fantastic images and also years of experience and research.

So, if you would like to learn more about the muscles and fascia in your horse, what they are, what they do, why they are important and, also why what I do as a therapist is important for your horse, whatever their job or discipline, I urge you to take a couple of hours to watch this fabulous webinar and find out more!

 

 


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How do you feel about the Chinese dog meat market?






One of our longtime readers who runs ACTIVE RIDING TRIPS (don’t tempt me, I wanna give her all of my money and run off to Europe to ride horses…), sent this email to me.  Please check out her website – and if you sign up for any of her trips, I’m envious and PLEASE TAKE PHOTOS and share!

I try to stick to horse causes, but I know the dog meat industry really upsets many of us, so I thought I’d post this opportunity, for those interested.

THE EMAIL:

I’m wondering if there is any room (or if it’s at all appropriate) in your blog to share the mission of a 501(c)3 called No Dogs Left Behind?  I get it, it’s dogs and not horses, but as we are all dog people, I thought I’d ask anyway – no harm, right?

No Dogs Left Behind.

Let me just be clear up front – I found this group last June when I was looking for a Golden Retriever for my parents.  Back then, you couldn’t find a golden retriever (or any dog) anywhere.  I looked in shelters all over the USA, I called 5 breeders, I contacted rescues – there were literally NO dogs……and I was looking for an adult dog as my parents don’t want a puppy.  It was incredible…..but as you likely know, many adopted a COVID dog.

So I found this group and they had a lovely 4yo (now 5yo) Golden.  The glitch – they are in China……sigh.  I researched them locally and globally, I read a gazillion reviews and I chatted remotely with them and asked all manner of questions.  For example, IF we adopted a dog in June, the flight backlog due to COVID was about 6 months…..so I needed to be sure that if anything happened to the dog prior to arrival to the USA, my investment ($1,500.00) would be protected.

The more I researched them the more I watched their videos – it’s horrible what these dogs were subject to in China – the more I felt that we really needed to adopt Kate.  I just thought that if we could save her, it would open up space for them to rescue more.  The founder, Jeff Beri, is American and his story is actually quite interesting and he is so incredibly committed to his mission.

Click image to go to website

Anyway, I’m rambling, so sorry…….I was writing to see if you might consider a blog post on them as they are now desperately trying to raise funds to get 175 dogs on flights to the USA.  China has locked down due to COVID, so the transports are more expensive than normal and they are desperate.  All these dogs have either been adopted or have fosters waiting – including my sweet girl Kate (we’ve actually named her Kate Spade as one of my initial questions was to find out if she was spayed – which then just sort of stuck once we knew she was – it made us laugh).

I’ve been sharing the posts and updates like crazy on Twitter and on Facebook but they want to get these dogs on flights at the end of January, so I’m trying to “think outside the box” to see if others might be interested.

Here is their main page for  fundraising.

Here is my personal page for fundraising

Click image to help Stacy in her fundraising.

And in case you have any interest, here’s (attached) our sweet Kate, a total love…..if not well fed….

Many of my friends have helped a ton by donating $10-25, and as you know, all of it helps.

But either way – please please please keep on keeping on with all the good info in the blog!  I truly look forward to it!

Thanks Dawn.

Video linked here.

Click image to watch video


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Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
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