The body's fascia lies under the skin, surrounding and integrating with all other body parts such as muscles, bones, nerves, organs, all the way down to a cellular level. This incredibly strong network of tissues looks like a three dimensional spider web that spans continuously from head to hoof. Fascia is a key factor of how the body functions or dysfunctions since everything beneath it is influenced by its pliability.
Fascia tightens and can become restricted from the simple daily activities of life, but especially from:
Eventually it can evolve into dysfunction and pain, compensation patterns, and horses become more vulnerable to injury or inexplicable lameness. However, you do not need to be seeing symptoms in order for Myofascial Release to be effective.
Consistent bodywork is how we can help relieve discomfort, create postural alignment, balance movement patterns, and improve quality of life for your horse.
Has your horse ever had a minor fall? Even if they aren't showing any outward signs of discomfort (or maybe they are) minor incidences can impact how the body is coping on the inside. Fascial restrictions can produce 2,000 pounds of force per square inch. When it get's tight and restricting, it can range from feeling like dragging weight to feeling painful. It also affects how the body holds postural alignment, recruits muscles, hydrates tissues and drains the lymphatics.
In my personal experience, tight fascia can feel compressing, like plastic shrink-wrap inside the body. This is because it physically encapsulates the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. When fascia is tight it restricts freedom of movement and can be energy draining since the body is working harder just to do every day life.
This requires manual releasing to help the fascia "reset" and rehydrate. Experiencing a Myofascial Release session is typically a pleasant experience for many horses and they learn to release more quickly with consistent sessions.