Equine Touch

equine-touch-1Equine Touch is the hands-on care of a horse or pony to address musculoskeletal problems or injuries. It is a form of non-invasive bodywork which uses gentle vibrational movements over soft tissue to encourage natural healing and bring about rebalance in the body.

First developed by Jock and Ivana Ruddock in Scotland in 1997, Equine Touch Bodywork is now practised by vets and equine therapists the world over.

Equine Touch can be performed on horses of any age and size, from a miniature pony to a Clydesdale, and is suitable for pregnant mares. Racing and dressage horses, performance and endurance, pleasure and show horses all benefit from Equine Touch, as it effectively relieves pain and stress which might in turn affect performance.

An Experienced Equine Touch Practitioner

Belinda Atkinson is an equine specialist and has been caring for horses, wildlife and pets for her own family and through her business, Belinda’s Natural Animal Therapy, for some 25 years. She qualified as an Equine Touch Practitioner in 2008 and has helped hundreds of horses at her own stud, and for clients.

Besides caring for your horse through Equine Touch, Belinda can identify many other factors which may affect your horse’s health, behaviour or performance.

  • Saddle fitting
  • Rider’s balance
  • Teeth care
  • Hoof care

It’s vital to consider all aspects of care which may be causing pain or discomfort, and Belinda has many years of experience in applying this holistic approach – allowing you and your horse many years of health and well-being, performance and pleasure.

The Benefits of Equine Touch

  • Deep relaxation
  • Physical release for hypertonic and traumatised muscles
  • Enhanced muscle recovery after injury or atrophy
  • Reduction in pain
  • Improved circulation and lymph drainage

Equine Touch is compatible with many other forms of natural therapy including Animal Homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, chiropractic work, Aromatherapy oils and acupuncture.

To book an Equine Touch consultation with our mobile clinic in northern Tasmania, or to simply find out more, please contact Belinda on the details found on our contact page. You are welcome to leave a message if I’m not available to answer your call in person.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I book an appointment for an Equine Touch Session with my horse?

    Contact Belinda Atkinson via phone or email and arrange a suitable time for an Equine Touch Session. Please allow 30-60 minutes per horse for the first Equine Touch Session.

  • How long does an Equine Touch session go for?

    This depends on each individual horse. Most 1st Equine Touch sessions go for 30 -60 minutes per horse. The session will include collecting details about your horse, assessing your horse, bodywork (body balance) and addressing the areas of concern. Saddle fit could also be looked at, if required. A follow up session will be about thirty minutes.

  • How long do I need to rest my horse after a ET session?

    It is best not to ride or work your horse for 24 hours after a Equine Touch session. This gives the horse time to process the work that has been done on it and the body time to address any pain issues that may have be resolved during the session. It is also advised not to groom your horse for the rest of the day of Equine Touch session, as this may scramble the messages.

  • How does Equine Touch allow for the skeletal system to realign?

    The skeletal system is held upright and together by muscles and is not the bones that need addressing, but the muscles that hold the bones in place. As the Equine Touch create’s relaxation of the muscles the skeletal system rectifies itself. The Equine Touch is compatible with chiropractic work and can improve the long term results of any chiropractic work done on your horse.

  • Is one Equine Touch Session enough to get results?

    Results are apparent after one session. Depending on the individual case, results are improved if 2 to 3 sessions are repeated once a week. When an injury or condition is chronic more than one treatment is necessary. Regular Equine Touch sessions, once a month are recommended to help prevent injury. A well balanced body is less prone to injury & illness.

  • What should one expect in the way of results?

    Some horse’s show results during & after the session. Depending on how deep the pain is it can take 2 to 3 days to see changes in your horse’s behaviour. Most horse’s will feel great after the session, they usually run & buck around the paddock – pain free! You may see increased urination and your horse may have discharge from the nostrils, this is due to the lymphatic drainage. Your horse may become more social with other horses & humans due to being relieved of their pain. The happier your horse, the better they will perform. A balanced body knows no disease.

  • Can older horses or very debilitated horses benefit from Equine Touch?

    Yes, definitely! The effect and results on older horses is quite remarkable. Equine Touch would increase their circulation, address any pain issues and any stiffness would be reduced.

  • How soon before a race or event should the Equine Touch be used?

    A full body balance is best used 3 to 5 days before the event as this gives the horse’s body time to detoxify and process the work. Remember to rest your horse for 24 hours after the session, this need to be taken into account with your training schedule. Areas of concern can be address on the day of the race or a pre-race tune-up, if this is required.

  • Why is a good fitting saddle so important?

    An ill-fitting saddle not only affects the horses back but the whole horse. A poor fitting saddle can inhibit natural movement & cause pain. Long-term problems from saddle discomfort can lead to:

    • atrophy (wasting) of the back muscle
    • lameness
    • unsoundness
    • behaviour problems such as rearing and refusal to go forward
    • postural changes
    • health dysfunction (stress depresses the immune system)

    Your saddle fit can be checked by Belinda during your Equine Touch session.

  • How important is a balanced hoof?

    Most horse owner know the saying ‘No foot, No horse’. The foot is responsible for bearing all the horse’s weight and provides the contact with the ground, any problems in the hoof tend to reflect in the horses movement.

    Without a balanced hoof;

    • we do not achieve or maintain a balanced body
    • we do not achieve balanced movement
    • out Equine Touch bodywork and any achieved result will not last.
  • How do I check if my horse has teeth problems?
    • Check your horses manure for long partials or whole seeds, this can be an indication of improper chewing.
    • When feeding your horse large amounts of feed may drop out of your horse’s mouth or twisted wads of hay or grass may fall out (called quidding).
    • When you put the halter on observe the horses behaviour, if the horse does not like its head being touched it could be an indication of dental pain.
    • Check the breath, bad breath can be an indication of dental problems
    • Observe your horse behaviour when bridled; head tossing or swinging or tilted neck & head carriage can also be a sign of dental pain.

    Horses with dental problems may have performance problems. Mouth pain can also be a reason for bad manners, spooking or rearing.

  • Why it is not recommended to massage after the Equine Touch session?

    This would disturb the ‘rebalancing’ that follows the moves & can interfere with innate healing system by confusing the simple messages. It is best to give 5 days after your Equine Touch session before using massage on your horse.

What our customers say

“Thanks to Belinda and the Equine Touch, my 17 year old thoroughbred who has had ongoing back pain and cold back problems for years is now 100 per cent pain free, happy and back in work!”

India Woods – Equine Touch Client
Westbury, Tasmania

“100% improvement!! Very happy to have a ‘new horse’ after my horses first Equine Touch consult with Belinda. She is now moving faster and smoother out of rides, happier in herself and now calls out to me. Super pleased with the Results. Turned a non believer to a believer in Equine Touch. Just try ET!” Don Johnson, Bridport TAS

“Belinda is an integral part of our team.  Making sure your horse is in top condition is multifaceted – including diet, mental health and well being, correct work, the right coach and physical therapy. Belinda’s Equine Touch consults are critical in ensuring Robbie is feeling and looking great as he trains through the grades in dressage and show jumping. Regular treatments result in a happy and loose moving horse who is coping with the rigors of increased collection. Belinda’s loose lick formula is also the staple supplement in all my horses diets from those competing to the paddock companions and has them looking fantastic all year round at a great price!”

Meg Archer – Westbury TAS
Successful Competitor in Dressage and Show jumping