In early May of this year, Nicole Watts with Equizen Therapy came to my farm for an acupressure and massage therapy session on my 20-year-old horse of a lifetime,Tristan. I was impressed with the work she had done on friends’ horses in the area and was interested in keeping Tristan going strong as he ages with the help of therapeutic work. While Nicole treated Tristan we chatted and I was struck by the similarities in how we interact with our clients; she as a body worker and myself as a saddle fitter.
Many of our clients face problems with their horses that require a multifaceted approach. If Nicole works with a horse who has back soreness, yet returns a few weeks or months later to deal with pain in the same area, it’s possible the issue stems from an ill-fitting saddle. Pain like this may not have been rectified by working on the body of the horse alone. Likewise, if I get a saddle balanced and fitted properly according to the horse’s anatomy, yet he continues to travel asymmetrically and build muscle unevenly, the horse may not work to their full potential until their soreness or blockage has been treated.
The longer we talked about business, clients, and trying to give the best care to the horses we visit, I had a nagging thought in the back of my mind that Nicole really needed to get to know another friend of mine, Cerice Berndsen, a horse and rider biomechanics instructor from Equestrian Power, LLC, a business offering support strategies for equestrians and equine businesses.
Later that month, we were able to sit down and hatch a plan for a clinic series offering local equestrians educational presentations that help them improve the connection with their horses.The welcoming atmosphere would provide equestrians with an avenue to further their education and clarify when they should call for professional services or add to their horse’s support team.
With the idea of educating our equestrian community, we reached out to local farm owners to find a host facility and were pleased to land Sara Lyter’s Hulinn Dalur Farm. Not only does Sara have a beautiful facility, it is also the home to her miniature horse and donkey rescue non-profit, Puddin’ Pie’s Place. We chose to support Puddin’ Pie’s Place by donating clinic admissions to directly benefit the programs they offer, including hospice visitation services and literacy building classes for local children.
After announcing the event, local businesses started reaching out to us with prizes and gift certificates to our attendees! With a few sponsors lined up, I took to the streets to visit additional local businesses and was amazed at the generosity I found. We ended up with 15 prize sponsors, many offering multiple items or gift bags, meaning clinic attendees not only left with an education, but also went home with awesome prize packages. With the outpouring of support from our local equestrian community, we knew the event was going to be a success before it even started.
Keep an eye out for part two of the story next week