Do These Dressage Comments Sound Familiar?

If you are getting comments like “hollow”, “short steps”, “lack of engagement”, “irregular” “stiff” on your dressage test, you should consider performance enhancing massage for your horse. I spent last weekend at an international event and saw many horses that could have improved their scores and comments with a few bodywork sessions. When a horse feels comfortable and supple they are more willing to perform brilliantly. A horse with balanced and free muscles will more willingly go on the bit, bend, maintain difficult movements like counter canter, and listen to the rider.

I have a regular client who saw me working on a horse at a show a couple of years ago. We did not know each other, but she asked if I had a solution for her problems with counter canter at the Preliminary event level. I checked her horse and found he had a very tight tricep muscle and spinatus muscles (in the shoulder). I worked on them, and she was thrilled to report later that the problem was fixed! It often can be that simple. For the cost of a new saddle pad, you can easily solve many mysterious problems that add penalties to your score.

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2 thoughts on “Do These Dressage Comments Sound Familiar?

  1. Arthur Powell

    Everyone who has a horse must be know this. They should be aware of how their horses perform. Is there a schedule on when to have the horses massaged? I think there should be one especially for the competing horses.

    1. Beverly Jacobs Post author

      Horses should be massaged after riding in the trailer. At competitions, I work on them at least once a day, before they compete, and 90 minutes after. Fit horses without a particular problem should be worked on once a month.


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