ABOUT MASSAGE Therapy
Massage, stretching, and specialized techniques like trigger point release, stress point treatment, myofascial release, Manual Ligament Therapy™, circulatory massage, and lymphatic drainage can be powerful tools for your horse's well-being. Massage is used in different ways for a variety of reasons and situations, but they all share the core benefits of massage:
Removal of metabolic wastes
Release of naturally occurring endorphins
Lengthening of muscle fibers to decrease the likelihood of overuse or stress-related injury
Improved immune function by stimulating the lymphatic system
Prevention of chronic conditions by monitoring and early detection.
There are several types of massage sessions designed to meet specific needs. READ MORE or
Acupressure is a gentle modality developed over thousands of years, which focuses on restoring balance and smooth flow of Qi (a.k.a. 'Chi') throughout the body. This ancient TCM modality recognizes and honors the mind-body connection and can be used to balance emotional states in addition to mending the body or providing pain relief. By detecting and addressing imbalances early, you can often catch them before they escalate to serious infections or chronic conditions which require veterinary care.
In treatment, physical pressure is applied to specific points on the body to influence flow through the meridian. Unlike Acupuncture, no needles are used.
Acupressure is a wonderful tool for supporting general health, influencing recovery, and managing pain without medication, but isn't a replacement for veterinary medicine. If your horse is experiencing fever, signs of serious infection, or a physical emergency, call your vet immediately.
ABOUT Saddle Fitting
Whether you’re worried about a saddle you already have, or shopping for the perfect fit, saddle fit can have an enormous impact on comfort and performance— just ask your horse!
A poor-fitting saddle can be seen in attitude changes of the horse, decline in performance, atrophy of muscles, short-term lameness or long-term crippling of the animal.
Because my goal is to serve as an impartial advocate for horse and rider, I don’t represent any saddle company, take commission of sales, and typically don’t have saddles available to try.
A saddle fitting session includes:
Evaluating conformation and gait analysis
Testing for back pain or injury
Education about what to look for when saddling up
Evaluation of the fit of a saddle (both static and in the arena)
Written evaluation and recommendations appropriate to deliver to saddlemakers or veterinarian.
ABOUT SUZE WOOD
I'm an equine massage therapist and master saddle-fitting consultant based in Waitsburg, Washington who specializes in sustaining and optimizing performance for competitive equine athletes, supporting the recovery process for horses who are ill or have been injured, and geriatric support.
A life long animal lover, my interest in equine biomechanics and bodywork was sparked in 2010 after observing the physical changes and challenges my horse Duke went through when changing disciplines to begin a new jumping training program. After several years of self-directed study I decided to follow my passion and dedicated myself full-time to improving the comfort and well-being of horses.
I've completed 450 hours of intensive training through the Northwest School of Animal Massage, including anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, advanced massage techniques, acupressure, horse behavior, handling, and energy work. I'm licensed in the state of Washington, and have been nationally certified by the National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage. In 2019 I added saddle fitting to my service offerings, receiving training and certification through the international Master Saddle Fitting Consultants organization.
The majority of my clients are in the Pacific Northwest, but I'm a seasoned globe-trotter who gladly travels internationally and throughout the United States to serve horses and the riders who love them.
Washington State License #AM60568871
NBCAAM Certificate # M-125-15