After months of deliberation, the Nebraska state legislature officially created the Equine Massage Practitioner Registry through bill LB596.
This was great news for horse therapists across the state. Even though Columbus resident, Dawn Hatcher, received her license to become a horse massage therapist, she still wasn’t able to pursue her dream.
Before the passage of bill LB596, it wasn’t easy to practice as an equine massage therapist in Nebraska. While 87% of people see massage as a benefit to overall health and wellness in people, this same extension wasn’t offered to horses without a number of fences to jump over.
Some equine massage therapists had to work in the presence of a veterinary practitioner. Others had to have an animal therapy license or a certification as a human massage therapist to perform their work on horses.
So even though Dawn became a certified horse massage practitioner after three months of online schooling from the Midwest Natural Healing for Animals in Indiana, she was unable to unleash her entrepreneurial spirit.
Legislation like LB596 not only helps create new careers in communities statewide, but it sends a very positive message about Nebraska nationally, that our lawmakers see the value in creating an environment where unique, entrepreneurial ideas can take root,” says Adam Weinberg, the communications and outreach director for the Platt Institute.
Her current business is doing well and she’s been getting a number of requests from the surrounding areas. Farm horses and athletic horses alike get injured in similar ways to humans and need more than just a pill to heal their bodies.
Every year, about seven million people pick up a harness to ride a horse, either for work, recreation, or sport.
Horses work hard so we don’t have to. But giving them the care they deserve is hardly an easy task.
There are a few alternative methods of supplying pain relief for horses. Massage therapy is just one option to alleviate pain in the inflamed joints and muscles of overworked horses.
Another option is known as “Horse Needling.”
Some have compared it to acupuncture to humans, though the horse is much larger. As such, so is the needle.
A horse needler or licensed veterinarian will insert a two-inch long needle into the horse’s skin in order to trigger the release of endorphins. These endorphins spread throughout the horse’s body and work to reduce the pain levels in the affected joints. Supposedly, it can help with basic injuries or chronic conditions like arthritis, a common condition in hardworking horses.
Another alternative form of horse therapy is pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
In this practice, a number of tubes are set across the horse in order to administer electromagnetic radiation. But how does this work?
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapist, Christine Nelson, claims it delivers oxygen to blood cells. This oxygen this releases toxins that are causing the horse pain.
Just like humans, horses rely on alternative forms of therapy to treat a range of painful conditions. After all, an estimated 25,000 people suffer from a sprained ankle every day. Horses are no different and deserve the treatment that works.
For Dawn Hatcher, massage therapy is the best alternative. And thanks to Nebraska’s new law, this therapy can be offered to all horses, long in the face or otherwise.