Bobbi Jackson, Equine Enhanced Movement, LLC
Advanced Certified Practitioner, Equine Structural Integration

Equine Structural Integration Sessions Explained

How does your practitioner perform Equine Structural Integration?

Using her hands and the techniques learned at The Equine Natural Movement School, your practitioner works the superficial layers of muscle and tissue. As outer layers become more flexible and less restricted, your practitioner will work deeper within the horse's structure to organize intrinsic muscles and joint relationships more efficiently. This full body restructuring 'usually' takes place in five sequential sessions.

All work proceeds with sensitivity and at a depth and speed your horse readily accepts.

What's in a session?

• Movement Analysis

• Hands-on Body scan: What moves freely, holds tensions or is tender? Where is horse cautious about being touched?

• Creating a Body map: Devising the best sequential plan to unravel compromised muscular and imbalanced myofascial relationships

• Hands-on Bodywork: Release adhesions, rebalance skeletal structure

The Five Sessions of the Equine Natural Movement Series

First Session

Purpose -- Build trust. Get to know the horse's tension patterns.

Method -- Release holding in surface musculature. Identify deep holding patterns that are the road map for a continuing series.

Second Session

Purpose -- Give the horse a better sense of stability so he's more secure in moving on and off the ground. Bring out the power available in the horse's hind end.

Method -- Emphasize vertical line integrity in standing. Free up tendons and musculature of all four legs. Free up superficial and midlevel fascial restric­tions in shoulders, pelvis, lumbar and hip joints.

Third Session

Purpose -- Integrate muscle groups that share movement functions.

Method -- Begin to shift vertical line integration into horizontal plane. Work focuses on functional quadrants rather than individual muscles.

Fourth Session

Purpose -- Bring out fluidity of whole body motion.

Method -- Connect front and hind ends through the barrel. Emphasize horizontal line cohesiveness.

Fifth Session

Purpose -- Reinforce changes after horse has practiced his discipline.

Method -- Maintain flexibility of fascia while horse strengthens into an integrated movement pattern.

After a session

Your horse will likely be feeling active and frisky immediately after the session. You may lunge at the walk, trot and canter ten times in each direction. This will help to integrate the structural changes in the horse’s body and allows the work to penetrate deeper. Keeping safety in mind, if your horse wants to kick up his heels, let him. If he wants to roll, encourage him to do that, too; he's exploring how his body moves in different ways. It's even a good idea after their sessions to turn horses out and let them run, turn, twist and roll giving them the opportunity to explore their new flexibility. This is an important part of the session because it helps horses know what they are now capable of doing.

Horses are not sore from the bodywork after a session but once in awhile a horse might overdo the exploration of his new flexibility. If he's still racing, running and rolling after half an hour, you might want to bring him in for the night. Most horses have common sense about what they can do, but every once in awhile a horse feels so good he wants to jump over the moon. If soreness is a concern to you, monitor his field play that day.

**Don't ride for the rest of the day after a session so your horse can move without your weight and directions.                                                                                                                                                       **Do half the normal workout the following day so he can move around and integrate the neuromuscular changes. This helps him learn on his own what is different in his body and how to use himself better.