1) Tell us a few words about Mika?
Isobel: Mika is a pinto Dutch Warmblood mare who spent most of her life in the show jumping ring, competing up to 1,20m when she was younger. Now she is 27 years old, and enjoying a semi-retired life where she goes for frequent hacks in the forest and works lightly a few times a week which she (and I!) enjoy greatly and helps keep her in shape. There are, however, a few extra secrets that help keep her feeling good, and one of them is our monthly shiatsu treatments!
2) How did shiatsu help Mika? Does she respond well to the treatments?
Isobel: I believe that shiatsu has definitely played an important role in keeping her feeling so good. Our treatments every month are something I look forward to as I always notice a change in the days following the treatment, so yes she responds very well every time! I like to arrange the treatment to be done at a time when I feel she may be a little stiff, and this stiffness is reduced so significantly in the days after. I also believe it has such a great effect on her mind too, since you can tell that she truly enjoys it – she stands so patiently for it and seems very relaxed. I even tried a treatment myself and felt the same way, so I truly know it’s effective!
3) What do you think about the shiatsu treatment process, as a horse owner? Is there any advice you’d like to give on how to maintain a horse’s health?
Isobel: As a horse owner I believe that the shiatsu process is a wonderful way to connect with your horse while checking and maintaining his/her well-being. It’s a way to observe not only the physical health of the horse, but also the mind, which is easy to sometimes overlook or misinterpret. I believe that shiatsu therapy combined with consistency in training/health can play a huge role in in the success of any horse. This is why I believe in it so much – whether you’re training Grand Prix horse or ride as a hobby, the therapy can help you see major improvements.
4) Any final thoughts to share with fellow horse-owners?
Isobel: At 27 years old, Mika continues to surprise me every day! She has an incredibly willing attitude and feels very powerful to ride. Of course she inevitably has days where she might feel more stiff/tired, which is why I believe it’s so important to listen to your horse, and to never push past their limits. I think this is what keeps her so willing, she enjoys the work she does and we like to keep it short and sweet; 15-20 minutes of correct riding is so much more beneficial than 45 minutes of rushing/unbalanced work.