Why do horses need bodywork?
For millions of years horses have run wild and free and evolved into the beautiful creatures we are besotted with today. In that time they have not needed bodywork, massage, chiropractors etc. So why would they need that now?
Well here's the deal. Horses did not evolve to be ridden by humans and wear all the tack we put on them. They evolved to graze and browse all day, with some brief periods of sleep and the ability to run away quickly if a predator came along.
Then along came humans. We changed the horses whole life and purpose for our own gains and because of that we must look after them and support them through these changes. We changed their diet, their exercise, put weight on their back which is often unbalanced, made them wear gear that doesn't always fit, and expect them to turn up day in day out with a cheerful attitude and do our bidding.
There are many factors that can influence a horses soundness and ability to be ridden and work. Saddle fit, exercise, warmup and warm down, injury (even ones that happen in the paddock), illness, age and wear and tear just to name a few. All of these factors can be managed through bodywork and regular check ups. Horse get sore and just like humans they need help to maintain and recover from physical activity.
A sound horse is a happy horse and is able to be a partner in the team not just a living piece of tack. We owe it to our horses to make them comfortable as they gain nothing from winning ribbons or bettering their riders skills.