Shiatsu massage for racehorses has proven to be a great benefit. This is evidenced by both stores I can relate and experiences of some of my students.
FREE HOUSE – (See Letter Above from Trudy McCaffery):
Free House, an American Thoroughbred racehorse owned by John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery, was a horse that I helped with Shiatsu massage. Blood Horse Publications called him one of the best California-bred horses of all time. In 1997 he was the dominant three-year old in California racing. He had many racing successes in his dossier during that time. However, Free House started acting very strangely on the race track and had to be sent for rehab, which is when I started working on him.
The first session I did on him was interesting to say the least; he was in so much pain that he did not want to be touched. He had to be sedated and, even with sedation, he did his level best to avoid my ministrations and tried to hurt me. I was not surprised by his reaction. This type of behavior is not uncommon for race horses because they are worked hard, under a lot of stress, and message is not usually incorporated into their training regimen.
When I arrived for a second session with Free House, I found a completely different horse. He was eager to see me and started raising a ruckus when he heard me arrive. He came running up to me and placed his head on my shoulder. This second session was completely different. No sedation was needed. He stood there with his eyes closed, head hanging low, and lips quivering.
After rehab with Shiatsu massage as a part of the therapy, Free House returned to racing as a 5-year old. He first won the San Antonio Handicap. Then, he achieved the second biggest win of his career – defeating his rival Silver Charm and winning the Santa Anita Handicap. This was the reward for having me massage him…VICTORY!
CHARLEY’S MOMENT-(SEE LETTER FROM Berta Pinon)
Berta Pinon, is one of my many stand-out students at my Equine Massage Therapy School. Berta originally attended my school to learn how to better massage her own horses. After graduating from my school she started massaging thoroughbred race horses.
Berta began working at Hollywood Park race track where she met the trainer of Charlie’s Moment, a promising gelding now owned by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rachid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Berta was asked to work on Charlie the day of the $200,000 Stake Race in Santa Anita. Due to racetrack rules, Berta was unable to work on Charlie at that time and unfortunately, Charlie finished last that day.
Several months later, Charlie’s Moment was entered in a $100,000 Stakes Race at Hollywood Park. His owners were concerned because it was a longer race than Charlie had run before – 7 furlongs. This time Berta was able to work on Charlie twice prior to the race. As it should, Berta’s work on Charlie made a big difference.
Charlie’s Moment won the race and was then immediately purchased by Sheikh Mohammed!
These are just two of many examples of how Shiatsu Massage has helped race horses improve their performance. Not only can massage help recover a promising but ailing equine athlete, it can also help top performers by making sure that they are able to continue with their successes.