Equine Therapy with Jessi Guinn

Massage therapy can be life-changing for horses, owners

Credit: Free Press



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Benefits of massage:

•Improves circulation which promotes more rapid healing of injuries

•Enhances muscle tone and increases range of motion

•Boosts athletic performance and endurance

•Eases muscle spasms

•Reduces inflammation and swelling of joints

•Increases production of synovial fluid in the joints

•Relieves pain, tension and stress

•Restores musculoskeletal balance

•Stimulates circulation in the lymphatic system and hastens the elimination of waste products and toxins

•Lengthens connective tissue and prevents the formation of adhesions

•Generally improves disposition

JULIAETTA - Jessi Jean Dammerman Guinn knows that horses, like people, are not always what they seem.

“Many times the problem is ‘unexplainable’ or considered a training issue like bucking, rearing, refusing leads, inability to bend, head-tossing, cinchy horses,” she said.

The Juliaetta woman runs the business Jessi Jeans Equine, and spends much of her time exploring what makes horses tick. She has owned the business for the past four years.

“If only we, as horsemen, would stop and consider what is the horse trying to say? Horses express themselves with their bodies. This is how they communicate with us; it’s up to us to listen to what they are saying,” she explained. “If something hurts or feels uncomfortable how else are they to tell us? Sometimes if a horse is ‘off’ for no apparent reason, he may have a short choppy stride, shoulder or hip lameness, or stiffness and resistance. Sometimes you may notice coordination difficulties or difficult bending.”

Guinn grew up in Deary, where she was involved in horses since she “was in diapers,” she smiled. She attended the "Equissage” Equine Sports Massage Therapy certification program in Valley Center, Calif. Her case studies were completed at REINS Therapeutic Riding Center.

While Guinn grew up riding, she said it wasn't until she worked at Washington State University in the Horse Disease Laboratory that she knew caring for horses would be her chosen career path.

Guinn is certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy (ESMT) and distributes a full line of equine supplements as well as Aculife patches.

“I also offer one-on-one saddle fitting classes and offer hands-on stretching technique classes,” she said. “I workon horses from all disciplines of riding -- barrel horses, rope horses, bulldogging horses, dressage, reiners and more.”

Guinn said a lot of first-time clients come to her because of an injury and are looking for a "fix."

“This is OK and I am glad they are seeking help, but I also want for them to realize that moving forward with massage therapy can play a huge role in preventative care for injuries,” she emphasized.

She said often the source of a problem is a bit of knotted muscle tissue causing an ache or pain, adding these aches and pains “can make it very difficult for a horse or any athlete to perform at his best.”

“The responsible knots or adhesions are easily worked through and eliminated using the trained hand of an equine sports massage therapist,” she said. “If the problem is muscle related -- and it often is -- a sports massage will undoubtedly help.”

For Guinn, it’s not just a job – it’s an experience she said she thoroughly enjoys.

“Knowing at the end of each day in the field that I have provided hands-on therapeutic therapy to the horses just makes me smile,” she said. “There are so many gimmicks out there – hand-held massage units, magnetic blankets and more -- but I truly believe that each body is uniquely different and requires special care.”

“Using my hands, I am able to become one with the horse and feel what they are feeling, therefore applying different amounts of pressure and using different techniques custom to that specific horse to reach our end result of satisfaction,” she said.

Guinn services the Lewis-Clark Valley and surrounding areas and travels to the Boise area twice a month. She can be reached by calling 208-301-0639 or e-mailing jjequinellc@gmail.com; www.jessijeansequine.com; on Facebook: Jessi Jeans Equine.

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