WILSON MEAGHER SPORTS THERAPY NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is all about how to help you help your horse, move better, last longer and prevent injury.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In the mid- 1900’s, Jack Meagher( pronounced Mar) was a pitcher for the Boston Braves (a major league Baseball team-now the Atlanta braves). He was sidelined due to a shoulder injury that prevented him from throwing overhand freely and accurately. Even with the help of several medical practitioner’s, Jack was still unable to use his shoulder and arm properly and left the game. He subsequently was drafted to WWII and served as a medic in a German POW camp.
It was during his time working in the POW camp that the motion to Jack’s shoulder was fully restored! Believe it or not, this was accomplished by a German POW! As the story goes, Jack was pitching in a softball game when a POW noticed Jack did not use his shoulder properly. The POW was a masseuse and worked on Jack’s chest muscles and shoulder girdle, restoring Jack’s freedom of motion. To Jack’s amazement, he was able to fully use his shoulder and that recovery changed his life’s work. From that point on Jack said he would work to make sure “an athlete should not have to be injured to be treated”...
THE WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES - 2010
I had a fabulous time working as the sports therapist for the Canadian 3 Day Event Team, coached by David O’Connor. The team won the Silver Medal for the first time in 32 years! Being with the entire team, including the horse’s, support staff, manager, vet, and farrier felt as if I were working within a large family environment with one agenda, which as to win a medal. I never laughed so much, because the team members were all so light hearted with fantastic senses of humor, despite the extreme competitive environment. They are fierce competitors with the best interest in their horse’s well being...
CASE STUDY: MOTION PROBLEM, CAUSE AND SOLUTION
All horses move the same, no matter what discipline. Dressage, jumping, reining, racing, trail riding, all require the horse to bend, flex, extend, and rotate. Each discipline may emphasize one movement more than another which creates more stress and muscle tightness in specific areas of the horses body as a result of that discipline.
Problem: Heavy in right rein with difficulty bending to the left
It was a foggy morning at the race track, when I met up with a very disappointed jockey. She shook her head in disbelief when she reviewed her race on a 5yo filly the day before. “She is bred to the nine’s she said. She has the speed, the stamina and the courage to go the distance and win every time out, but she hasn’t done any better than third.” I asked if she runs out of steam, and fatigues. She said ”No, she has a hard time bending to the left and leans in my right rein making it harder for her to go left on the turns. Because she doesn’t bend well to the left, she pulls on my right rein causing her to move to the outside of the track, go wide on the turns, essentially covering more ground.” Bottom line: The filly had to work harder, covering more ground, resulting in a third place or less...
Liz Millikin, of Millwood VA, International 3 Day Event rider, Recognized Trainer, and Horse Sales.
Question: What are the top qualities you look for in a riding horse whether they’re to be used for pleasure or the highest level of competition?
RIDER'S TIP: Stretching
Since I like the idea of the least amount of work for maximum results try the following stretching tip taken from yoga.
Downward Facing Dog: This yoga posture helps to lengthen the neck, arms, shoulder’s, back, hamstrings and calves all in one stretch. All of these muscle groups can get very tight for riders since riders hold their arms in front of them, use their back, and the hamstrings and calf muscles are always held in a stretch position.
Don’t forget to BREATHE!