My students and I continue to have excellent results at the Winter Equestrian Festival and at the Turf Tour. My new 7 year old, Caspar, is learning my style. He was double clear and 8th in our first 1.30m jump off class. Armado and I have had some top placements in March and a great win in the 1.40m jump off class this week! Click here to watch our winning round and jump off.
This month's featured article is by Dr. Wendy Coren of Equalign, specialists in equestrian performance and wellness services. She discusses and demonstrates the benefits of kinesiology tape for the rider and horse. Special thank you to Dr. Wendy for sharing this information with us!
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The Benefits of Kinesiology Tape for the Rider and Horse
by Dr. Wendy Coren Kinesiology (also known as "sports") taping is a bio-mechanical approach to improving mobility in the equestrian athlete. At Equalign, we approach taping with a focus specifically on the anatomy of a tissue known as fascia. This component of the athlete's structure has direct influences on mechanoreceptors (sensory nerves in the skin), fluid dynamics (movement of blood and lymph), and proprioception (the body's awareness of its position in space).
What is fascia? Most basically, a layer of ﬁbrous connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscle fibers, blood vessels, organs, and nerves; binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly past one another.
Research by Elbrond and Shultz, and Meyers has demonstrated that fascia exists in long chains, coursing throughout the body, in the equine as well as the human structures. These chains provide dynamic supportive and stabilizing roles during motion. The newest techniques in kinesiology taping address these far-reaching connections, shedding light on the interrelations of poll to hind coffin and hind limb to opposite fore, to name a few.
Performance, in any athlete, relies upon the interrelation of structure and function. Horses and their riders create specific patterns of motion and behavior due to training, or pain, and ultimately the inherent desire to avoid pain. Repeated behaviors, desired or not, leave a structural imprint, which lead to functional changes in gait and performance. Taping the body to a corrected posture stimulates the brain (through the interaction with sensory and proprioceptive fibers) to relearn a more proper conformation. By subtly altering structure, kinesiology taping provides a simple, noninvasive means to positively influence movement patterns and posture. And by providing gentle decompression over areas of inflammation and spasm it has substantial pain relieving potential.