Sunday, March 22, 2015

Melissa Fisher, Equine Massage Practitioner

From Ohio USA Melissa Fisher knows horses. She has been around horses most of her life. Melissa explains, “Through these past 12 years you can say I have gained a significant amount of experience, but I always learn something new every day. Going through High School I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do once I graduated. I knew I wanted to go to college and have a career in the animal field, but at that time I just wasn’t sure. I went to some colleges but never really found my true calling until I went to Hocking Technical College in Nelsonville, Ohio. There is where I discovered I wanted to become an equine massage therapist. I went through two years of college in what seems like a blink of an eye. But in those two years I have learned so much, thanks to the teachers that have helped me. Massage really is an amazing technique and is extremely useful as an aid in healing the body. Using everything I was taught in school, and with hard work, I started my own equine massage business called Happy Hands Equine Massage in April 2013. Currently I am doing massage in the Mid-Ohio Valley region, in the vicinity of Marietta, Ohio. However I do/will travel once I gain more clientele.”

When was your first encounter with a horse?
I cannot tell you the first time I was around a horse, because I've been an animal lover since I was able to walk and have always been around them. But the first time I owned a horse I was 10 years old. His name was Babe and he was a Dark bay mustang. He came out from the Nevada Desert. He and I didn't always see eye to eye. However, when I was 12 my parents gave me a red and white Quarter horse paint and we instantly clicked. I can remember the day I got him like it was yesterday. Actually we went out to look to see him and afterwards, I told my parents I wanted this horse. A couple weeks went by and I asked them if we were still able to get him and they told me he had been sold already. Of course I was crushed. A few days later I came back in the house from doing barn work and my parents had me go back outside to the barn. And there he was! They had him delivered and then waited until I was in the house to bring him over. That was the only time my parents were able to surprise me. They say my mouth literally fall open. His name is Jesse James. I got him when he was 6 and he’s 18 now. I tell you what; they picked a horse that fit me perfectly. We are like two peas in a pod.

As an equine massage practitioner, what technique do you use?
When I massage, I use only my hands and for some of the moves I use elbows. I don’t use any tools. If you’re asking what technique I use - as in what kind of moves do I do? I use several different types of massage maneuvers that have different effects on the muscles.

Do you use other products, such as oils and creams?
I use products only if the owner wishes to have them used on their horse. I have several types of oils to choose from that I can implement in the massage session. I am also considering getting a liniment that helps with the massage and will have longer lasting results.

Have you had encounters with troubled/problem horses?
Yes, I have worked on a few horses with problems. One was a mare that had a shoulder problem and another had a sore leg from falling. Massage not only helps the physical aspect for the horse, it also helps for the emotional aspect as well. I worked on a mare that out of the blue started biting and being really mean. After I worked on her, she was herself again, all bright and happy.

Do you have a success story/anecdote to share?
I’ve worked on a Tennessee Walker/Morgan Cross mix that was used for cart pulling. He was in his middle 20s. He was having lots of tightness in his neck and since he was an older horse his owner believed he was developing arthritis. For all the time she has owned him she hasn't seen him put his head down to relax. After I worked on him he had his head down many times and the tightness in his neck has diminished.

As a horse-owner, what can I do to keep my horse healthy and happy?
As a horse-owner, I recommend massage and possibly a chiropractor to help put my horse back on track if he seems off. Pay attention to how they act when you’re walking them and when riding. They will show you how they feel. You just have to watch.

What does horsemanship mean to you?
I think horsemanship means the companionship between you and your horse. It’s a bond like a friendship and how well you can work and get along together. If you pay attention to each other, then they will take care of you just as much as you take care of them.

Connect with Melissa...


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