College Equine Program Adopts Myotherapy

Whether it is a concentration on stud farm management or therapeutic riding, there's a niche for career-bound horse enthusiasts in universities all over the country. This fall, Teikyo Post University became the first college in New England to offer a career specialty in equine Trigger Point Myotherapy as a part of its bachelor's degree program in Equine Management.

Director of the university's equine management program, Carole Baker believes that Trigger Point Myotherapy is becoming mainstream as a form of treatment. She explained that the therapy tries to alleviate pain from ill-fitting and improperly adjusted tack, and thoughtless or ignorant riding or training. Myotherapy also works with misplacements and old injuries as a method of rehabilitation.

Teikyo Post is working with Equi-Myo of Granby, Conn., a program founded by Margie Herr in 1990, which has use of a barn, indoor arena, and 40 horses in various disciplines. Herr has a degree in teaching and school administration as well as Trigger Point Myotherapy. She, her husband, Charles, and staff train and instruct courses in equine, canine, and human myotherapy (see Calendar on page 132 for dates).

The course provides students with a foundation in anatomy and muscle physiology as they learn how muscle dysfunction and compensation patterns develop. They also learn how to rebuild muscle strength and maintain flexibility through stretches and corrective exercises.

Toward the end of their training, students work on two or more project horses, in a therapist role, which gives experience in the business aspect of processing myotherapy.

"The more qualifications with which a student can graduate, the more likely they are to have a successful career," said Baker. "The advantage is that it's something you can do part-time, something you can do on the side with horses in addition to running your own barn, and you can build up your own practice," she added.

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