A six-month follow-up!
Way back in November, I presented my initial review of the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Groomer, a grooming tool designed to complement Dr. Pat Bona’s cross fiber grooming techniques to improve the equine’s posture with the benefits of therapeutic massage. The quick summary is that the groomer moves across muscle fibers to manipulate the fascia or top layers of tissue, improving circulation, range of motion and lymphatic drainage. For a more in-depth explanation and to see a video of Dr. Pat demonstrating the use of the groomer, please refer to my initial review.
As promised in the initial review, I’m back with my follow-up review, six months later after a winter of using the Posture Prep. While not an exceptionally cold or snowy winter compared to those in recent years, it was nonetheless a long wait for warmer days and better riding conditions, and there were many weeks when we didn’t ride at all — not the most interesting winter, perhaps, but actually prime time to put the Posture Prep to use.
Here is what Red looked like on the first day I introduced the Posture Prep:
Here is what Red looks like now, six months after fairly consistent use (probably not what would be considered “perfect use,” but consistent sessions 3-6 days a week all winter long):
Now, in the interests of full disclosure, Red is also seeing a different farrier than who he was seeing in November, and I’ve also changed his saddle to one that I feel fits him better. I believe both of these factors are working in concert with the Posture Prep to greatly affect the way Red is carrying himself.
As Dr. Pat describes in her literature and videos available through her website (additional materials are accessed with the purchase of a Cross Fiber groomer) the horse’s skin should fit him like a pair of sweatpants. While difficult to show you in photos, I do find that Red’s fascia slides over his frame, feeling much more pliable than when we started in November.
In addition, Red’s general demeanor in the barn and his patience have improved dramatically. As you can see in the photos above, Red now ground-ties and can stand in the center of the barn while I work around him and tack up for a ride; our winter of Posture Prep sessions gave both of us a good reason to slow down and work on this important skill as Red does have a history of pulling back when tied (even on the blocker ring I had been using). He is now happy to stand still and enjoys his Posture Prep sessions without fidgeting like he used to.
Could you argue that increasing your time spent on the ground with any horse in any situation with any tool would get you similar results? Perhaps, but I will say that grooming with the Posture Prep and trying to follow the cross fiber system of massage really forced me to slow down and think about what I was doing, paying much closer attention to the reactions of my horse and areas that needed more work. While we’d all like to say that we’re perfectly mindful equestrians who are totally in tune with our horses every time we’re grooming, let’s also be honest and say that we need the reminder to slow down, pay attention, make the grooming really count.
These were definitely not overnight changes: it took a solid six months of work to get to this point, and a few months ago I was ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat, assuming that Red was always going to look like a bit of a conformational weirdo and never stand nicely in the barn. Patience, time and persistence were key, which was difficult for someone like myself who likes to see results. In some ways, the Posture Prep affected change not only in my horse but in myself as well.
For more information about the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Groomer, check out PosturePrep.com! You can also “like” the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Groomer on Facebook for more great information and updates from Dr. Pat Bona.