Stella is an equine therapist, born in France.
From her earliest years, already evolving around horses, she found herself focussing more on trying to listen to the animals than on the riding lessons themselves. Many questions stumbled in her head regarding everything she was feeling through her hands while touching a horse, and that she could not quite put into words.
From there on, she tried everything she could to discover and learn from every corner and every level of the equestrian world :she trained racing and endurance horses, volunteered for rescue centers, started young horses in english and western ridding, traveled on horseback for months at a time all across Europe and also spent countless hours mucking stables, feeding, grooming, fixing gear, assisting competition teams, harvesting and storing hay crop… Meanwhile, she practiced her intuitive methods on every horses she could, analyzing and trying to find a solution to the various mental and physical problems she would witness on each animal. Many times owners would be surprised by an unexpected amelioration in their horses’s behavior and performance, and asked her to perform more sessions.
Even though she was intuitively practicing energy work for years, she knew she wanted to pursue a solid training to be as accurate and efficient as possible, and to understand precisely how subtle sensations and manipulation could mean so much and have such a powerful impact on the horses she was working on. When she discovered the diverse technics of holistic bodywork on animals, she knew that there was the answer to everything she had tried and felt before. She devoured many books, followed seasoned practitioners around to watch and learn, and worked in exchange for training. She kept on practicing and building up experience with every horse crossing her path. Firmly convinced that our field of knowledge is incomparably smaller than the immensity of what remains to learn, she never stop developing and expanding the sense of touch and perception that has always been within herself .
She now lives in the Southwest of the USA, spending most of her time traveling from barn to barn in her van, with her dog Shenandoah.
Always curious and enthusiast about anyone caring for horses well being, she travelsto meet horse owners, trainers, veterinarians and other practitioners, aiming to build up a diverse network of passionate and skilled people, all leaning toward the same goal : giving to those wonderful and deep creatures the care and understanding they deserve so much.
Equine Shiatsu is a gentle but deeply effective energy therapy, sister to acupuncture. It employs only finger pressures along meridians through the body to redirect, rebalance and enhance the flow of energy.
Equine Craniosacral therapy is a gentle manual therapy that works on the central nervous system and the connective tissue called “fascia.” It frees the restricted motion in the bones of the skull, the vertebral column, and the pelvis. It realigns the skeletal structure, relaxes the animal and restore physical and emotional balance. It can release trauma and negative emotions, enhancing the body’s own abilities to heal itself.
Equine Sports Massage
Equine Sports massage is a specific method of massage using various pertinent techniques that focusses on the muscles especially solicited in particular physical activities.
The use of these therapies is limitless. They can be greatly beneficial to healthy, working horses to keep them feeling their best. But they can also be used to treat horses with performance issues, behavior problems, chronic pain, chronic medical conditions, and many other conditions.
Before using massage therapy for horses with any medical issues, it is important to first make sure that a veterinarian has evaluated the horse and approved them for manual therapies.
Why massage horses?
-early recognition and treatment of problems
-relieve tissues and skeletal tensions, pain, stiffness and other issues and forms of chronic lameness
-improve body fluids circulation, flow of nutrients, and respiratory circulation
-increase range of motion
-improve flexibility and thus reduce risk of injury
-help in recovery and stimulate immune system
-balance and reconnect the body as a whole
-lower the heart rate, promote relaxation and feeling of well being
-help managing and prevent stress and emotional shocks.
-a pain free, flexible and united body is the way to a balanced mind
-just like humans, horses can store for years, deep within themselves, the effects of past traumas, injuries, and bad memories. If those haven’t been processed or released at the time, they ended up ‘stored’ while the horse was first recovering. Even when all traces of the event seem to have vanished, it can remain psychologically locked in, preventing the horse from moving on. Abnormal physical issues or behavior may then start to appear.
-Knowing how your horse feels, understand where the pain or the discomfort comes from, and being able to get it fixed, is the key to solve numerous behavior issues and build a deep, caring relationship based on trust and awareness. Beyond the performance aspect, the owner gains a whole new understanding of its horse while offering him an improved quality of life. The communication between horse and rider is deepened and elevated to a higher level.
Which horses can benefit from massage therapy?
In short, massage therapy can benefit just any horse.
*For young horses starting training : With weaning, new environment, exposure to trailers,humans, tack… the first years of a horse’s life can be remarkably stressful. This mental stress may generate physical tensions that will interfere with its education. I am always surprised by how many stress points and physical discomfort I find in freshly started horses. By helping to reach a happy body and mind, energy bodywork can contribute to relieve/prevent those tensions and make it easier for both trainer and horse.
*For equine athletes and working horses : Repetitive exercises at high intensity can create pain and tensions in the body. With time, this will alter the horse’s performance and/or its behavior, and can lead to mood drop, poor results and injury. Working horses like any other horses also have to deal with emotional issues that can pile up with the chalenge of everyday work. Energy bodywork can help to prevent this to happen or fix existant issues before they escalate, along with keeping your horse at his best both physically and mentally. The horse is restored to its full potential and is able to enjoy his life and his job, thus its performances are maximized.
*For pleasure horses : even at low intensity, exercise, living context or traumas can cumulate and create recurrent issues that could eventually undermine your horse’s quality of life, as well as your relationship with him. Energy bodywork will help identify and solve physical and emotional tensions in your horse and ensure that you both enjoy quality time while understanding each other.
*For retired or older horses : Older horses have accumulated past issues, wear and tears from all the years of work behind them. And the natural aging process of the body adds its own dose of potential problems. Energy bodywork will help relieving your horse physical discomfort, address emotional issues and help him remaining happy, peaceful, flexible and strong through the years.
*One exception to this rule is mares in foal. I will only work with a vet referral in this situation. *
*Before using bodywork for horses with medical issues, it is important to first make sure that a veterinarian has evaluated the horse and given approval for manual therapies. *
What techniques are used during the session?
My techniques cover sport massage, shiatsu and craniosacral,though I mainly specialized in those two last ones. Depending on your request and the needs of the patient, I either focus on one technic or use a combination of different methods to heal and work on your horse at every level : muscular, articular, fascial, nervous, emotional… Every horse being an unique being with its specific history, activity and temperament, I can choose and combine several approches to give your animal the most efficient care.
How long does typically last a session?
It varies depending on the situation, but on average a session lasts from 45 minutes to 1.30 hour, Some horses may require shorter or longer sessions.
Can I ride my horse after a session?
Ideally, your horse should have some time on its own immediately after the session, and work be kept at a minimum during the following 24h to allow time for the tissues to reorganize, process new sensations and awareness. If the horse will be asked to perform a strenuous exercise shortly after a session, it should be mentioned ahead of time.
“I am deeply committed to the wellbeing of my horses. They are a very big priority in my life. I have a number of elderly horses, one with a degenerative disease and another with insulin resistance. Stella is by far the most skilled, effective therapist my horses and I have had the privilege to work with. My elderly horses suffer from various aches and pains. One has Cushings. After every treatment with Stella, they are brighter, clearly much more comfortable in their aging bodies not to mention much freer in their movements. In a word, they are happy! It’s almost miraculous to watch their energy shift from being a bit shut down, to coming back to life. My sweet arab who has the degenerative disease makes huge shifts after his sessions with Stella. He, too, lightens and brightens. It makes me exceedingly happy to witness these transformations. I am deeply grateful to have been referred to Stella by a friend and will keeping working with her as often as is possible. I benefit, but more importantly, my horses benefit. I believe Stella’s work has extended the life of one of my horses and has certainly improved the lives of every other horse beyond measure.”
“For years, my horse had aggression issues with me and anyone else trying to touch him. Putting a halter or bridle on him had become a constant struggle. He seemed physically sound and different examinations revealed nothing. Despite of numerous training strategies and change of tack, he was turning increasingly shut down, distant, and our relationship was deteriorating. Stella immediately noticed several cranial imbalances and was able to work on it on the first session. The change was instantaneous. For the first time in years, his eyes recovered their original soft gaze, and when I came with the halter, he lowered his head towards it. Stella has now worked with him several times, and he has shifted to an affectionate, attention loving horse. It is hard to express how much this has changed our lives. I know understand that physical issues, hard to detect, were at the roots of his difficult behavior.”
“I have a 15 year old quarter horse mare. She seemed stiff and was stumbling a bit, especially on the steep and rocky slopes. She also had some issue in her right hind. I had x-rays taken, but they showed nothing. The chiropractic work did offer temporary benefits. The first time Stella met and worked with my mare Sister, I was absolutely amazed. Once the session started, Sister relaxed noticeably. It was wonderful to see. Now my horse is always happy to see Stella. She reacts so quickly to her work. With Stella working with Sister about once a month, my horse has softened all through her body. Stella detected an old deep groin issue on her right hind and was able to relieve her of this discomfort. Her sacrum and pelvis are in alignment. She is relaxed in her poll. She moves much more fluid in all movements. Traveling up and down slopes is no longer an issue. It’s amazing to see the changes. And her entire demeanor is changed: She is relaxed, comfortable, and so much more social with me in general. What a gift this is both for my horse and myself.”
“The love for a horse is just as complicated as the love for another human being…
if you never love a horse, you will never understand.”
Sessions are preferably held at the horse’s barn, to avoid the stress and tiredness of hauling.
Alternatively, I can also meet you after your lesson or clinic, at the instructor’s facility.
I will gladly travel to horse’s owners barns, and do not require any specific overnight arrangements beside of a place to park my van sized camper.
People living in the same area can book me as a group over several days. I will organize visits to each of you, according to your schedules and availability.
I am based in Southern New Mexico, and cover the Southwestern US: New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Colorado.
– within a 120 miles radius: $75/session +gas fee (past the first 15 miles)
-past a 120 miles radius: $85/session +gas fee
Contact : 575 322 2098 (call or text)