Interview with a Kelowna Equine Bodywork Practitioner

teenage boy riding horse through a field. horse benefits from Kelowna equine bodywork therapy

Bodywork and massage are some of the most beneficial care you can give your horse. We can improve how these athletes preform and feel by getting them a session by a Kelowna equine bodywork practitioner. Learn all about Rachel Gedaliya and her Kelowna equine bodywork business by reading our exclusive interview below!

How long have you been involved with horses? Tell us a little about your background with horses and how you got into equine bodywork. 

I discovered the horse world in my early 20’s. From the first riding lesson I took I was hooked for a lifelong journey with the horses, following their guidance over a few continents. Having training in energy work and following a personal yoga practice, I knew the physical body should not be neglected. I was searching for a program that will give me that education in working with the body of the horse but couldn’t find it where I was at the time in Israel. When I came to Canada I then met an equine body worker who worked on the horses at the ranch I worked at and she guided me to the first program I have taken. From then, I entered a huge  ‘rabbit hole’ that led me to search for more, ask more questions and understanding deeper how the horse’s body function and how to bring it to balance. 


What training/ certificates have you received?

 I started in 2009  with equine structural alignment from HJW equine studies and a few years later continued with Fascia release level 1 and 2 with Ruth Mitchell- Golladay from Equinology. Craniosacral level 1 and 2 with Elisse Miki from Equitherapeutics is my latest addition to the modalities I practice. . As well as a hoof care program of 2 years with Success with horses in 2014.

During the years of practice I felt I needed more education in various topics to get a more holistic sense and gain more understanding.  I started to pursue subjects that are rather newly researched in the equine world like biomechanics, functional anatomy, hoof care and more. That search led me to learn equine kinesiology taping , Surefoot pads ™ , Aromatherapy and Homeopathy and also participate in TTouch ™  and classical riding workshops.


What kinds of horses make good candidates for bodywork?

 ANY horse is a good candidate. Horses are not built to do the work we do with them (riding, jumping, driving..) therefore when we are interacting with them their body is in search of balance to compensate for us as an addition on their back or pulled behind. That compensation creates strain on their system, which can lead to muscle-skeletal problems, different postures that are not effective, injuries from repetitive use not to mention other problems to the nervous system. Therefore, any horse that we interact with can benefit from body work sessions to understand how the horse carries itself, where are the compensations and room to improve posture and functionality.


What makes your approach stand out? 

I’d like to think I bring a wide look and perspective with a holistic way that can be modified to almost any situation, together with constant learning of up to date techniques and research, as well as curiosity for the horse in front of me and seeking deeper into the root of things.


Is there a common problem that you see in horses? 

I see a variety of issues, from compensation patterns to healing from injuries but the majority of problems will be unhealthy hooves and ineffective posture and movement. These two main problems are creating weaknesses in different areas that will be more susceptive to injuries.

woman on a white horse that benefits from Kelowna equine bodywork therapy

What types of problems & issues can equine bodywork resolve? 

The list is long, and in some cases there has to be collaboration with other professionals in order to achieve better and faster results (these professionals should be your vet, hoof care provider, and other modality like Chiropractic and or Osteopathy). 

From physical issues to behavior problems that are sourced in pain to prevention. For example: Back pain, restriction in movement, difficulties to bend/ move to one side vs. the other, restrictions in the soft tissue, training fatigue, resistance to move in a certain way, odd posture, rehab from an injury and more.


What are some signs that a horse might need a session?

There are many signs when your horse might need body work and each horse person first has to know their horses in order to feel ‘something is not right’.

Inability to perform a maneuver/ movement  that was easy in the past is the most clear of a sign. Change in behavior (For example a horse refuses to jump, yet a few days ago they were going well towards it). A chronic restriction to the tissue (be it from tack, scaring, and even housing and the way they are fed can lead to chronic restrictions), post injury or operation (gelding scars for example) and also after a long hard training season where the muscles and fascia can be fatigued.


What areas do you provide service to?

Okanagan and the east side of the Kamloops area.


As an Kelowna equine bodywork practitioner, what recommendation do you give to horse owners regarding their care?

 I try to educate about what affects the horse’s body and posture, so owners can start to see what in their management can affect it for better or worse. Movement is a big component in that equation of maintaining healthy bodies and I would always encourage horse guardians to create an environment where their horses have the freedom to move as much as they want. I also recommend ‘home care’ exercises which are given based on what I have felt from each horse in each session and lastly- invest in a coach or program that enhances the horse’s ability to be in balance while in work with us.


How often do you recommend getting a session? How many sessions does it normally take to resolve issues? 

It is quite individual between horse to horse, and issue to issue. As a bodyworker I come with some tools that I offer the horse to ‘take’ and use . We work not only with the tissues of the horse but also with the nervous system, and sometimes we will touch an area that has encapsulated not only physical tension but also emotional and mental. Therefore I don’t come with a “fixed” idea or outcome but rather allow the horse to present their pace for their work as it can go very deep on multiple levels.

If there is no obvious issue, as a minimum work usually I recommend getting body work done before riding season starts, and right after it is done. If the horse presents an obvious issue or compensation pattern a few sessions will help make a change towards resolving it, especially if the owner is on board and doing their ‘homework’.

horse stretches his neck after Kelowna equine bodywork therapy

Are you taking on more clients?

For body work always.


How much does an average session cost?

A session of about an hour and half cost 110$ plus tax and mileage on top.


How can we get in contact with you if we’d like to use your services or find out more?

Through my Facebook page R.G equine body works.


Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

In choosing a practitioner please ask lots of questions; like where and when they took their education, how long are they practicing? Are they doing that as a full time practice? Are they part of a professional association? (In BC we have the BCAAMBP) and are they taking continued education like any other profession. All that is to ensure the quality of practice and service that you’ll get for your horse.

I know that you loved learning more about Kelowna equine bodywork as much as I did! If you enjoyed reading about Rachel and would like to get in touch, click here to go to her Facebook page. Rachel also is a barefoot trimmer. To learn more about this, click on the link below.

Are you a horse owner yourself? I am an equine photographer with a passion for capturing the relationship between horse and owner in an elegant, timeless way. I also create black background fine art equine portraits (in any color or texture!) and do branding sessions for your equestrian facility. Click here to learn more. I’d love to work with you!

Kelowna Farriers – Rachel Gedaliya