Top athletes, be they human or equine, require a holistic and comprehensive therapy program that will keep their muscles, nerves, minds and psyche in top form,, ready for the demands of competition. Micheal Baxter has become a pro on both sides of the Atlantic in preparing horses for international events.
Baxter has been working around high-performance horses most of his life. Born and raised in Lachine, Quebec, Micheal received a diploma in Animal Science from McGill University. After college, he moved to Calgary, Alberta to take the Farrier Science course at Olds College.
Since his heart was actually with training reining horses, in 1977 he worked for Greg Ward in Tulare, California before returning to open his own training stables in Calgary, At night, he started studying sport massage so he could better help some of his own riding students.
Realizing that there was a huge need for people to better understand the importance of proper massage practices for horses, he started a program at Montreal's Mount Royal College in Equine Sport Massage for horses. When he was invited to teach in Germany and work with some of Europe's top performance horses, Baxter jumped to the opportunity, moving to Warendorf, Germany to manage the new rehabilitation center there. For the next sixteen years, Micheal worked with International show jumping and dressage riders from Germany, Spain and the United States, only recently returning to his native Canada to work with horses and riders here.
Micheal's experience in Europe helped him develop a holistic approach to Equine Sport Therapy as way of increasing the performance and health of horses. "Top performance horses need to be like seasoned Karate expert - relaxed, responsive, calm and alert-mind so that they can produce a maximum performance" says Baxter. "Fr our horses to be that way, we have to be the same - balanced!"
Baxter, who emphasizes te art of performance riding and understanding the influence a rider's balance has on the horse's performance and health- -a team approach to interdependent balance between horse and riders.
Returning to Canada, Baxter established 'Equomed' headquartered in Loretto, Ontario, to help Canadian riders benefit from his many years of experience in Europe, as well as the research he conducted there in rehabilitation training and bio-mechanical techniques , including pre- and post-event therapy around competitions, back flexibility stress tests for horses and muscle re-education through acupressure and condition exercises guided by heart rate measurments.
In 2009, Micheal worked with designer of top quality cold compression therapy boots for human and produced a similar line of boots for horses. "the function of compression and cold on the tendons and joints after hard work and competition can reduce secondary swelling so that there is less chance of injury to the horse" explains Baxter. "The design of the Equomed therapy boots makes my job easier because horses recover faster with less chance of sustained injuries."
Micheal now focuses on teaching his science to the new generation of professionals.
C7 Technique Relaxation