Focardi Master Therapy is a holistic treatment method created by Davide Focardi based on his extensive experience working in the equine
Through his in-depth understanding of the physiology and biomechanics of the horse’s body, along with years of study of traditional physical therapy techniques as well as a selection of Chinese and Japanese therapies, Davide has created a range of specialized treatments that form the basis of his Focardi Master Therapy.
Focardi Master Therapy blends ancient and modern learning to provide the ultimate in healing and performance enhancement for your horse.
Davide first begins by discussing the horse’s history with the owner or rider to ascertain the problems experienced, level or desired level of performance and the horse’s daily routine.
Following this, a ’10-point’ initial inspection is performed at rest, followed by ’10-point’ biomechanical assessment of the horse while moving.
Observation of the horse is performed in walk and trot, and occasionally under the saddle, and facilitates an in-depth gait analysis to assess which areas of the body are not moving freely or functioning normally, which areas are presenting signs of injury and what needs to be changed or improved to achieve a better athletic ability.
Davide then thoroughly examines the horse physically, paying particular attention to any areas in which he observed any discomfort or unusual movement, as well as performing an assessment of dentistry, foot balance and saddle fitting. Every physical examination involves an initial systematic ‘teeth to tail’ approach due to complex interconnections of body systems and protective mechanisms of the body resulting in referred restriction, inhibition of distant joints and vertebrae, and fibrosed, spastic and painful muscles.
For physical therapy and a complete structural realignment to be possible on the dysfunctioning areas, full muscular and myofascial release must be performed to permit joint, vertebral and muscular manipulation. Following the re-establishment of musculoskeletal mobility an upgraded version of trigger point massage is performed to relieve pain and restore communication and co-ordination between parts of the body. Often what appears to be the initial problem is in fact a secondary issue, which has developed due to an older or more severe underlying injury. As a result Davide ensures the constant reassessment of key functioning areas during his treatments to detect alternating responses in mobility, sensitivity and texture. He continuously uses his individual and specialized techniques to relieve, rebalance and restore areas of discomfort, restriction or injury.
Following treatment, Davide will make recommendations for short-term exercise regime to facilitate the horse readjusting to its new comfortable, pain-free state and future management advice.
Focardi Master Therapy doesn’t just focus on one problem area, it treats the entire horse.
“My aim is to provide a service that is proactive and holistic. When I look at a horse that is presenting a problem, I am not only interested in finding the problem itself but I must also find the reason why the problem has occurred in the first place and therefore how, with some changes in the horse management and/or training, we can avoid problems again in the future”
Prevention is the best medicine
Although Focardi Master Therapy can be used to identify and treat problems, it is not only used as a solution, but also an ongoing treatment regime to prevent injury, increase strength and enhance performance.
Davide recommends that all of his clients have their horses regularly checked and assessed at all stages of their career. Regular checks mean that wear and tear can be detected before they cause a serious problem and ongoing treatment benefits the horse’s overall health, resulting in less time off, increased athleticism and more success in competition.
Young horses may not have years of wear and tear on their bodies yet, but applying Focardi Master Therapy as they begin their training can help detect any weaknesses resulting from poor conformation or delayed growth. Davide works closely with riders and trainers to create a therapy and exercise regime that will help strengthen a young horse, maximise its potential and boost its future performance.
Part of a team
Focardi Master Therapy is an important element in keeping horses in top condition, but Davide is quick to point out that he is one member of a larger team. Human athletes require more than just good genetics for success and our equine athletes are no different. Sporting champions rely on a team of professionals to focus on physical, mental, technical and dietary factors for peak health, fitness and performance and it is important our equine athletes receive the same attention. Communication and a good working relationship between the members of the team will maximise results.
Davide works closely with riders, trainers, vets, farriers, dentists and dieticians to achieve success with his top clients.
Read Emer Bermingham’s ‘Teamwork makes the Dreamwork‘ in The Irish Field