Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Magna Wave Meets Reactivity Personified: A Magna Wave Maxx Review

I'm skeptical about alternative therapy for horses. I think new technology is super cool and I love living in the future, but I also think it's dumb to spend money on untested tech that may or may not do anything.
this pic is never not appropriate

Good news: my bodywork lady totally gets that.

(Aside: people like to ask what bodywork is. It's some combination of massage and chiro and I can't 100% tell you what she does, but when she works on C, we go from not going forward and not turning right to going forward and turning right, so it's worth the $ to me.)
our specialty

Bodywork lady also runs an equine rehab center and she usually lets us play with the new toys when they come in to see if it's something we're interested in doing on our horses. Courage has gotten laser treatment and ultrasound stuff, I gave Alyssa  Courage's turn on a Theraplate to see what happens (answer: made her nauseous), and I think we've done a couple other things. To this point, I haven't noticed that anything outside of the usual hands-on body manipulation was doing anything for Courage.
getting started

And then bodywork lady shows up with a thing called a "magna wave". It looked like a glorified hose lasso attached to a suitcase or tiny R2D2 droid and it popped like an electric fence. It has little wheels on the body so it's easy to move and it plugs into a normal outlet, so pretty straightforward. (research tells me this is the Maxx model).

Given Courage's extreme reactions to ropes/hoses (DO NOT LIKE) and hearty respect for electric fence (won't step over a single strand 1' off the ground), I figured this would be another failed experiment where I might get some good NOPE pictures but would achieve nothing useful.

Bodywork lady walked into his stall with the weird heavy popping droid suitcase hose thingy. I was SHOCKED that Courage gave it minor side eye, then was 100% ok without even moving his feet.

And then I was completely floored.

Not only did he like the treatment (I'd already tried it on myself--feels weird, doesn't hurt, did feel good after), he literally dropped his head below his poll and completely relaxed his entire body. Apparently, the machine/hose combo uses electro-magnetic pulses to essentially give a deep tissue massage. I don't know how I feel about any of those words in particular, but the change in Courage was remarkable.

This is the horse who leaps around, rears, paws the air, bolts away, and generally has a meltdown in his overreactions to pain when we do bodywork. He relaxes afterwards when he feels better, but it's borderline dangerous (at best) for myself or our practitioner and I never feel comfortable asking someone to hold him for me.

After a nice long session with the Magna Wave, Courage stood there like a sleepy old school horse, eyes closed, ears floppy, poll below his withers, and was completely passive and cooperative for the entire length of the adjustment.
and gave big releases

Which was less than a third the normal amount of time because there were no flying hooves to dodge or trooping around the barn trying to catch him after yet another escapade. (Yeah he possibly has a reputation...)

Um. Sign. Me. Up.

Courage is a special snowflake for sure and I try to do anything I can to keep people around him safe and happy. This was worth it for the increase in personal safety for myself and our bodyworker alone. I mean, we both kept repeating "I don't even recognize him" and "do you think we killed him"? I also asked her if I could get my own, and she said sure but pointed out they cost a tidy 20k so yeah, not happening here.

Per our bodywork lady, you can actually get on and ride immediately vs the usual 24-48 hours off after stuff like this, but I had somewhere to be so I didn't get to see the after-effects until I pulled him out the next day.

I threw him on the lunge line and then scraped my jaw off the floor--dayum.
don't even know this horse

Homeboy floated around like I've never seen him move. I ended up not riding, because he also felt super good, which entailed grunting oddly every few strides and periodically leaving the ground ways I just didn't care to ride.
eh no thanks

He wasn't naughty or bolting or any number of previous lunge line shenanigans. He just looked like he felt amazing and he was expressing himself. Nothing was sustained or idiotic.

Even without the after pictures though, I'm a believer. The change in him was mind blowing for me and regardless of how well it holds long term, the sheer fact that he was able to let us work on him without the big reactions makes it worthwhile to me at this point. I will say I watched our lady use it on several horses and there were a variety of responses, but for Courage and one of his girlfriends, this nifty tool could be a game changer.

10/10 will use again. Definitely recommend.

30 comments:

  1. It's always awesome to find something that works so well for your horse! I've heard of these, but I don't know anyone near me who offers them. Will have to do some research! ☺

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    1. It was super interesting--this was a BIG DEAL for Courage, but other horses were way less into it/affected by it. I'll be interested to check in without our bodywork lady next time she's out and see what kind of results she's getting.

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  2. Body work is everything. I love it. My horse loves it. I will always spend them one on it. 10/10 agree

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    1. For as often as I spring for this stuff for C, you'd think I'd have it done to myself once in a while.

      Or ever.

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  3. Replies
    1. Haha yeah if these were substantially cheaper, I'd totally own one. It felt amazing on my shoulders.

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  4. innnnneresting! i've seen this in videos (pretty sure elisa wallace did a video of johnny getting this treatment on the road to rolex) but never irl. i'm a big believer in all things luxe body work for ponies and will hopefully be signing sir chuckles up for some acupuncture sooner or later

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    1. 1) sir chuckles = yes
      2) if you find someone who does it, tell them you're skeptical and need to try it on yourself. Because you do.

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  5. his hind end action. unf.

    i saw elisa wallace do this on simply priceless before rolex and was very intrigued.

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    1. Haha I feel out of the loop. I'd never heard of one until it showed up at my barn.

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  6. I haven't used one of these before, but given how much Taran and Paddy loooooove their bodyworker, I wouldn't hesitate to see if something else helped them too. Although Taran always thinks he shouldn't have to do anything for like a week after a massage.

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    1. Courage would also like to adopt that philosophy.

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  7. Awesome that Courage loves it so. If it works, it's always worth it.

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    1. Well we don't want it going to his head now.

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  8. This is really interesting. Stinker gets massages and then is a pain in the ass to ride because he feels good. I always bounce back and forth between "yay he feels great" and "I'm going to murder you horse if you don't stop being an asshole."

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    1. Uh well based on his reactions to the bodywork itself, we always lunge before my first ride back. For reasons.

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  9. So cool! I wonder if my bodywork lady has one of these doohickeys?! I, too, was a bodywork skeptic until I had D done and his entire posture changed and he felt clearly fantastic and grew muscles in places where he didn't have any before. Now I'm a believer, 100%.

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    1. Courage is definitely a maintenance case--I'm basically re-muscling him the complete opposite of how he was on the track, so I try almost anything to support him.

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  10. Someone around here has one and has been advertising for it! Sounds so cool, I might have to try it! Thanks for the review.

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    1. There was such an interesting range of reactions--courage (no surprise) was the most dramatic. Some didn't want it near them, some kind of indifferent, some it was great for. Let me know if you try it!

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  11. Very cool! I haven't heard of that before

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  12. A friend of mine is certified and has worked on Libby before. Unfortunately, it was when she was stall bound, so I couldn’t really see a difference in her, besides her looking hella relaxed. But after this weekend she’ll be super close, her horse with be next to mine, so I’m hoping to try it again. And to try it on my ankle :-)

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    1. Cool!! I'd love to hear about your experiences.

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  13. Emma! I think she's fairly close you you, but Jessica Bortner-Harris offers it!

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  14. Cool! This was Tucker's response with acupuncture. I have tried a lot of different things with him, and nothing makes him as chilled out and happy as those teeny little needles. So that's what we do.

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  15. As of recently we have a lady in our area who offers this, and I was definitely curious! That's crazy that he had such a clear positive reaction, but you've definitely piqued my interest.

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  16. With my WB mare it wasn't so much the magna wave, but the resulting pops and adjustment that came so much easier afterwards. Once the muscles relax it is easier to align everything and get them back to where things should be. It does make a big difference and she would also literally 'change' in front of us. Becoming a lot calmer, softer eyes, relaxed and yes a totally different/better ride.

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