One year of Swedish Fascia Vibes with Rolf Göran Bengtsson
From autumn 2015 to autumn 2016, Atlasbalans had a close collaboration with Rolf Göran Bengtsson with the intention of seeing if regular fascia treatment could help his horses stayed in shape.
Therapist Märta Lindqvist therefore went to Rolf Göran’s stable in Hamburg every third to sixth week throughout the whole season – and was allowed to attend a number of competitions.
Here we have gathered some of her views during her year with Rolf Göran Bengtsson
The beautiful and nervous horse worked so well after the treatment that I got goose bumps and almost a small tear
A trip to Rolf Göran in Hamburg
At the beginning of last week I went with Ivar and Hans Bohlin down to Rolf Göran Bengtsson’s riding center in Hamburg, Germany.
With us we brought a couple of Swedish Fascia Vibes machines to demonstrate how the treatment is done on horses.
Rolf Göran has already tried the treatment when he was injured a few years ago, but he had not yet seen how it works with the horses.
We started by visiting his wife’s stable and got the chance to see some show jumping the moment we entered into the beautiful riding arena. Evi red a dark handsome horse, who was given some technical fine tuning before Flyinge the upcoming week and before Rolf Göran flew to Qatar with the stallion Casall.
We discussed some riding and form in general, and quickly talked about how the Swedish Fascia Vibes treatment works and what to expect from it. The plan was to treat the horse Evi had just ridden and then drive to Rolf Göran’s stable to treat a few of his horses.
The dark handsome horse looked somewhat tense in his upper line; which was confirmed by Rolf Göran’s description: “I can round him out and keep him like that for a while but it is very difficult for other riders to manage this”. We agreed that the most ideal situation was to get the horse so soft that it wouldn’t have to take as an exact, powerful technique and riding capacity to get that roundness. Better to have him soft from scratch to spare his joints and tendons.
The horse was treated with my machine while a few of the riders got one ailment after the other treated by Hans. The reaction from the horse was great; he rested, tried to help out and finished the session with a long series of yawning.
Then a nervous, very tense horse was treated. The problem described to me was: a horse with a high tension level, difficult to get rounded and work calmly, with a tendency to tighten up in the posterior region and kick backwards.
This was an incredibly beautiful but sensitive horse, which most likely, thanks to its agile exterior, had built up quite some tension in the upper line and in the gluteuses. It received a thorough treatment and accepted it gracefully. I was told that veterinarians usually got chased out and practitioners had gotten their fare share of kicks.
The day after we continued treating both staff, riders and many of the fine horses. The response was very positive. Riders came out of the arena commenting things such as “wow, I sat deep on the horse today, simply straight down!” and “this one was fine today”.
The beautiful and nervous horse worked so calmly and nicely it gave me goose bumps, and even a tiny tear in my therapy eye. The horse was softly rounded and moved in a balanced and harmonious manner. The rider yelled from the saddle that it felt fantastic!
It remains to be seen if the treated horses will perform well during the competitions. I for one will at least keep checking their scores. The trip to Hamburg had been superb, with many interesting conversations with one of the best riders out there! The other riders as well are such professionals all the way through and leave nothing to chance. When one gets the opportunity to spend time in such an environment, no advice is necessary; but only focus on ones job and enjoy watching how others do theirs.
But at the end of the day, a horse is a horse. It gets the same tensions, minor ailments and muscle aches like most others who exercise hard. There is plenty of opportunity for me to make a difference and that is what’s fun and rewarding!
Thumbs up this far for regular Swedish Fascia Vibes of elite jumping horses!
Six months of Swedish Fascia Vibes at Rolf Göran Bengtsson’s
Swedish Fascia Vibes treatment of Rolf Göran Bengtsson’s jumping horses began as a test – now a regular feature
I have now been going to Germany treating jumping horses regularly for six months. What started as a test to see if the riders would think that it seemed like something to go in for, has now become a regular element in the treatment of all horses and a “I’ll see you soon” is usual after each visit is finished.
Occasionally as a therapist, I can get a little unsure of what use the treatment actually serves. But now and then there is that new horse that will have its first treatment, or someone who has competed really hard and for some reason missed a treatment, and that is noticeable!
Those who regularly, i.e. approximately every month, gets a full body treatment with a little extra focus on their sensitive areas where the tissues easily stiffens, Often feels exceptionally fine and treatment is quick . The new ones demand far more time per horse and you can find more tension to treat.
It is really satisfying! To notice that “the treatment actually has such a great effect.” There have also been rather little or no direct injuries to the horses. They are admittedly checked regularly by a large veterinary team, but no horse has needed to pass on their competition plans from what I heard, but instead retains their form through long journeys and high obstacles classes.
Horses that have been tense go steadily to a more harmonious psyche where the riders get through the everyday training. Those who had a stiff and weak stifle become progressively stronger and the weakness is nothing that disturbs development. The main opinion seems to be that all the horses, which were already in beautiful shape, develops nicely to become even better!!
Thumbs up so far for regular Swedish Fascia Vibes treatment of jumping horses at the elite level!
Both riders tested themselves for crippling necks, backs, shoulders and hips
Global Champions Tour in Vienna
After this summer’s Olympics the focus shifted back to Rolf Göran Bengtsson and Casall Ask’s chance to win the whole Global Champions Tour! And they are currently at the top!
Before the last race in Vienna, he had the lead over runner-up Edwina Tops Alexander with a significant number of points, and it felt really exciting to follow the results. Almost too exciting. In any case I have not really understood the extent of being that high up in that specific league and how close it really is!
Before the contest 8-11 / 9 in Rome, I went down to Hamburg to make stable overhaul, this time with another therapist in the company Viveca Ewards. We went through a lot of horses during the two days. Shortly after that visit Casall went off to Rome and then to Vienna. It is noticeable that there is much at stake now when the tour is coming to an end. With the final in Doha in November.
The idea we had after the Olympics was to now do everything possible to help Casall be as quick and flexible as possible. So that he may be able to retain the top spot until it is finished.
Just to think that idea is a little crazy: to help perhaps the world’s best jumping horse to be the best ..?
But Rolf thought it was great if we went to Vienna to treat onsite and then also get to see the race live and be available. Said and done, I, Hans and Ivar Bohlin went to Vienna and Trabenbahnen Park where the stadium was built.
It’s very exciting to get the chance to show the treatment to other riders, horse owners and grooms as well. And that we got to do! Quite a few riders tried on themselves for troublesome necks, backs, shoulders and hips.
Celia, Rolf’s groom, described how some therapists refuse to help staff with the motivation that they only think it is fun / are hired to treat the horses … But should not the people closest to the horses get to feel what the horse feels , how will they be able to relax and rely on what the therapist is doing on the horses?
I treated a few grooms from various countries. One girl then came over and described with a surprised face how her legs felt so … different. The knees do not hurt anymore … She was on the waiting list for surgery for her troublesome legs and also had pain in the shoulder and neck. The shoulder was pretty easy to fix, but with the knee, I was really surprised that it could feel differently so fast, they tend to be difficult problems to straighten out – as large as the load is on a worn knee with such work!
Quite a lot of time goes by when you hang around a race from morning to evening, where everyone is busy with their tasks. So it’s quite nice to be working with a variety of problems in both humans and horses. One thing usually leads to another, which is the best way to display something new.
A rider who got to try the machine on his painful frozen shoulder got better, talked to a colleague, who tried, was pain free for the first time in years, asked for time for two of their horses, and so it rolled on. No arguments, just trying, asking questions and feeling what happens. A purely performance-based demonstration with a willingness to help people out of the locked situations of pain and tension.
But we were there to help / treat Rolf and, above all, of course, the protagonist himself, Casall.
That horse is so incredibly fun to get involved with. He snuggles, sleeps, eats, peeks with pricked ears on everything that is happening and just enjoys it. If he feels that a muscle needs more pressure, he pauses his eating, and shows how much work is needed there with his entire body.
He is a primal force of strength and finesse, but can be a bit dry in the tissue, which many horses can become from traveling and competing. So the deep waves are good for pumping through the connective tissue and dislodge anything that may be stuck together in little in the thoracic spine and the shoulder area. It is of course essential to have full turbo and explosive power in those power trying obstacles at 1.60.
Unita was also present, for the first start after the Olympics. She is perhaps the most magical horse with a very unusual charisma. She feels terribly wise. She would often put up her big head right on my head and just stand there. To be treated at the rear is not as interesting, but standing around and socializing is more like her idea of what we should do.
It was stifling hot and the horses did fine warm up classes without too much pressure. It did not seem interesting to go too hasty on the first day, but just jump flawlessly and find fluency.
Saturday final was the weekend’s big event. Casall jumped very nice and aced the first round. He jumped as good and aced the second round to. We were really nervous, infected by the mood of everyone who was around the horses as well as the atmosphere.
On Saturday, it had begun to storm instead and pots and plants rolled around and fell over, papers and programs blew around and officials chased white fluttering plastic strips inside the arena between the vehicles … not optimal.
It’s pretty tough to do two quick rounds and then a jump-off, and then have the power left to maximize the time.
I nearly fainted when he started and made two tight corners, like none had done before, it was apparent that if they keep this up they win big!
Then before the second last obstacle, something happened and Casall stopped … There went the victory and the chance of placement and we were all half shocked. But it feels like, it is all or nothing that applies! It was obvious that the horse had been a little unsure along the way, and a misunderstanding lead to an incorrect number of leaps, and he chose to stop. An experienced gent maybe, who knows when there are risks involved.
The first day after the shaky legs had straightened up and it was time for Unita and Paris jets team jumping. She jumped well! Her teammate was unlucky with demolitions in the first round. So overall error meant that they came outside placement. But everyone was pleased with her rounds and performance!
Now it’s even more built up excitement for the final in Doha. Where, Rolf is now just five points ahead of Edwina.
I have the great pleasure of going there as well and will try to do everything I can to perhaps be able to help prepare the king Casall for the pressure. I am hugely impressed with the riders who can remain calm in those senseless jump-offs and can calculate rides so accurately!
A report will come from Doha when the time comes. For now hold your thumbs to help the champions Rolf Göran and Casall Ask take home this victory!