Veronique's touch with horses

Veronique Vié working on a mare near Inch. Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon
Veronique Vié working on a mare near Inch. Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon

SHIATSU, a form of Japanese physiotherapy which has become popular in the western world in recent years, is mostly used on humans but for the past year a French woman living in Annascaul has been practising the art on horses

Veronique Vié, who has been living in Ireland for 25 years, began practising shiatsu years ago but then found out that it can be used on horses and, after learning the skill from a woman in Scotland, has been practising in Kerry for the past year.

"One of the most important benefits of shiatsu is to maintain good health and flexibility which is very important for horses at work, in competition or that are getting older and suffering from arthritis or recovering from injury. It benefits horses that have back problems, lameness or are just spooky. It helps them to relax. When someone asks me to treat a horse I must get permission from a vet and get the whole history or background to the horses's ailment," she explained.

"It is a very effective way of keeping your horse sound and healthy, and can also be part of the training regime of horses in competition," said Veronique who believes she is the only person practising horse shiatsu in the country.

She recently held an equine shiatsu clinic at the Coláiste Íde stabble, near Dingle, to introduce horse owners to the benefits of shiatsu and show them simple techniques that they can use on their own horses.