BY ERIN COX
DHI Media Staff Writer
DELPHOS — Licking their lips, putting their heads down and cocking their legs are all good signs from Katie Luersman’s clients; it means the horses are enjoying their massages.
Luersman, 20, of Delphos is an equine sports massage therapist.
“Just like humans get massages, horses can too,” Luersman said. “Horses can become sore from people riding them or tripping on a rock or laying down and rolling on something. A massage will help them not be sore just like it would humans.”
Luersman graduated from Delphos St. John’s High School in May 2013. By the end of June, she was enrolled at NE Indiana Equine Sports Massage and Rehab Facility in Decatur, Indiana.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with animals, especially horses. I have a passion for horses,” Luersman said. “Every girl has a phase where she wants a horse, I just never grew out of mine.”
When she had an experience with a horse that had behavioral problems, she learned that an equine sports massage therapist career existed.
“The horse’s attitude completely changed after the massage,” she said.
Now Luersman is certified nationwide as an equine sports massage and rehab therapist.
Before each massage, she gives the horses an evaluation to see what may be causing the pain and where. She checks different pressure points for signs from the horse to indicate pain, like pinning its ears back or kicking its legs.
“If a horse is in pain, there’s a reason,” Luersman said. “I can tell what’s wrong with it and see if a massage will help or if a chiropractor is needed.”