Pennie Hooper is a top professional with 20 years experience as an equine sports massage therapist – although she prefers the title ‘muscle technician’ and prides herself on the exceptional physical impact of her treatments. She originally trained in the United States with Jack Meagher, the father of equine sports massage; she is also a qualified human sports massage therapist.
Pennie is renowned for producing remarkable improvements in performance after just a single session. Specialising in the difficult grey area between soundness and lameness, she will use a course of treatments in parallel with tailored programmes of stretches and, if necessary, dietary advice.
Over the years she has combined what she learned from Jack with her experience as a competition dressage rider and her ever-expanding knowledge of physiology. She literally ‘wrote the book’ on Sports Massage for Horses – it was published by Kenilworth Press in 2005 (available on Amazon here).
Her approach is based on a thorough knowledge of equine and rider biomechanics combined with an incredibly intuitive understanding of a horse’s movement. She takes a holistic view and has a unique ability to see (and treat) the ‘whole horse’ – seeing beyond the obvious symptoms and understanding the deeper causes of injuries and discomfort.
When necessary Pennie also backs up her observations and feedback from ‘hands-on treatments’ using a Scenar (Self-Controlling Energy-Neuro-Adaptive Regulation device) to scan tendons, muscles and organs to determine their health. Scenar is universally recognized as an ideal electrotherapy and one of the best examples of reflexotherapy. Pennie is one of the very few professionals who uses this device and is an acknowledged expert with it.
Discerning owners, coaches and trainers know that in difficult cases they can call on Pennie to give her expert opinion: she frequently spots complex issues that have left other experts scratching their heads and provides the solution. They also value the fact that when she identifies problems outside her field, she is prepared to call in outside experts, including vets, saddle-fitters, osteopaths, farriers and equine dentists.