Vitality Equine is excited to present #TeamVE blog posts. Where each month we share the stories of the people, horses and athletes that make up the Vitality Equine COMMUNITY, and ultimately are the faces of #TeamVE. This week we are featuring, Kari and her mare, Shania. These two have been active clients of Vitality Equine for over 2 years. We are excited to announce that Kari will be a guest blogger for the #TeamVE series! Grab a glass of wine, and read about her and Shania's adventures on the Rodeo Road below!

My name is Kari and this is my horse Shania. I will be writing monthly blogs for Vitality Equine about my barrel racing journey and the importance of a good team. I am constantly telling my Grade One students that “teamwork makes the dreamwork” and this couldn’t be truer for me and Shania. Now, a little bit about me…

I bought Shania from Rylee McKenzie four years ago and at the time little did I know Shania would become my once in a lifetime horse. She has done everything from taking care of me to testing me to my breaking point. Every time you swing a leg over Shania, or my dragon as I affectionately call her, you know that you have to be on your game or she will take advantage of you! This past year Shania and I have really figured each other out and found our groove and this has translated into the arena as we are consistently running in the 1D, winning some great prizes and a couple shiny buckles. A big part of our success is because of one of our favourite team mates, Vitality Equine. Brigitte, who owns Vitality Equine, has helped Shania feel her best and has helped me become my best mentally as she is constantly pushing both of us! Brigitte has taught me the importance of stretching and has given me countless great exercises to help muscle up my scrawny pony!

The past few weeks I have noticed Shania becoming agitated when being bridled. She tends to carry a lot of tension in her sub-occipital region and this often translates throughout her entire body causing issues in her pelvis as well. This Wednesday when Brigitte was out she found that this tension was present and while Shania was not happy to have her work through the issue Brigitte was patient with my dancing diva and was able to relieve that pressure and tension. The patience that Brigitte shows with Shania and all of her other clients that might be a little high strung (a high-strung barrel horse, no way!!) is one of the reasons we love her. She takes her time and doesn’t force Shania to do anything she doesn’t want to. By the end of the massage Shania will always be quiet, calm, relaxed and ready for the next race.

I can’t wait to share our journey this year as we compete in FCA and ABRA races around Alberta and of course give you an inside look into the magic that happens during a Vitality Equine session.

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