SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There are all sorts of jobs that come with the Saratoga racing season; one involves keeping the horses healthy through massage therapy.
Thursday, NEWS10 spoke to Linda Nalls, a massage therapist and RN, who has spent
more than 40 years working in medicine, including eight years at the Saratoga Race Course.
Linda says she used to work as an assistant in open heart surgeries, then after
30 years she made the switch from people to horses.
She says helping these
horses de-stress, win races, and ultimately become happier, is her true passion.
Thursday, Linda met with G. Poli for the second time in a barn on the Oklahoma side of the backstretch.
G. Poli is one of trainer Jeremiah Englehart's horses and actually just retired
While working with the horses Linda says she first establishes a connection
with the animal and then gets to work.
She says her goal is to manage the horses stress and she uses a variety of
techniques to do that starting out with an infrared pole cap, a little aroma therapy, massage therapy, and stretching which surprisingly involves pulling the horse's tail.
Linda says she spends between 2-3 hours with one horse and works with up to five
horses in one day. She says she will likely treat more than 100 horses during the summer
Linda says she knows her techniques works because she sees a positive change in
their attitude and their performance.
NEWS10 spoke with several trainers at the track, including G. Poli's trainer Jeremiah Englehart, and they agree saying they do
see a difference in their horses after Linda's worked with them.