Equine Therapy with Dave Fries

You’ve met Deena Fries on this blog–the woman behind some of the toughest barrel horses this side of the Mississippi. But now you’ll get to meet her secret weapon, who really is getting less secretive by the day. Dave Fries and his equine therapy have helped countless horses, and by reading this you can find out how Dave just might help you. 

Tell us all about your business. 

My business is called Equine Therapy by Dave Fries. My website is www.friesequinetherapy.com and on Facebook at “Equine Therapy by Dave Fries.” I got started almost 10 years ago now on the advice of a friend of ours (Speedy Graham) who actually used to work on our horses. He told me where he went when he started, and I then also went to the different training sources.

  • I currently offer the following services/ therapies to my clients:
  • Massage
  • Range of motion adjustments – and stretching
  • Infrared thermograpy
  • MicroCurrent Therapy
  • Infrared therapy (blanket set and hand held)
  • Infra-sound Massage
  • And a limited amount of In house rehab and therapy – utilizing any of the necessary therapies and following vet instructions and training tune-ups if needed by Deena.

I do it to help the horses – and make them feel the best that they can so that the work that we ask them to do is easier, and hopefully pain free. I have found that working on the horses gives me a great feeling of pride when I know that I have helped, and it was always a great way to ground myself and keep from getting overwhelmed, before I retired from my previous career.

How did you learn this type of horse care?

It all started with reading a lot about different therapies, trying some to see what worked best and then getting as much training as I could for any of the therapies. For the massage I went to Equissage and Mary Schreiber – in Round Hill, Va. She is one of the oldest equine massage schools and she gave me a great base. I attended a class/seminar put on by Dr. Kamen – initially for the animal adjustment techniques, and I have continued to learn and network with other professionals in the field. I went to Kentucky to become trained in the Equine Thermograpy, ( and member of EquineIR) after having become a Certified Infrared Thermographer and am able to take infrared pictures of the horses with a high resolution FLIR camera – which are then used to determine where there are hot and or cold spots (imbalances from side to side) and can also pick up problem spots up to two weeks before the horse is visibly lame. The thermography classes also covered a saddle fit process.

I use and am also completing the process to become certified as an instructor by Matrix Therapy Systems in Portland Oregon in Microcurrent therapy – utilizing the Avazzia Best Vet system. Which is a very portable and designed to give/receive automatic feedback and adjustments as the horse is being treated. MicroCurrent is great at treating tears and sprains – speeding the healing time, increasing cellular development, reducing pain levels and increasing the general well being.
I also have available a Thermotex Blanket and Neck set which provides infrared heat to the horses when they wear it. The Thermotex blanket has been show to help significantly when used pre-race (even helping bleeders), and is also great as therapeutic treatment at any time. I also have and use an infrared /laser.

How are you expanding your services?

I am expanding my services – by learning new techniques and also being more available – it used to be that when I was working full time I had to try and schedule horses either before or after work which limited where and when I could go – and now that I “retired” I am available to travel further and work longer at a location. I am also interested in making the In House therapy a bigger portion – as it is certainly easier to have the horse here – where I/we are able to give extended and more intense therapy to speed the healing times.

What are the benefits to this expanded service?

The benefits of the expanded service – is that I can help more equine athletes hopefully feel better and perform better, by having been able to go for additional training, and learning new therapies that I am able to use to treat the horses.

We know you treat barrel horses, what other types of equine athletes can you treat?

I treat everything from a 28” mini – that drives, Race horses, Jumpers, Dressage horses, and everything else up to a set of pulling draft horses, there really is no equine athlete that won’t benefit from the assorted therapies.

How does your knowledge of the barrel racing industry affect your work?

The years of watching thousands of horses and riders compete has given me a great sense of form and movement and what is the most efficient way for them to move, and what happens when it falls apart and they get injured, so I am a BIG believer in preventative therapy, and stretching to keep the horse’s muscles fluid and flexible.

What are your goals for your business?

Ideally – my business goals (which will probably require me hitting the lottery) would be to have a one stop Equine Therapy Station – where anyone could bring their horse for treatment and we would have all of the best and brightest available to treat what ails them, having all of the specialists (vets, farriers, dentists, therapists, nutritionists, herbalists, and communicators) all available to consult at one place as needed. But more to the immediate side – my goal is to be able to treat and help as many horses as I can get pain free.


2 thoughts on “Equine Therapy with Dave Fries

  1. Great interview, David. It it my pleasure to Know you and be friends. The equine world is a much better place with you in it. I have seen and witnessed horses before and after your therapy work and still amazes me of how quick and how much better they want to perform for their owners after you are done with them! This is such a great way to improve your horses health and movements without the use of drugs. Thanks for all you do, Natalie

  2. Dave worked on 2 of my horses in May 2013. My 2 year old had sore ribs and he rubbed his hocks raw on our stall wall. After Dave performed his therapy the horse is so much more responsive and trainable. Dave advised me to purchase Back on Track hock boots to heal his hocks and that was the best advise and product for healing the horse’s sore hocks. My 3 year old had hip problems and with Dave’s manipulations, the horse no longer drags his right hind leg. His hoof is now growing round and even thanks to Dave correcting the spinal alignment and hip placement. Thank you so very much, Dave, for helping my horses.

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