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Valerie Pierzina, a Trempeaulau native, was recently certified as a master equine sports massage therapist, through Therasage EMC, while attending a horse show in Oklahoma City, OK.

In April, Pierzina was chosen to attend the National Reining Horse Association Derby in Oklahoma. She achieved her certification in June while working on performance horses from some of the top reining barns in the country.

"It was very exciting to work a big show like this, learning how to juggle so many horses at once and fit them all into your treatment schedule," said Pierzina.

Her massage instructor and the horse trainers evaluated her and the two other selected participants on how they prepared the horses before and after competition.

“Over the course of the 10-day event we prepped each horse before their draw and performed a thorough cool-down and massage after each training session and competition. We also developed targeted treatment plans for each individual horse based on their unique needs,” she said.

Pierzina uses her certification to treat horses with muscle soreness and strains as well as a preventative maintenance measure. She incorporates therapeutic massage techniques, cold laser therapy, Kinesio taping, TENS treatments, Theraplate treatments, solarium infrared therapy and essential oils. Pierzina has been certified in basic equine sports massage since September, 2015.

Since returning from Oklahoma, Pierzina has treated a number of horses in the area, both at the homeowner's farm and at area horse shows. She will work shows at Bit-N-Bridle, in Onalaska; Diamond W, in Dodge; the Minnesota Equestrian Center, in Winona; and the NCRHA Futurity & Derby at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, among others.

She hopes to facilitate a Q&A about her work at the Trempealeau County Fair.

Pierzina and her husband, Brian, own Grains & Manes farm in Trempealeau. They have been farming since 2010. When Pierzina isn't at her day job at Whitehall Specialties or on a massage call, she may be found working on the farm or with her own Morgan horses.

Pierzina can be reached at 608-518-2429 or GrainsManesFarm@yahoo.com.

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