What is massage therapy?
- A systematic manipulation of soft tissues to relieve pain or maintain/rehabilitate/augment physical function. Equine massage is a non-invasive approach that utilizes hands-on manual therapy.
How is massage used to help my horse?
- Equine massage therapy can be a valuable part of your horse’s ongoing health maintenance plan. It can relieve muscular tension, help detect early signs of strain, and encourage overall suppleness of muscles.
- For older horses or those with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, massage is beneficial in maintaining mobility and relieving discomfort.
- With a whole body approach, massage can help address compensatory issues that may arise as a consequence of the primary injury.
What is the best thing for the horse after a bodywork session?
- Allowing the horse to move around comfortably such as hand-walking, a relaxed ride on a loose rein, or turn-out. If you have a choice, turn-out is best. The idea is to let the horse’s body move and feel what’s been released. If your horse needs to be ridden, give him as easy a ride as possible. If you start asking for work too soon, then the tension will return.
How often should my horse receive massage?
- If a horse is competing or training hard, then two times a week maximum is a good guideline. The horse should be given at least two or three days between sessions.
- If the horse is not training hard yet has issues from past work you want to resolve, then massage should be performed a couple of times the first week, then once a week until we see improvement, then once a month.