So why would you want to arrange for your horse to have a massage? What is equine sports massage and what is the difference when it comes to Rehabilitation work?
Much like human massage, the reasons why we might choose for our horse to have a massage are numerous and most likely to be for a combination of reasons.
For young horses it can be great way of introducing healing touch, as part of desensitisation work for the nervous horse. It can also be great to assist with growing pains for the young horse. My own youngster experienced very tight hamstrings with growth spurts- leading her to become quite openly expressive with her back legs when handling, and the massage made a huge amount of difference to her overall comfort and made picking up the back legs safe again.
For your wonderful equine best friend, it can be just a lovely thing to do, a good all over relaxing massage.
Or it might be that you have recently identified that your horse has experienced discomfort due to overcoming an injury, poor saddle fit that is now resolved, girthing sensitivity, change of activity such as increase or decrease in exercise amounts, being stabled for longer periods of time or following chiropractic adjustment. There are so many reasons, but this is a good broad range.
A typical session would involve a brief observation of the horse in movement and some assessment of preferred stance and posture.
I prefer to work with horses in their stables, or on a very loose rein so that they have the freedom to move away from any pressure they do not like, so that this is very much a two way process. It is vital the horse is permitted to communicate.
I will introduce stretches where appropriate, and usually a massage session lasts around an hour- depending on how the horse is responding. I always like to give the “human” some homework and follow up the session with a report of findings.
None of my work is in anyway a diagnosis, and if the horse is in ill health, or lame I may need to seek a vet’s opinion before continuing.
I truly believe that horses talk to us all of the time and the greatest thing we can do is to learn to listen- Massage is a perfect modality to show the horse that they have been heard.
Equine Opening Hours
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