WHAT TO EXPECT?

We believe that good massage should show some visible postural changes, better range of movement, reduction of pain as well as relaxation even after your first therapy session, if the horse’s problem is soft tissue and muscle related.
However, to reach better results it may take a few sessions depending on the problem experienced.
Please note that if the horse is not responding to manual therapy after multiple sessions, it is important to contact your Vet because the underlying problems may not be muscle related.
After the massage the horse will be very relaxed and will need to rest from riding/ etc. apart from in hand work for approx. 24-48 hours.
The massage therapy will keep on working for few days and during this time your horse may even look sore and perhaps having even difficulty “finding their feet” which normally happens if the horse has been compensating their movement with an incorrect muscle.
After the correct muscle is released and activated your horse will have to rewire the neural pathways to active their correct way of movement again. Provided that the correct way of movement is unrestricted, the massage will keep on unfolding and helping your horse to work in correct a posture and movement again.
After the therapy session you should be able to witness more range of movement, better posture, reduced soreness/ pain, more relaxed demeanour, relieve from pain and restriction. In long term, after a successful therapy there should change in muscle tone and eventually improved posture and range of motion in areas that were previously restricted.

THE LONG-TERM BENEFITS?

  • Relaxing muscle tension, resolving muscles spasms and pain plus which will result. Better function of tendons and joint mobility.
  • Speeding recovery from competition, injury and illness and generating general wellbeing.
  • Scar tissue and adhesion alleviation.
  • Aids Nutrient, oxygen and blood flow. Lymphatic drainage and excess fluid flow.
  • Resolving muscle and pain related behaviour problems.
  • Reduced emotional stress due to pain relief and accessing para sympathetic nervous system. Lowering cortisol concentration.
  • Free movement due reduction of discomfort and past injuries.
  • Improved coat quality due to nutrient circulation and increased sebaceous gland secretion.
  • Identifies tension and pain areas early when used as a preventative treatment.
Some further research:

Hind Limb Protraction
Stress Reduction
Stress and Cortisol
Heart Rate and Performance Study

WHY AND WHEN TO MASSAGE A HORSE?

Pre and post competition/exercise massage.
To invigorate and warm up muscles to increase circulation, elasticity, movement and prevent injury.
After event; to aid recovery, lactic acid build-up, injury prevention and to aid relaxation.

Remedial massage for movement dysfunction.
Correcting the compromised muscle tissue adhesions to achieve unrestricted movement.

Chronic problems.
Conformation default, age, joint mobility, arthritis problems. Injuries.

Maintenance.
​Early identification of problem, tension and pain areas.

Every horse, regardless of the discipline and is an athlete and it’s important to look after their muscles. Even the paddock horses are susceptible to injures, slips, kicks and muscle tears during their play. Obviously active competing horses will need more attention to perform at optimum level.
We recommend massage as a preventive maintenance for all horses. The practical way to think about this, is that it’ll be cheaper to treat the horse and keep their muscles elastic and healthy before the restriction becomes a larger problem, such as a tendon issue.
Muscles are interconnected so any small change in one area or muscle spasm will have a knock-on effect on the next muscle chain and cycle of muscle problem is created. The muscle adhesion will start restricting the movement and can cause compensating patterns.
The obvious signs that the horse requires a massage are general pain face/ body stance, irritated when touched, reluctance, bucking, biting, obvious range of motion reduction, tension, pain, weakness, lacking forward impulsion, struggling to engage hind limbs, stiffness and restriction.

LAMENESS 

If the horse is very lame you should contact your Vet first to provide a diagnosis. We are horse massage therapist and cannot diagnose your horse.
However, we are dedicated to work together with your vet to find the best outcome for your horse.
Because, we believe it is necessary to massage the entire horse at every session, and not only the problem area, we can often find and narrow down the areas that have a problem and provide a detailed sheet for indicate them to you.

BEFORE THE THERAPY

Please let us your concerns and any diagnosis, medications and operations that the horse may have had.
Horse should be dry and more of less clean for the massage therapy.
Please let us know if you have shelter for the rain or sun. However we usually massage in the most relaxed environment for the horse, so this not always required .
We are looking forward to helping you achieve the best with your horse.