Massage has been used successfully for many years for the
treatment of soft tissue problems and to improve performance in human athletes.
Horses are also natural athletes and we
ask them to perform for us to the best of their ability. It is important that
we include techniques in our management of them to optimise performance.
It is not just performance horses that soft tissue therapy will help. The ability to release muscle spasm and tension means that any horse will be more comfortable, will function without restriction and will be less likely to sustain major injury. This will be an advantage for all horses from the developing youngster, during training/competition work and assisting in maintaining mobility and comfort in later life.
As a dressage rider and trainer, I have personally found that massage has played a huge role for the horses I work with. Noticeably improving suppleness, quality of gaits and relaxation. A positive effect for many of my clients has been more productive training time, movements are performed more easily which in turn leads to less wear and tear on the horses body and improves the quality of their ridden work. I feel combining massage with quality training and riding can only have productive results for both horse and rider.
Symptoms which suggest muscle spasms are present and massage is necessary:
- Restricted/stiffness in movement
- Reduced performance
- A change in normal behaviour
- Resistance when tacked
- Struggling to bend on one rein
- Favouring one canter lead
- Bucking when asked to canter
- The feeling that something just isn't quite right
If your horse has any of these symptoms then please contact me for more info with no obligation.
The treatment involves palpating the muscles to identify areas of tightness, spasm and soreness. As an Equine Body Worker® I will use relevant massage strokes, trigger point therapy and cross fibre friction along with stretching techniques to address these and to allow the muscles to return to their correct range of motion, this then decreases tension and stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments and increases the performance level of the horse.
Muscle injuries can take a while to become evident and during this time the horse will start to compensate and move differently to reduce the discomfort and pain that it may be in. When the horse compensates the risk of injury increases as it is no longer moving in the correct way.
Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 it is essential that you consult with your vet to ensure that your horse can be treated.
I am a fully qualified and insured equine sports massage therapist and work throughout the East Midlands.
Evening and weekend appointments are available if this is more convenient to you.
I am also available for talks/demonstrations about Equine Massage and how areas of restriction can affect the way that your horse moves.