Equine Sports Massage

For HorsesFor HorsesWhat is Equine Sports Massage?

Your massage therapist will consider the horse as a whole (holistically) through assessing your horses movement and confirmation and by taking a detailed case history (See The Treatment Process section). The key tools of the treatment are the therapists hands and some of the techniques used are described briefly below.
Your massage therapist will use these techniques and others to treat areas of soft tissue tension and heat identified through palpation, and will attempt to consider all possible causes and effects whilst interpreting your horses reactions and expressions during the treatment.Effleurage down the horses neck – the whole hand is usually used and the technique
can be light or deep.

Effleurage down the horses neck - the whole hand is usually used and the technique can be light or deep. Available in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire.

Cupping on the hindquarters (large muscle area) can help to stimulate the circulation and enhance muscle tone.
ng on the hindquarters (large muscle area) can help to stimulate the circulation and enhance muscle tone. Available in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire.Cupping on the hindquarters can help to stimulate the circulation and enhance muscle tone. Available in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire.
Skin rolling – a technique used on areas of looser skin, such as the neck. This can help to enhance the circulation and can also have a calming effect by stimulating the release of natural painkillers (endorphins) in the horse.
Skin rolling - a technique used on areas of looser skin, such as the neck. This can help to enhance the circulation and can also have a calming effect by stimulating the release of natural painkillers (endorphins) in the horse.
Why use sports massage?

Many of us, from everyday people to top athletes, use massage and stretching techniques to prepare and maintain their bodies. Such techniques have been adapted to prepare and maintain our horses, from the treasured family friends to the top equine athlete.

Our horses may benefit from therapy treatments when they exhibit the following changes in behavior and performance.

  • Puts ears back / tries to bite when being groomed / tacked up
  • Shows a preference for one rein
  • Show lateral stiffness
  • Reluctant to canter on one lead
  • Hollow backed / high head carriage
  • Head shaking
  • Rearing / Bucking
  • Cold backed when tacked up
  • Lack of poll flexion and bend
  • Head tilting
  • Has an uneven stride length

Whatever activities you do with your horse, he / she may benefit by you including a therapy such as sports massage as part of their normal preventative maintenance routine, rather than waiting until your horse exhibits changes in behaviour and performance like those above.

What are the benefits?

Used during training and rehabilitation, sports massage can help to keep muscles healthy, as well as helping to build up those that may have wasted through illness / box rest. Massage can also help to reduce warm up times when used pre competition, as well as maintaining suppleness when used post competition.

Massage can benefit the well being of your horse and may help to release tension and aid mental relaxation. In the event of an Injury, massage can help benefit the recovery and prevent atrophy (wasting) of muscles when used as part of the rehabilitation and re-training process. This is because massage and stretching techniques can help enable the horse to perform to its full potential by:

  • Increasing and improving circulation
  • Enhancing muscle tone
  • Relaxing muscle spasm
  • Preventing and relieving muscle adhesions
  • Increasing the range of movement of the muscles

 

Your therapists qualifications –

Equine Sports Massage and the related Association are the products of Mary Bromiley and her foresight to see the many benefits of Equine Massage, together with a governing body. All practicing therapists have passed the ITEC Diploma in Equine Sports Massage, which includes a dissertation, written and practical exams and a veterinary verbal exam. Stef is also a member of the Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA), which offers ongoing annual top up training to all its members.

It is also interesting to note that all Equine Sports Massage therapists have also had to take the same ITEC Diploma in human massage, thus giving them a good overall understanding of both horse and rider anatomy and biomechanics.