March 28, 2016 by Jordan Nunziato
Equine Massage Can Be Very Beneficial To Your Beloved Horse
If you’re an equestrian, it’s not even a question how much you love that gorgeous four-legged beast of yours. Equine massage is the practice of massage on horses. Beginning in the early 1990s, it has been a growing field of equine therapy, utilized for both day-to-day riding and post-trauma rehabilitation. Whether it’s a beautiful mare or a rugged colt, equine massage can do wonders. Just ask John Hawthorne, a travel and sports writer for Horsetalk.co.nz.
“While equine massage techniques vary depending on the training of the therapist, many massage sessions resemble Swedish sports massage for human athletes. During the course of about an hour, the horse is given a full-body massage of the exterior muscle system and fascia,” he writes, adding that equine sports massage therapy can help horses maintain their range of motion and suppleness, improving circulation in ill or injured horses. “[It’s] an ideal way to supplement conventional veterinary treatment for conditions such as founder and colic, where increased perfusion to the lamina or digestive tract are beneficial.”
Equine Massage Can Give You That Competitive Edge on the Course
It’s ill-advised to push your horse passed her capability. And, just like humans engaged in sport, horses may pull muscles during exertion, which will require some work.
“Equine massage therapy relieves muscle tension and spasms brought on by heavy workouts. It also helps uncover early tendon swelling or areas where a chiropractic adjustment might be needed,” Hawthorne writes.
Hawthorne Explains The Process of Equine Massage
Hawthorne writes that a typical massage session starts at the poll and works down the neck, addressing the splenius, brachiocephalic, cervical trapezius and rhomboid muscles, as well as the nuchal ligament. “The neck groove is worked next,” he writes. “[...]frequently a place where dressage horses will show tightness or knots from maintaining the head and neck within a specific frame or even having been overtrained with aggressive Rollkur-like flexion.”
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