Using techniques to ease muscle tension and improve mobility
What is Equine Sports Massage?
‘If, in some place in the body, a bone, a muscle, a tendon or a ligament cannot play its part freely because it is blocked by a spasm, blood circulation is impaired, resulting in troubles’ Giniaux
Equine sports massage is the use of manual manipulation of muscles and soft tissue, along with an understanding of anatomy and biomechanics, to enhance wellbeing and improve performance.
Using various massage techniques, areas of tension can be identified and worked on to release spasms, restoring balance and leading to enhanced performance.
Benefits of massage
• Enhances circulation
• Enhances muscle performance
• Identifies and reduces areas of tension
• Increases range of movement
• Aids relaxation.
To help your equine athlete perform to their optimum ability
When to massage?
• Pre / post competition
• As part of the regular maintenance routine
• If you feel a change in performance – stiffness, reduced flexion, preference for one rein, loss of rhythm, uneven stride length, change in temperament
• As part of box rest recovery
What happens during a treatment ?
The initial consultation consists of a visual assessment of horse – conformation, walk and trot up, plus information gathering with the owner/rider – case history, routine, reasons for the appointment.
The massage session - I spend the first 5 – 10 minutes getting to know your horse and allowing it to get to know me, gently introducing the techniques. Some horses are shy and reserved needing more time to open up. Others are more confident and ‘get into it’ straight away. Each is an individual so I listen to them to assess to best way forward. It’s a two -way process. I then use a variety of techniques, using different pressure, to seek out and help reduce areas of tension.
The Veterinary Act
Under the requirements of The Veterinary Act 1966, any Equine Sports Massage Therapist will need permission to proceed from the client’s veterinarian prior to a massage session. I will contact your vet and ask them to sign the consent form. This is essential. If I do not have the vet’s permission, I cannot massage the horse.