What is Equine Sports Massage?  

Equine sports massage is the therapeutic application of professional sports massage techniques applied to the horse.  Equine Sports Massage focuses on the treatment of the muscular system through massage techniques to the muscle groups themselves and pressure points.  It uses several types of massage strokes and techniques such as compression, percussion, cross fiber friction, and direct pressure to locate and release the stress point(s) which are in spasm.

Mysterious Problems

Do you struggle with figuring out a mysterious problem with your horse, but no diagnostic test has shown the problem?  Did you know your horse's bodyweight is 60% muscle and it is the system responsible for ALL MOTION,  but often it is failure to recognize that the muscular system can be the entire cause of problems, which can result in frustrating lack of diagnosis.  

Common Equine Problems That Can Be Addressed Through Equine Sports Massage:

  • Stiffness and resistance
  • Short, choppy strides
  • Coordination difficulties
  • “Cinchy” or "Girthy" horses
  • "Off" for no apparent reason
  • Sore back, shoulder, hip
  • Swapping or incorrect leads
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Tying up
  • Attitude problems
  • Head tossing

Most of the time when a horse shows signs of lameness or injury, most effort is focused on areas of the body other than the muscular system such as bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Diagnostics such as xrays, ultrasound, MRI, bone scans, nerve blocks...they are all valuable and serve an important purpose, but they won't show you tight or knotted muscle. 

PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE:  Massage therapy is not a substitute for veterinary care and the modern medication and diagnostics it can offer.  It is a wonderful and complimentary addition to your current health care regimen.  Muscle can be the cause or reflection of a deeper cause; it is always safer to eliminate the possibility of a deeper problem first, and for this you should contact your veterinarian. 

Who Benefits From Equine Sports Massage?

While all horses can benefit from Equine Sports Massage, muscular problems are most common to horses in hard work, training, and competition.  Just like human athletes, these horses are required to achieve maxium performance, which puts a large amount of strain and exertion on them.  But what is maximum, and how do you know when you've achieved it?  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to know; often reaching "maximum" is marked with injury, because maximum effort is abusive to the body.  Many injuries start with a muscle adhesion (knotted tissue) that causes muscle tension, which shortens the muscle, preventing free movement. Lack of free movement can result in tears, strains, and sprains.  For instance, a tight shoulder will strain tendons and ligaments further down the foreleg. 

Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT)

As a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT) through Equissage, I have the knowlege and experience to help your horse perform his best.  I have a passion for horses and find working with them to be extremely fulfilling. When I see a horse responding to massage, and an owner tells me their horse is more sound than they've been in years, I am so very thrilled for them!   As a dedicated horse owner I know how it feels to want your horse to be their best.  Contact us via email or find us on Facebook to discuss massage therapy for your horse!