Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Equine Massage? Equine massage and bodywork is a topic that is gaining increasing awareness and importance as a natural approach to horse healthcare and also as an effective results oriented modality to relieve stress and repair muscle tissue in performance horses. Professional and recreational horse owners see the value in using bodywork to increase mobility and range of motion, to release tightness in the 3 key junctions of the horse’s body, poll/atlas, shoulders/withers and the hind end to improve overall performance regardless of the horse’s discipline.
2. Is Massage beneficial for competitive horses? Every competitor strives to set themselves up for success. This is no different for equestrians and their partners – their horses. Massage therapy can help provide the edge your horse needs in competition. Imagine your horse moving gracefully and effortlessly with long fluid movements executed flawlessly. If your horse tends to be nervous at shows, massage will help the horse relax and improve confidence. Massaging a horse before competition may result in up to 20% more efficiency. Many horse owners and trainers are recognizing the fact that the health promoting and curative effects of massage are very beneficial to their horses’ well being and as such; these therapies are being incorporated as an integral part of their horses’ total health care program.
3. How is bodywork different than regular massage? By combining various disciplines, the work I do has a very powerful effect on the horse. From the very subtle reiki and acupressure to the more substantial sports massage, I work in harmony with the horse to recognize and release tension, muscle spasms and bring into balance a mind/body connection for the horse through my touch.
4. How can I tell if this will help my horse? The types of problems that respond best to bodywork are those related to pain from muscles or skeletal imbalances. Stiffness, muscle sore, one sidedness, i.e. difficulty taking particular leads, changes in ability to perform, behavioral changes, dragging a limb, unusually high head carriage, hollowness are some of the issues that bodywork can help remedy.
5. Will this hurt my horse? This work is non-invasive and non-traumatic. There may be some conditions that respond better than others, however it does not make problems worse.
6. Are there any guarantees? As with many things, there are no guarantees. Horses react differently to different treatments. I can say that typically there is always some level of effect on the horse. I pride myself on a high quality of work and invite you to view my testimonials page on this site for references and further details on the results of some of the work I have done.
7. Does this replace my vet? Absolutely not. If there is a lameness issue your vet should be your first resource. Some vets may not be aware or open to the therapeutic benefits of equine bodywork. In such a case, the preferred system is for me to work under the referral and approval of the vet.
8. What conditions can’t this work help? Problems caused by disease, bone fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, behavior problems caused by poor handling and poor training are unable to be corrected by therapeutic bodywork. In such circumstances, the therapeutic values of bodywork will help the horse be more comfortable and allow the horse to direct more energy to healing the actual problem instead of overall pain management. It can also help the horse reduce stress and tension and refocus on what is being asked of him.
9. Can I be there while you work on my horse? Yes. For the first massage, I require that you or a designated handler be there to hold the horse and observe the session. Please allot 2 hr timeframe for this session.
10. How soon can I ride after a session? I recommend giving your horse ample time to process what we’ve just done to get the most of the massage. Many times they will still release on their own for several hours in the stall or paddock. Ideally ride the next day. However, a few hours is ok if you need to ride same day.