Equine Massage is a sports massage therapy designed specifically for horses, especially performance horses. For many years, people have been benefiting from the therapeutic effects of massage therapy. Now, massage therapy techniques are being applied to animals as well.
Equine massage uses a variety of hands on massage techniques to help increase the horse’s performance and endurance, as well as preventing injury. The massage works to increase circulation through the horse’s body which reduces stress and muscle tension, helping the horse to prevent injuries and to also recovery faster from injury.
Massage therapy is very beneficial for horses since more than sixty percent of a horse’s body is made up of muscle. When the muscles become contracted and tight they can put pressure on the surrounding tissues which only increases the discomfort. This muscle tension causes circulation to decrease, movement restriction, and muscle pain or irritation. If something is not done to ease the muscle tightness, the problem will only continue to worsen. Muscular problems and injuries occur frequently in horses and cause a variety of training issues and movement problems. This is especially critical for competitive horses that are expected to be in tip-top shape all the time even though they endure a lot of muscle strain and stress during competitions. Equine massage can help relieve the common muscles problems of horses. With therapy, a performance horse is now able to compete at is full potential by relaxing any muscle spasms, increasing muscle tone, enhancing circulation and promoting a full range of movement by the horse. This not only makes the horse feel better, but the rider as well.
The therapy techniques can also be used on non-competitive horses as well. Every horse can benefit from the therapeutic techniques of massage therapy. For non-performance horses massage can help with relaxation, can reduce muscle tension and stress, and will increase the overall well-being of the horse.
Equine massage can be used in a variety of situations. It has enormous benefits as a warm-up or cool-down routine for performance horses. Warming up the muscles before a competition will make them stronger and more flexible which prevents injury. As a cool down routine, the techniques will aid in relaxation after a stressful run as well as massage the muscles that were just used. Massage is also good for the horse when it is recovering from injury or is in a state of reduced performance, because it helps to restore circulation and increase the flexibility of the joints and muscles.
Equine massage is an alternative therapy for horses. Riders or owners can be taught how to do the massage at a variety of schools or massage training facilities. Or there are many professional massage therapists who are trained in sports massage for animals. Equine massage can be a therapeutic experience for both the horse and rider.