Frequently Asked Questions

What is equine massage?

Equine massage is a hands-on treatment to the muscular system that may reduce muscle pain and other symptoms associated with muscle dysfunction.  Massage supports healthy biomechanical movement by addressing the whole body of the horse.  It encourages all of the muscles to work together in unison giving the horse the ability to use its body the way it was designed.

Why should I consider massage for my horse?

  • Increases circulation

  • Stimulates lymphatic system

  • Promotes the flow of nutrients to the muscles

  • Increases range of motion and suppleness

  • Reduces muscle spasms

  • Enhances muscle tone

  • Lengthens connective tissue

  • Reduces inflammation and swelling of joints

  • Increases production of synovial fluid for joint health

  • Reduces stress encouraging relaxation

 

Signs your horse may benefit from massage:

  • Refuses, hesitates, or switches leads

  • Bucks under saddle

  • Jumps flat, refuses, or hangs one leg over fences

  • Picks up incorrect leads

  • Braces against aids

  • Pins ears when under saddle

  • Resists bending or extension

  • Carries head high or low

  • Shakes or throwing head

  • Hollows back

  • Movements are stiff

  • Girthy or aggressive behavior when being saddled

 

Benefits of massage:

  • Shortens time for recovery

  • Decreases soreness

  • Decreases pain

  • Decreases stiffness

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion

  • Releases muscle tension

  • Promotes relaxation and cooperative attitude

  • Reduces muscular inflammation associated with exercise

  • Stimulates underdeveloped or weak muscles

 

Are you insured?

Yes, I carry full liability insurance.

 

Do you perform massage on a sick or injured horse?

It depends on the horse and the injury or illness.  In most cases, I ask that your veterinarian gives me clearance to work on your horse.

 

Do I have to be there when my horse receives a massage?

It is not mandatory, but it is very helpful if you are there for the initial session.  Not only will your horse be more comfortable with you there, most owners enjoy watching the process and seeing the reactions from their horse.  Most horses are happy to stand quietly for a massage after the initial session, so attendance for follow-up sessions is optional. 

 

How long is the appointment?

The first appointment usually takes 75 minutes.  Subsequent massages are normally 60 minutes.

 

Is there anything I should do in preparation for the massage?

Your horse doesn’t need to be groomed prior to massage, but he should be dry.  Please don't apply show sheen/coat dressing or hoof oil on the day of the massage.  Fly spray is fine.  Please have a bucket of water and a flake of hay readily available, and decide where your horse will be most comfortable for the massage.  Usually a quiet, low traffic spot works best. 

 

How often should my horse receive a massage?

The frequency depends on many factors, including the horse’s age, riding discipline, workload and overall health.  

 

Can you diagnose my horse’s illness/lameness?

No, that is a job for your veterinarian.  Equine massage is not a substitute for veterinary medicine.  Massage is never used to diagnose or treat pain or injury, or prescribe or administer treatment of any nature for the prevention or relief of bodily injury.

 

Why do you work on the entire horse when only a specific muscle seems sore?

It is important to evaluate the entire horse during a massage.  Often, the muscle that seems the sorest is compensating for an underlying issue.  A full-body massage is necessary to create an overall balance in the body.

 

Are there times when my horse should NOT receive a massage?

Yes.  Horses who are in shock or running a fever should not receive a massage.  Massage is never used on areas of heat or swelling.  If your horse is suffering from an acute injury, he should first be seen by your veterinarian.

 

Do you offer gift certificates? 

Yes.  They are the perfect gift for your horse trainer, riding friend, or for a favorite horse (think horse birthdays!).  Thank those who give to you all year round by giving the gift your equine or equine loving friends and family will appreciate.

 

Note:  Horse massage is not a substitute for regular veterinary, dental, and farrier care.  It is an exemplary component of supplemental care for your horse’s well being.