Certified Equine Massage Therapist
The physical demands made on a horse vary considerably depending on your chosen discipline, and your level of experience in that discipline. Being a certified instructor who has worked with everything from starting young horses, exercising race horses, training horses to be summer camp trail mounts, to vaulting horses, saddleseat showing, western pleasure, dressage, hunters and jumpers - I have an excellent knowledge of these physical demands, and the strain they put onto our horse's bodies.
Initial consultation, first treatment $80
Subsequent treatments $65
What is equine massage all about?
"Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body in order to achieve specific goals of drainage, relaxation, or stimulation, and of resolving muscle-related problems such as trigger points and stress points. It contributes to the overall economy
of the body and to its ability to function efficiently. It greatly improves circulation, thereby promoting a good supply of nutrients to the muscle groups. Massage therapy also reduces stress on the nervous system, helping the psychophysiologic self-regulation factors between body and mind. Massage therapy’s healing function has been known to speed up recovery from injury."
- Equine massage a practical guide, Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, LMT
Why does my horse need a massage?
Massage indirectly assists in the oxygenation of tissues by increasing circulation throughout the body. Massage also relaxes the nervous system, thus allowing for deeper and steadier breathing, and better oxygen/CO2 gas exchange
Proper breathing is essential for good body metabolism.
An exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is necessary for the body to remain vital and healthy. The horse’s respiratory system also plays an important role in regulating his body heat and in maintaining the acid-base pH balance.
A girth that is too tight restricts the expansion of the rib cage. An improperly fitted saddle and a rider’s tense legs also restrict the expansion of the rib cage, consequently limiting lung capacity. Muscular problems such as chronic stress points (small spasms) and trigger points (areas of lactic acid build-up) will restrict the muscle action required to expand and contract the rib cage.
Normal functioning of all body tissue depends on the proper circulation of blood. However, after an injury it is even more important that an adequate supply of blood—bearing nutrients, oxygen, and healing material—reaches the site of injury. The blood will also remove waste, debris, or any toxins formed as a result of the injury.
The pressure of massage movements has an effect on the circulation
of blood throughout the body.
Following an injury, reduced muscular activity contributes to the slowing of lymphatic circulation. When the body is injured, an increase of lymphatic fluid occurs at the site of trauma and produces swelling. Massage with light drainage (effleurage movements) will assist lymphatic circulation. Massage will also serve to prevent lactic acid build up after heavy training, racing, or competition. This will help prevent muscle stiffness, cramps, or tying up.