Massage is the manipulation of soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia) in order to elicit a physiological response – such as to relieve tension and pain, and improve tissue function.
There are many different types of massage, and I incorporate a variety of techniques into a treatment to accommodate each individual horse. The most frequently utilised modalities in my extensive tool-kit are sports massage, tissue mobilisation (manipulation of soft tissue to improve joint function), trigger point work, and Masterson Method (a light touch method that requires the horse to actively participate in the release of tension).
I approach each session with a focus on each individual horse and their specific needs. I will always refer on to other equine specialists when required.
Prevention is always better than a cure, and any type of bodywork works best when used as regular maintenance. This is because horses (and humans too) all carry around ‘baggage’ – their workload, the gear they wear, riders they carry, balance of their feet, postural habits, conformation etc. all have an effect on the way the soft tissue functions. Ideally, a horse in moderate work should receive a massage monthly.