"April Fools?” My brother, Geordy Gantsoudes, sent this private query in the midst of my faux-transition from equine to bovine massage therapist last week. My own brother! The man’s sense of humor is rivaled only by his steadfast support of his younger siblings (wacky as we may be), and, I thought, his skepticism. If even Geordy wasn’t sure about the seriousness of my changing career, it stands to reason that there were a lot of confused people out there. As I said in my reply to Geordy, equine massage therapy may be fringe, but not so fringe as to justify switching to cow massage.
Before I go any further, then, let me state for the record: I am now and always an equine massage therapist. With apologies to Geordy’s “Kobe beef,” I was not really considering a career in bovine massage. I repeat: HHH is still an equine massage practice!
Often, clients who recruit my services explain to me, before I even get the chance to, how it is that massage benefits their horses. And they're right, every time! Those of you rehabbing injured horses rely on massage to promote comfort and to facilitate the normal restructuring of surrounding muscles. You’ve supported the rigors of your competition horses' careers with massage to maintain the condition of their great muscularity, and as a check to ensure ongoing structural soundness. Through massage, your young horses have learned to associate touch with positive feedback, and your elderly ones have been transformed into spry, spring chickens in the space of an incredible half hour. You call on me to help your horses work through restrictions that inhibit their left-lead canters, to prime them for their first seasonal endurance races, and because something’s just “off” and the vet said massage might be the ticket.
It’s not for me to say whether horses are an animal species unique in deserving massage for the above reasons—that jumping cow Luna I wrote about last week? She’s real, and I’m sure she, too, would enjoy massage! But HHH works with horses because there is no doubt in my mind that massage serves them as profoundly as any human athlete. Above all, I massage horses because I love them and want them to succeed as much as you do.
Thanks for playing along with my April Fools' prank last week, and I'm so grateful to be a member of your horses' wellness team!
PS - Happy belated National Sibling Day! Hug your skeptical brother.