Why massage a horse?

 

"The career of an athlete, whether human or horse, requires talent, hard work, a methodical approach, and the provision of a prophylactic and therapeutic medical environment." – Jean-Marie Denoix and Jean-Pierre Pailloux

Size, finesse, and power: we celebrate horses among the premier athletes of the animal kingdom.  So it is normal and predictable that in a lifetime of work, play, and occasional inactivity, most horses encounter obstacles that hinder their best movement and comfort.  Competent care skills means minor injury itself should not be of great concern to the average horse owner.  But once tissue has been compromised, how to head off the associated patterns of compensation and imbalance?

Simultaneously preventative, maintenance oriented, and restorative in nature, massage can be instrumental not only in restoring normalcy to areas of tension and asymmetry, but also in ensuring that tissues are more resilient to future insult.  Horses who receive massage enjoy a noninvasive method to promote a wide array of benefits that include pain reduction, increased range of motion, and relaxation.  Owners enjoy the resultant improvements to disposition, performance, and career longevity.  Perhaps above all, the ongoing attention to and discussion of their horse’s body provides an owner with unique familiarity to the many moving parts of her extraordinary friend.

Just as humans athletes know that achievement depends upon appropriate preparation, horse owners respect that their charges’ greatest success is fostered within a finely-tuned balance of challenge and comfort.  For any athlete, massage presents a proactive and empowering adjunct to a lifelong training plan.