Equine bodywork is a style of sports massage to help increase your horse’s well-being and musculoskeletal function. Equine bodywork predominantly uses the hands to relieve tension and correct muscle imbalances that may have developed in your horse, due to repetitive and strenuous activity or trauma.
Bodywork can help to:
Increase range of movement
We have all felt stiff at some point during our lives due to not doing enough or doing too much that our bodies are not used to. This is the same for your horse. Repetitive activities, not getting frequent turnout, and increase in training load can all cause muscle stiffness, soreness and tension in your horse. Massage can help relieve this and restore range of movement allowing your horse to move freely and with ease.
With an improvement in range of movement also comes an increase in muscle efficiency. This helps to improve gait and stamina due to an easier movement pattern
Bodywork sessions are often a time when horses can relax and release tension making sessions very calm and soothing for everyone around. Often horses can be grumpy, irritable, more aggressive, withdrawn or depressed when they experience discomfort. You may find after that your horse’s mood improves due to not feeling soreness in their muscles.
Help recovery from injury
Massage is a useful tool in the rehabilitation of injuries. It helps restore muscle tissue function and makes the horse more comfortable.
The action of massage encourages the movements of fluids within the soft tissue of your horse. This helps flush out congested areas and draws fresh nutrients into that area helping tissues to heal more effectively.
Help recovery from training or competition
If you have ever exercised you may have felt that your muscles were tired and sore (even 24 or 48 hours after). This can be the same for your horse if they have worked hard at a competition or had a hard training session, then they can experience muscle soreness. If this accumulates over time (micro trauma) then injury may occur. Through massage injury risk can be decreased and training effectiveness increased.