How Important is Massage in your Horse Care Routine?

It’s no surprise that owning a horse can be quite expensive… Training fees, tack, vet care, quality feed, and everything else these creatures depend on for their well-being. The list is literally endless.

I’m sure we all understand the extent to which we go to provide top-level care to our beloved ponies (pssst, I’m looking at you with the hole in your worn-out paddock boots). Where does massage fit in your horse care routine?

Some owners may view massage as an indulgence rather than an essential practice, opting for it occasionally for their horses when they can “splurge” to have their professional bodyworker get to it at the next show…

However, it’s crucial to understand that maintaining healthy muscle function is essential for joint health and injury prevention. By integrating strength training and flexibility exercises to enhance posture, you can promote optimal muscle function and balance.

You know, the type of things we’re all after with our training routine to prepare our horses for optimal performance. However, much like us, any repeated movement or stretching activity can result in tense muscles or spasms.

And I really mean ANY repeated movement… with or without us.

Have you seen your horse stretch and twist to reach for a blade of grass beneath the lowest rail of their paddock?

Horse stretching to eat some grass

Many of us have experienced that sudden, sharp pain in our neck or back from moving in the wrong way. And then we’re hobbling around crookedly for the next week until the pain subsides in that area, right?

Horses, on the other hand, are naturally stoic and tend to hide their pain. They may begin to show certain behaviors that could indicate discomfort such as sudden girthiness, head tossing, bracing on the bit or lack of balance under saddle.

But it’s important to realize that by the time they are showing these symptoms, the level of discomfort is probably already pretty high…

And when one area of the horse’s body experiences an issue, like a muscle spasm or knot, it can have a ripple effect on the entire musculature.

While it’s great to handle some things on your own, there are moments when calling in the pros is the best move.

First off, if your horse starts showing signs of discomfort, like stiffness, uneven gait, or reluctance to move, it might be time to reach out. A bodyworker can help with muscle tension and imbalances, often bringing that spring back into your horse’s step.

But if your horse is experiencing more severe symptoms like swelling, lameness, heat in the limbs, or sudden changes in behavior, get ahold of your vet! It’s all about balance. Regular check-ups with both a bodyworker and a vet can keep your horse happy, healthy, and ready for all the adventures you have in store.

After all, a little preventive care can go a long way in ensuring your four-legged friend lives their best life.

Have you ever heard the phrase: Strong muscles support weak joints?

As a bodyworker, I strongly believe taking care of your horse’s muscles is essential for their overall health. Since muscle function and muscle balance help absorb the forces that impact the joints, muscles that work properly may protect joints from excessive wear and tear.

You know, basically what we performance horse riders put our horses through at every turn.
Regular massages can help detect and remove muscle spasms and painful knots before they become a bigger issue. This can prevent them from affecting the joint health or vertebrae of your horse.

Regular massages can also improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation in your horse. Addressing tension and promoting relaxation can enhance your horse’s performance and quality of life.

Brooke massaging the neck of a horse with a massage gun

That’s kind of a big deal, right?

Now, it’s no secret that massage can benefit your horse in more ways than one. But it can be a bit brutal on our own hands and bodies to perform regularly. That’s why I created my course for busy horse owners and their handy-dandy massage guns.

Help improve circulation and prevent stiffness and all those good things without putting strain on your body.

By learning proper techniques and understanding your horse’s needs, you can create a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both of you.

With this easy-to-follow guide, you will soon be able to offer your horse the muscle relief they crave, and greatly improve your horse’s well-being in between sessions with your professional bodyworker!

Do you want to start confidently massaging your horse with a massage gun?

Take a look at my Horse Owner’s Beginner Guide To Using A Massage Gun course. 

Let me know if you found the video and post helpful. And, make sure to follow Drassal Equine Bodywork on…