by: B. Nicole Wilson
When the idea of a massage for your horse is brought up, what first comes to mind? Perhaps you get a mental image of a horse on a massage table (maybe even giggle at the thought)? Maybe it is only for relaxation and rejuvenation, a sort of luxury and therefore not worth having done regularly? It is often viewed as more of a treat for your horse, for special occasions and not a necessity. This seems to be the recurring mind set of most equine owners and is perhaps one of the largest misconceptions when it comes to equine massage.
Of course there is a component of massage that is enjoyable for the horse, because really – who wouldn’t enjoy it? There is however, much more to it than just relaxation. Perhaps the more important thing to recognize is the many different ways of how your horse can truly benefit from regular treatments. This way of thinking needs to be addressed in order for this type of therapy to be taken seriously. Massage has its place, just like other alternative therapies available in the equine industry. The many benefits of equine massage include:
- increases circulation (this being the number one effect)
- reduces adhesions or scar tissue
- improves suppleness and flexibility
- increased elasticity in the muscle tissues, allowing for better extension
- increases range of motion
- help with mental attitude of the horse
- stimulate muscle tone
- increases or relaxes muscle tone (dependent on which is needed)
- decrease recovery time between events
Massage can make huge differences in the way your horse moves and performs, and can even have a positive impact on their mental state – something that is of utmost importance for both horses that are competing or that are used for pleasure riding. It may even help with unruly behaviour if the horse is acting out because of pain or if the horse is unable to physically do what is being asked. Massage can be of benefit to every horse, no matter what their age, fitness level or discipline. Why not give equine massage a try and add it to your other list of current horse health team modalities. Have your horse receive massage, and you may be amazed at the results you get!
Author Bio – B. Nicole Wilson
Equine massage is much more than just a career for Nicole, it truly is her passion! She began riding when she was 10 and purchased her first horse when she was fourteen and has done much training, massage and Reiki treatments with him. The massage and Reiki treatments proved to be very effective as he experienced a serious injury in September of 2008, giving her vital hands-on practical experience with her massage therapy training. Her education includes an associate Diploma in Agriculture – Equine Option and successfully completed courses such as: Equine Anatomy and Physiology, Alternative Therapies, Conformation and Lameness, Equine Health, Feeds and Feeding, and Conditioning. She successfully completed an equine massage course and became a Certified Equine Massage Therapist in June of 2008. This certification led to Nicole starting her own equine massage business: Equine Serenity Massage Therapy www.equineserenity.webs.com .