Horse massage Therapy : How to Properly Massage Therapy your Horse

How to Properly Massage therapy your Horse

 Just like people, horses can also suffer from tension. In worse cases, these can cause lameness or other unpleasant consequences. Certain massage techniques, which should be approached carefully, can treat tension and injuries. This is how you provide pain relief for the horse. The well-being and health of the animals are increased by a horse massage. You can find out everything you need to know about horse massage therapy in this article.

With a horse massage therapy, the animals fall into a pleasant state of relaxation, which can even have a long-term effect. In addition, a regular horse massage strengthens the relationship between man and horse, which leads to better interact with each other. Anyone unsure about the massage techniques can seek help from veterinarians or therapists who have extensive training in the field of horse massage.

Prerequisite and background of the horse massage Therapy

Certain conditions should be met for a relaxed and effective massage. First of all, the anatomy of the horses, especially the horse's back, should be dealt with to avoid a counterproductive result. In addition, a horse massage only makes sense if the animal is healthy. If you have a high temperature, colictendon problems, muscle inflammation, pregnancy, or acute infections, you should refrain from a well-intentioned message. Inflammation can even be promoted or cause severe pain.

If you are unsure, it is always advisable to involve a veterinarian in the treatment. Otherwise, the horse's body language also reveals whether the effect of the horse massage has the desired effect of relaxation. It is therefore advisable to be aware of the signs that the horse radiates. Licking, chewing, and yawning are signs of deep relaxation. Restless movements and nervous fidgeting, on the other hand, indicate pain or insecurity on the part of the horse.

In addition to the physical conditions already mentioned for a successful horse massage, a pleasant environment for the horse should also be ensured. This mainly includes a relaxed atmosphere with a calm and unexcited mood. The touches should always be considered gentle and not carried out under time pressure. Loose arms and hands favor the relaxing effect for the horse.

Good reasons for a horse massage

Just like humans, horses can suffer from tension and therefore unpleasant sensations. With appropriate massages and practiced grips, such tension can be relieved and pain can even be prevented. The blood circulation is promoted and thus the metabolism is also stimulated. In addition, a horse's mass loosens the muscles and thus leads to more elasticity in the body, which is why carefree mobility increases. Increased oxygen intake is also a positive side effect of a holistically healthy body.

In addition to physical health, the psyche of the animals is strengthened. The well-being of the horse is positively influenced by relaxing touches and thus the trust in the rider is promoted at the same time. In the long term, regular massages benefit health, motivation, and connection to people. The horse frees itself from accumulated complaints and learns to let go and rest in the presence of the human.

Brushes or special massage gloves can be used as aids, but they should always be used gently and lovingly. It is also important to pay attention to the body language of the horses, how they react to the different touches.

Positive effects of horse massage

The horse health of their animal should be the claim of all horse owners, which is why, in addition to species-appropriate husbandry and a correct, healthy riding style with appropriate exercises, the health-promoting measures should also be supplemented by a regular massage. Releasing tension in the horse can be acquired with the help of a course or by acquiring knowledge yourself. Some instructive books on the market deal with various massage techniques. After regular use of the acquired skills, the hand movements succeed more and more professionally. Conversely, this means that the massage skills are constantly expanding the feeling for tissue adhesions or muscular tension improves.

The structures of the horse's body can be better interpreted after-acquired experience so it is possible to actively promote the horse's health. Pain caused by tension in the horse can be specifically relieved. The movement of the horse is free and the equestrian disciplines are much better. Massages also promote good blood circulation, which ensures a strengthened immune system and leads to increased well-being. The pleasant feeling that is triggered by the horse massage strengthens the bond between horse and human enormously.

In the long term, regular massages affect peaceful togetherness. In addition, a healthy and, above all, the satisfied horse is many times more productive. As a result, the horse produces more powerful movements and increased motivation during training.


duration and time

A regular relaxation massage for the horse can be carried out with varying frequency and according to need. A horse massage lasting about 15 minutes is sufficient to help the horse into a state of relaxation. A medical massage, which is intended to relieve specific tension and the entire body from stress caused by malpositions, often takes much longer. A treatment time of one hour can be expected here. Medical treatments should, however, be carried out by a specialist in osteopathy or a veterinarian or at least be accompanied and repeated according to their recommendation.

The duration of the massage unit should also always be adapted to the horse's feedback. If the animal is restless and hardly allows a massage, you should not necessarily insist on carrying out the treatment. As soon as there are signs that the horse may be in pain, it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian if he is not already on site.

In addition, the question arises as to whether massage sessions should be carried out better before riding or after the work is done. Beforehand definitely indicates that existing tension can be released and the muscles can then be easily moved while riding. The sequence of movements should better be intact after a massage. After training, a massage can help to ensure that the horse does not suffer from sore muscles. In addition, the muscles that have just been used are relaxed again and the horse is rewarded for its cooperation. For a holistically good treatment, alternating massage units are recommended, which are changed about monthly.


What massage techniques are there for horses?

a massage curry comb is also used for horse massege

There are of course different techniques that are suitable for horse massage. Depending on the desired effect and your own experience, the appropriate application should be chosen. The horse can stand without being tied up so that it can interrupt the massage independently if it becomes uncomfortable or even painful. Massages on the hindquarters can trigger jerky reactions in very tense horses, which is why increased vigilance and caution are always advised to avoid unnecessary injuries.

If massive tension is detected by the horse owner, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. Massage techniques, on the other hand, which are primarily intended for general relaxation and to improve the relationship of trust, can certainly be carried out by laypersons. Hand strokes, finger strokes, and mane comb massages are particularly suitable for this purpose.


Hand stroke


Probably the most classic relaxation massage is the so-called effleurage (hand stroke). These are light and gentle touches with the entire palm. Both hands are placed on the horse and slowly stroked in the direction of the coat. Slight pressure is sufficient for hand painting.

Effleurage is suitable for the entire body and is particularly easy to implement. The effect is said to produce deep relaxation and improve the transport of tissue fluids. Faster movements stimulate the circulation and therefore have an invigorating effect. If different techniques are combined in a horse massage, it is advisable to carry out a hand stroke between the different techniques.


Horse hand stroke


Finger stroke

Similar to the handstroke, the finger stroke is also carried out. The fingers fan out and create a slight pressure on the horse's body. Here, too, both hands are gently stroked in the direction of the fur. A calming effect is also achieved with slow movements of finger stroking.

This effect is particularly good for imbalanced or young horses that still need significant contact. The entire horse's body can be massaged with finger strokes. The intensity can be influenced by slightly changing the pressure of the fingers. Faster movements also tend to have a stimulating and refreshing effect with this massage technique. Finger strokes can also have a positive effect on bronchial symptoms in the area of ​​the rib muscles so that the cough can be relieved.


Muscle pressure at the crest of the mane

The crest of the mane is the top part of the horse's neck where the mane grows out. The neckband and the neck cord run underneath, which can be massaged with gentle pressure. Beginning behind the ears, massage in an even rhythm to the end of the mane. For this purpose, the heel of the hand is on one side of the neck and the fingers are placed over the crest of the mane on the other side of the neck. A muscle pressure massage can be achieved by pressing the hands together.

Normally, horses find this pressure massage extremely pleasant and consequently lower their heads to the point of light twilight sleep. If the horse's reaction is unexpectedly violent, the pressure should be reduced many times over. Horses are often very tense in the area of ​​the ears or neck,

which is why the choice of pressure should be particularly careful. Possibly it is sufficient to briefly lay on the hand at the beginning, which is repeated more often. If the tension is released, you can continue working with slow circular movements in the neck area.



Medical massages

Horse owners who have not dealt with the anatomy of the animals until now should initially seek the support of an experienced specialist for more intensive massages to avoid causing any painful effects. Without the necessary background knowledge, it is advisable to only carry out the strokes and the mane crest massage.

Medical massages should be learned and can have unpleasant consequences if used incorrectly. Acute pain therapy, malpositions, or pinched nerves should be professionally corrected by a therapist. During the treatment, he or she can give tips on which hand movements can be done independently in the future. It is therefore advisable to question the therapist during his work and to experience and learn a few things in the process.


Horse massage – Important information & tips

A relaxed horse shows this with a bowed head and relaxed muscles throughout the body. It may even close its eyes and buckle one of its hind legs. The horse as a flight animal only assumes this position when it feels safe and comfortable. Stressed horses, which are fundamentally skeptical due to their character, rarely fall into this pleasant state of relaxation.

To facilitate the possibility of relaxation for such horses as a horse owner, a wellness massage is a suitable aid. The massage techniques of the strokes can be supported with the use of various products. Various massage devices with different attachments are available on the market. There are also helpful massage brushes that are equipped with gentle balls or rollers. In addition, the use of massage oil, which was specially developed for horses, can support the massage. The application of vibrations can also help to reach the deep muscles. However, a certain amount of experience and background knowledge should already be available.



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