If you have ever had a massage whether for relaxation purposes or to treat tension or muscle soreness, you will know how good this feels. I myself have had numerous massages to treat tension and knots that have formed, without the massage the tension/knots spread to adjoining muscles which eventually affects the way you move.
The horses muscles work in the same way as our own muscles, meaning they also suffer from the same conditions as we do, when left untreated the effects on the horse could eventually lead to lameness.
The horse cannot tell us he is sore or in pain, so he will communicate to us through his behaviour. The signs of possible muscle soreness are numerous and may present themselves as:
- Bucking or rearing (especially when ridden)
- Poor performance
- Refusal to jump fences
- Dislike to being tacked up
- Grumpy when girthing
- Constant tail swishing
- Nipping or biting
- Unable to strike off on the correct canter lead
- More stiff on one rein
- General change in behaviour
If your horse shows any of these signs without reason it may be worth getting him checked over. Naughtiness is often blamed for a change in behavior but generally I find that the majority that show some of these symptoms are in pain and in most cases can easily be rectified with equine massage.
Although massage is excellent for the musculo-skeletal system, it can also have effects on other systems such as:
- The nervous system
- Circulatory system
- Endocrine system
- Digestive system
- Skeletal system (joints)
- Tendons and ligaments
Equine massage has endless qualities, and all horses should receive some form of massage therapy whether it is just for general maintenance, relaxation, well being, sports or rehabilitation, they deserve it! So give it a try and see what equine massage can do for your horse.