We have a large number of equestrian horse riders who travel to Natural Therapy Wellness Center in McHenry for therapeutic massage for improved flexibility, pain relief and to generally improve their own personal riding skills. Many of those people have asked us if we would massage their horses as well. While the massage therapists in our office will not work on horses, we have been introduced to a local Equine Massage Therapist whose specialty is providing horse massages for many of the same reasons. Heather Duh can be found on her Facebook page or at her email at DuhESMT@gmail.com.
We asked Heather to write a few sentences about her massage services for horses:
How will your horse benefit from a massage?
Having a regular maintenance massage can benefit your horse in many ways. This massage is used as a preventative massage for future injuries. It will increase range of motion, enhance muscle tone, relieve stress and tension, and also increase mental clarity required to focus for training. The massage will also improve the horse’s circulation which is what leads to more rapid healing of injuries.
A maintenance massage is usually needed one once a month. If this is your horses first massage, please schedule a massage at least a week prior to any competitions. This will give you time to adjust to the feel of your horse. A pre and post event massage can be given 30 minutes before and after an event. These massages aid in the warm up and cool down process of the athlete.
How do you know if your horse needs a massage?
Horses ranging from pleasure horses to high powered competition horses can all benefit from a massage. If your horse is always on edge or involved in high stress situations, the massage will help calm your horse’s nerves and adjust quicker to a new environment. Other signs that your horse may benefit from a massage are if you horse refuses a lead, has tender areas on his/her body, or has more flexibility on one side versus the other. The massage will relieve any muscle spasms which could be causing any of the above mentioned issues. Muscle spasms are fibers within the muscle that have become knotted. If left untreated, more fibers will be added causing a larger knot which will increase pain in the horse and decrease their range of motion.
Even as we massage the muscles throughout the body, these different techniques create more production of synovial fluids, which lubricates the joints and eases arthritis pain. Overall you will see a positive disposition in your horse after they have a full body massage.
Heather Duh, Equine Sports Massage Therapist can be reached at http://www.facebook.com/heather.duh.52