What is Equine Sports Massage
Equine sports massage is the application of long recognised professional sports massage techniques applied to the horse for the purpose of increasing circulation, range of motion as well as improving stamina and overall performance. Few Human athletes would compete without preparing their bodies using massage and stretching exercises and there should be no exception for the supreme athlete – The Horse.
Sports Massage Therapy is the application of long recognised professional massage techniques to promote good health and enhance performance. It is one of the oldest and most effective forms of therapy not only beneficial pre and post competition, it can reduce the chances of injury and indeed speed up the healing process when injury has already occurred.
Benefits of Equine Sports Massage
All horses can benefit from an equine Sports Massage Treatment. This can range from the family pony to top quality competition horses in any sphere. If your horse is giving you cause for concern or you are simply curious to find out how your horses performance can be enhanced through massage. Indications your horse may benefit from sports massage include:
An unexpected change in behaviour
An unexplained deterioration in performance
A reluctance to work
Asymmetry in motion
Uneven muscle development or muscle atrophy
Cold backed or irritability to being tacked up
The movement of a joint or joints, within their normal anatomical range, specific to their anatomical construction. Performed without any muscular involvement on the part of the subject. The joints are moved through their normal anatomical range, held in a non- weight bearing position. Movement of a joint or joints as applied for passive movements, however at the end of range marginal over-pressure is applied to increase range and stretch all involved structures; Capsule, ligaments and muscles.
– Assists in re-education of movement patterns.
– Affects propriorceptor sensors and improves muscle function.
– Improved recoil of fibres and as a result improved function.
– Reduces muscle tension.
– Improves circulation.
– Stimulates nervous system.
– Enhances and improves movement.
– Effects soft tissue structures.
– Assists joint lubrication.
– Effects kinematic / recoil energy.
– Improve muscle flexibility
– Restores and maintains normal range of movement Passive stretches should be performed by a qualified masseur, the tissues should be prepared prior to stretching – either through massage or warm up i.e race horse walked in parade ring prior to stretching. The normal range and plane of movement must be understood and appreciated with the limb being supported correctly and comfortably. Joints should be moved slowly, with stretches being repeated three to five times. Joints should never be overstretched.