Q. Do I need consent from my vet before my horse can have a massage?
A. If you live in the United Kingdom, the answer to this is yes. While massage therapy has become a well-recognized non-invasive
therapy for horses, there is variability between veterinarians in how they prefer to handle such requests. Some are happy to give
blanket permission for the animals under their care, while others may wish to see and examine the animal beforehand.
Q. I'm not really into competitive riding or showing. Can my horse still benefit from a massage?
A. Absolutely. Every horse can benefit from massage, you do not need to be a high-level competitor to take advantage of the
Q. I want my horse to look and feel his best for my upcoming show or event. When is the best time for a massage?
A. As you might expect, in the same way we humans are all different, so too is every horse. While ultimately the way a horse responds
to massage treatment will ultimately determine the best time to schedule a massage, there are a few specific times that may be
beneficial for your horse:
Pre-event - a pre-event massage before a big show, race, or other event will loosen and warm the muscles, and can be calming for a horse that may be anxious or in a new place.
Post-event - post-event massage increases your horse's natural ability to repair tissue and remove lactic acid from the muscles, returning the muscles to their normal state more efficiently, and helping your horse to cool down after exertion.
Maintenance - helps your horse's overall conditioning by keeping the musculature loose and flexible. Regular massage can also detect developing issues before then become severe. And of course, I'd be remiss not to mention that massage is enjoyable for your horse!
Q. What qualifications do you hold?
A. I am certified as an equine sports and rehabilitation massage therapist through Equissage Europe, and am fully insured. I am also a certified human massage therapist. You can see a full list of my other credentials on my Living Earth Massage Therapy human page.
Q. Are there minimum requirements for my horse to have massage therapy?
A. Any horse can have massage therapy, but there are a few things that will ensure the safety and comfort of all
involved. You horse should:
accept touch. Some rescues or un-gentled wild horses (like BLM mustangs) may react unpredictably if they are unaccustomed to being handled. While your horse in no way needs 100% perfect ground manners, the more he accepts touch all over his body, the more he will benefit from the massage sessison.
be free of communicable diseases. If you have an infection at your barn or your horse is currently being treated for something, please let me know when you book your appointment. While some conditions aren't a 100% contraindication to massage, I may decide to see your horse as a last appointment that day to prevent exposing other animals to potential conditions. Please be aware however, that some infectious conditions are complete contraindications to massage, and I will need to wait until your horse is cleared by the vet before I can see the horse for massage therapy.
be clean-ish. Don't worry, I only mean that your horse should not be completely caked in mud - the way they get after a good roll. Your horse will not get the benefit of a full session if I have to spend the first bit of the massage session removing chunks of earth from his coat.
be already caught. Please make the most of your massage time by having your horse already in from pasture, stalled, or in a safe enclosure of your choosing. I will need your horse's halter and lead rope for the session. I do carry extras, but your horse would much prefer to wear what's familiar.
Q. What are some of the contraindications to my horse having a massage?
A. You should refrain from getting a massage for your horse under the following circumstances:
some infectious diseases (like equine influenza)
trauma or areas of open skin
- These are only a few examples of contraindications. if you have any concerns about whether or not your horse should have massage, either get in touch or discuss it with your veterinarian.
Q. Can you help me diagnose why my horse is lame?
A. While in the context of equine massage therapy I do take into account things like gait, muscle tone, exercise/work, and saddle fit to help determine the where and why your horse may be experiencing soreness, my role as a massage therapist is not to provide a diagnosis for your horse - only a vet can do that. Generally speaking, if you do not see improvement in an issue with your horse after three massage sessions, your should consult your veterinarian.