Unlike some other types of physical therapy, equine sports massage looks at the horse as a whole.
It commences with a full evaluation of the horse to determine how its confirmation may affect its performance and any muscular and skeletal asymmetry is noted. A full history is taken and if required a basic check of dental health and shoeing is carried out as well as an examination of the horse’s saddle. The horse is then assessed in hand in walk and trot on a straight line and on the lunge on both reins.
During the session each muscle is isolated and massaged using various palpitation and massage techniques. Where areas of sensitivity are found stress point therapy is applied, followed by a cross fibre friction technique which takes out points of muscle spasm. Passive stretches are applied once the muscle groups have been isolated and softened.
At the end of the session an individual working programme will be discussed with the owner/handler detailing follow up stretches and exercises which will benefit muscle development. Where necessary it may be recommended that the horses saddle fit, teeth or feet are checked by the respective specialist.
The session lasts approximately 60 minutes and is normally hugely enjoyed by the horse.