I often hear from horse owners: "Forget the horse. You can give me a massage." My standard answer, of course, is I only massage horses. And the usual response is: "I'm the one who needs massage!" WHAT? Horses need massage. Their muscles work hard for you. Professional massage is the best adjunctive therapy you can offer your horse.
Yes. Horses use their muscles. They use them to walk, trot, canter, side pass, jump, pull a carriage, barrel race, rope calves, roll on the ground, ride in a trailer, slip, fall... Get the picture? They don't run on little batteries you wind up or plug in to make the legs move. Horses are not made out of popsicle sticks glued together. No... They use muscle and lots of them from their necks to their tails. There isn't anything that skeleton of theirs can do unless a muscle, tendon and ligament is involved. Like people, horses muscles get stiff, sore, painful and build up tension areas. Those of you who already go to a massage therapist know how much good that has done you. Made you feel a lot better with regular massage therapy. Wonders, right? Hhhmmm..well,,,, what about your horse?
Sports massage therapy is used for human athletes around the world. And why? Because it helps prevent injury from the sport, increases or maintains each athlete’s natural ability, helps them stay flexible helps to prevent injury and reduce down time when they are injured. So... are you telling me your horse has no athletic ability? What, he has 3 left feet? I don't think so. Are you telling me your horse is unique and he doesn't get sore, stiff or has muscle spasms? Are you telling me you never ride him too hard, never take him to fatigue, ask more of him than he’s fit for? And you generally ask him for collection, perhaps intricate moves, jumps, maybe turns a barrel on a dime, spins or perhaps endurance rides? You think he’s not using himself? His muscles are performing for you.
ESMT is designed to address these problems. Muscle just naturally tightens and develops problem areas over time.Pain often develops affecting performance abilities.Muscle problems show with head carriage, loss of performance ability, flexibility, bending, one sided, lateral movements, head tossing, cold back, girthy, tight shoulders, stifle, cadence, short-strided, balance...just to name a few. Do you calf rope? Reining? Dressage? Saddleseat? Polo? Jumper? These disciplines and others demand and require certain movements, patterns and stresses on the equine body to perform. Eventually, the muscles shorten and tighten and athletic ability goes down just from training alone. How many of you have perfect balance and hands? Your seat and saddle fit affects your horse. All these things make him in need of massage therapy.
ESMT is a performance booster It helps keep your horse at his best and extend his athletic career. Top level horses of all disciplines throughout the USA reap the benefits of regular massage therapy. Check out the FAQ's for more information about ESMT or ask me a question.
Massage is not to replace proper veterinary care. In case of injury, lameness or any condition you are not sure about, a vet check is advisable. I do not diagnose, prescribe or do surgery. I am not a veterinarian.
Jeanette is one of the featured equine massage therapists included in this great article, The Benefits of Equine Massage Therapy (PDF), written by Brittany DeVries, published in The National Horseman, June 2011.
To schedule an appointment for your horse please call Jeanette James at 309-303-8017, Mackinaw, in Central IL or e-mail me at Appointment@JeanetteJames.com