Skip to content

Sports Massage for the Equine Athlete



Anyone who has ever rubbed a stiff neck knows that intuitively a massage relieves pain and muscle tension. And almost anyone who has given the process any thought believes that the stiffness is relieved as a result of the increased flow of blood to the affected area,  which occurs as a result of the rubbing action.

Have you ever thought about how athletes prevent injury? Our favorite football players and baseball players are constantly working out to gain or maintain their body strength, but they also make sure that their muscles are nice and loose by soaking in hot tubs, and getting a much needed massage to prevent injury. The same can be said about our Equine Athletes as well. Now that spring and show season is here, we are working our horses more, preparing them for the trails or rails ahead. Now that you have your horse in shape, what preventative maintenance have you provided him? It’s time to prevent those injuries with a massage, before and after an event. Not only does a massage prevent injuries, but it also increases the range of motion. Those of you who have gaited horses know that if your horse is not moving out of the shoulder correctly or driving in the backend, he will not be hitting the ground  in a smooth, flowing manner. A horses muscles will and do get tired and over worked, this is where a massage comes in, to loosen those tired muscles and increase the blood flow back to those sore muscles.

Sixty percent of the horses body weight is muscle. Muscles respond to stress or injury  by hyper-contraction, which stresses opposing muscles and joints. Soreness of muscles could be the result of injury, cooling down too fast, or overstretching the muscles. Like us, horses anticipate pain, their way of going becomes short and choppy, resulting in an uneven gait. A massage locates these sore muscle areas and releases the tension and loosens those fibers to relax.

If your horse has had surgery or has had colic, a massage can ease the pain and make him more comfortable. Likewise, with the arthritic horse who has inflammation and swelling, a massage is a true blessing to them and they really do look forward  to the relief a massage brings their aching joints and muscles. If you have a horse that has been stalled for long periods of time, a massage can relieve those “frozen” muscles as well.

The evident pleasure which stroking gives to animals, and the delight tired horses, dogs and cats take in rolling, are convincing proofs of the health-giving effect of massage.

So, the next time you take your equine friend on a long trail ride, or are just starting to compete in the show ring, make sure their muscles are prepared to take the pressure and stress that will be asked of them.

Dana Waters
Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist
www.facebook.com/thecompetitiveedgeequine
423-715-2960

 

More Stories

  • Rising Star Meet, Greet & Eat

    Rising Star Ranch invites everyone to attend their Meet, Greet & Eat at Rising Star Ranch in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Mar. 3. Following a delicious lunch at 12:00, colts will be previewed... Read More
  • Obituary - Karen Pendleton

    Karen Jo Wright Pendleton, 66, of Mt. Sterling, died Monday, Feb. 12, at her residence surrounded by her family. She was born Mar. 15, 1951 in Lexington to the late Wheeler and Retta Stephens Wright. Read More
  • APHIS launches webpage for frequently requested records

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Frequently Requested Records” page on our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) e-reading room, in accordance with the FOIA statute Read More
  • Pre-entry available for Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview

    The Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview showcases the new crop of stars that will be coming to the show rings in 2018. At Rising Star Ranch we want to help the trainers and owners present their entries in our Colt Preview in the most professional manner... Read More
  • Youth Council hosts first annual “Tennessee Globewalkers” basketball game

    We are doing it again! Having fun and raising money to help one of our own! You’ve heard of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” Now you have a chance to see and experience the “Tennessee Globewalkers!"... Read More
  • Owners excel in 2017

    Valentine’s Day and honoring the owners with an annual banquet always come close together and highlight February. The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) hosted a fabulous banquet with their usual tremendous crowd on Saturday, Feb. 10. The banquet was hosted to honor those who did well in 2017. Read More
  • Trainers' Show offers rich history; a must stop for many contenders

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association serves as host to its annual show each year, oftenreferred to by industry insiders as simply “The Trainers’ Show” — and it’s become a must stop for many of the industry’s best of the best as they embark on the new show season. Read More
  • Equine Education – coming to Shelbyville!

    The youth is the future of the walking horse industry, and, quite simply, the more kids interested, the better off the industry. That’s the line of thinking Jerry Harris had when he began organizing Equine In Education, a program scheduled to take place in Shelbyville, Tennessee March 9 at the Calsonic Arena. Read More
  • Shane Shiflet Photography Special

    Starting Monday Feb. 12 through noon on Feb. 16, you can buy 5 images between 2008 and 2017 from any show for $175. Over a 50% savings! These will be emailed, cropped and color corrected high res images that you will own to do whatever you like.   Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase adds class

    The FAST Spring Showcase, scheduled for Apr. 13-14, has added a class to their original schedule. Class 11a on Friday evening will be Amateur Lite-Shod... Read More