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

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Latest Issue 10 26 20

    Read More
  • Reserve your Celebration Fall Classic ring side table

    In order to keep as much of the festive atmosphere as possible, The Celebration has constructed a show ring within Calsonic similar to that at Tunica which will allow for ringside tables. These tables were always well-received in Tunica and provide an up close view of the action in the ring... Read More
  • 2021 WHOA Banquet plan

    The Walking Horse Owners Association would like to announce that due to restrictions for Covid-19 the WHOA Banquet scheduled in February of 2021 has been cancelled... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Mr. Trump

    The Walking Horse Report has recently learned of the death of Mr. Trump. The 2xWGC, WC and 2xRWGC passed away unexpectedly following a routine workout on October 15 coming as a shock to owners Molly and Taylor Walters as well as to trainer Edgar Abernathy. Read More
  • Online entry system available for Alabama Jubilee

    The Alabama Jubilee, scheduled for October 23-24, will take online entries up until noon on Friday, October 23 and 11:30 am on Saturday, October 24. Entries can be made at entermywalkinghorse.com.  Read More
  • Obituary – Christy Kakassy

    The Report recently learned of the passing of long-time walking horse owner and exhibitor, Christy Kakassy, on Monday, October 19, after a difficult battle with acute myeloid leukemia... Read More
  • Latest Issue 10 19 20

    Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Pride's Jubilee Encore

    Sometimes a horse is destined for greatness and with the right group of people and a lot of hard work and determination, that level is reached. This was the case for 2001 World Grand Champion Pride’s Jubilee Encore... Read More
  • Dix River Fall Classic update

    The Dix River Fall Classic, scheduled for October 23-24, at the Brodhead Indoor Facility in Brodhead, Kentucky will be a SHOW–HIO show. The entry fee for flat-shod classes will be reduced from $30 to $15.  Read More