Why Massage for Horses

Equine massage is not only for the love of the horse. Just like humans, horses use, strain and overwork their muscles whilst living and performing. A   Certified Equine Massage Therapist will massage to help relax the muscles and decrease recovery time. All horses will benefit from treatment including dressage horses, hunter jumpers, eventers, aged horses and companion horses.

  • Increase circulation
  • Increase relaxation
  • Increase immune response
  • Stress relief for competition and troubled horses
  • Aid in injury prevention and maintenance
  • Stimulate underdeveloped muscles and strengthen weak muscles.
  • Build trust and enhance the human bond
  • Positively affect gait, flexibility and suppleness


Your equine companion does not have to exhibit signs of an existing problem to benefit from massage. Regular maintenance massage can prevent onset of acute and chronic injury and is a wonderful way to keep your horse in tip-top shape.

Stacey010bSome of the most common reasons for the use of massage therapy are:

  • shortness of stride
  • stiffness
  • restricted movement such as issues bending to one side
  • not picking up a particular lead
  • bucking and rearing under saddle
  • lack of work ethic


Stiffness occurs when a muscle becomes over-worked or strained. Overtime if left untreated, muscle strain on the adjacent muscle tissue will cause compensation effects and there is an increased risk of serious injury. The injury has most likely occurred due to the muscle unable to take up their proper load and being unable to stretch to its full potential. By addressing these issues early on, serious injuries may be prevented and the body may rebalanced itself.

Hoof growth can be another indication your horse may have an underlying musculoskeletal problem. Weight distribution of the horse can affect the growth pattern in the hoof, providing clues there may be issues in the rest of the body.


Many horses show improvement with just one massage session. However, each horse is different and depending on the issues, may need several treatments before significant changes are observed. Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects are cumulative. The more regularly the body receives massage, the more quickly it will respond. With regular sessions the body will begin to release on a deeper level and results will be reinforced creating better and extended results. Generally, stretching, turnout and how the horse is worked will play a role in the success of the treatment.