Make sure you have an Equine Sports Massage Therapist on your Horse's Wellness Team
Does your horse have a veterinarian, farrier, dentist, trainer, acupuncturist, acupressure professional, nutritionist or chiropractor? I'm sure they have most or all of these professionals and they definitely should but does your horse also have an equine massage therapist? Surprisingly the answer I receive from many horse owners and trainers is "no never", "once or twice a long time ago" or "I just don't have the money right now".
We have to start thinking about adding massage therapy to our horse's Wellness Team and get away from thinking of it as a nice once in a while luxury or spa day for your horse - some people even feel it's an altogether, unnecessary treatment for their horse. Since the early1990s, equine massage therapy has been making a come back but unfortunately that come back has not been fast enough as it is still not taken seriously by some horse owners and trainers."Why would my horse need a massage when he's already a big, powerful and muscular animal" many ask. The size and strength of a horse does not matter - it is the hard training and competitive riding that takes a toll on the horse's body and massage therapy helps to eliminate muscle tightness, knots and spasms so your horse performs at his optimal level and is healthy physically and mentally. Massage keeps the equine body moving effortlessly from the highest level of competition (jumping, 3 day eventing, racing, dressage) to a retired senior horse perhaps with arthritis. Massage is an extremely beneficial, necessary and very much needed practice for the health, well being and longevity of your horse because of its numerous health benefits (see Benefits of Equine Massage section for a complete list).
Would a professional human athlete perform their sport such as a football player or boxer and not have regular massage treatments to keep their muscles supple and free of tension? Absolutely not! Their muscles would become tight and restrictive preventing them from being successful at their sport and as a result would affect their career and income! No massage therapy at all for your horse would affect the success, career and income for you and your horse at competitions.
*Equine massage therapy is NOT a substitute for veterinary care.