Can I Give My Horse A Massage


Horses are animals that deserve all the care and love you can show them. Also, just like humans, they can feel pain and get stressed out from activities like racing. 

Equine Massage Therapy is a growing industry that caters to both the physical and psychological needs of horses.

In this article, we will discuss whether horses can receive massages. Let’s get started

So Can I Give My Horse A Massage?

Yes, you can give your horse a massage. This therapy helps horses to restore their mobility after getting injured. Massage also reduces the animal muscle’s tension, loosens its scar tissues, and helps to move freely.

How To Do Horse Massage

Horse massage is something that requires a professional touch. However, before taking your horse to an Equine Massage therapist, you must seek the opinion of a vet.

Below are ways to massage the five main areas of your horse.

#1. The Neck

Use a loose fist to apply firm pressure along the topline while facing one side of your horse’s neck. As you move your hands toward the base of the animal neck, ensure to extend the pressure down into its shoulder. 

Also, move your hands up and down the mane in vibrating motion or back and forth. This will help promote suppleness.

#2. The Shoulders

Apply firm pressure with a loose fist from the top of the horse shoulder toward the bottom to work out any tension. I suggest you divide the shoulder into three areas, each of which you should work on several times. 

If your horse can withstand the pressure, apply a similar technique to help loosen muscles in front of the horse’s chest.

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#3. The Back

Apply pressure with your flat hand to start at the withers. After doing this between 3 to 4 times, use your hand heel to go deeper into those same muscles. Do this 5 to 10 times, depending on how tight the back of your horse is.

#4. The Hind End

Start by running your palm along the horse’s hind end a few times. Once the hind muscles warm up, apply firm pressure in an up and down motion using your fingers. 

Ensure your massage from the top of the hind end (2-3 times) before switching to your palms, which you should move in concentric circles. 

If you have a handheld or portable massage device, put both hands on the tool and move it along the muscle with firm pressure.

#5. The Hamstrings

Start by using the tips of your fingers to apply pressure gently. That way, you will figure how sensitive your horse is when touched in the hamstring. 

So if your horse enjoys the massage, you step things up by using your fingers to apply firm pressure. Begin from your horsetail top down to its hamstring. 

After that, use a “To and Fro” motion with your hands perpendicular to the animal muscle. This should be done when you notice that its muscles have loosened up. (You can do this up to 10 times on each side)

Can You Use A Human Massage On A Horse?

Yes, you can use a human massage unit like a massage gun on your horse; besides, a massage gun is an effective rehabilitation treatment for both humans and animals like cats, dogs, and horses.

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Massage guns like the Opove M3 Pro will not only help to prevent injuries but can also quicken the recovery process of horses. 

I recommend you try out the massage gun because it’s effective, affordable, and gives the much-needed flexibility you need when giving your horse a massage. However, I strongly advise you to consult a professional veterinarian before using a massage gun on your pets.

Nevertheless, click here to read my review of the Opove M3 Pro Massage Gun.

When Should You Not Massage A Horse?

It would be best if you didn’t massage your horse when you notice the following:

  • Infectious Diseases such as Herpes, Tumours, Strangles, Equine influenza, Pneumonia, and many more 
  • Discharge/Mucous from the eyes or nose 
  • Neural diseases such as Tetanus, Neuralgia, etc.
  • Labored Respiration due to allergic reaction, infection, or spasms within the airways
  • A wound that is less than one week old 
  • Spasmodic Colic and Cushings 

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I massage my horse?

There’s no specific time that is best suited for massaging your horse. So you can do it anytime, including during the night.

Why should I massage my horse?

Massaging your horse could help to prepare it for racing and other athletic activities. Besides, massage is valuable before saddling up your horse, and it can help promote circulation, improve oxygen flow, and transport nutrients to various areas of the horse body.

Is massage therapy just for competition horses?

No, Massage therapy isn’t meant for competing horses only. Horses that are retired or ridden for pleasure can still enjoy the benefits of Equine Massage therapy.

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Is every massage the same for every horse?

No massage is the same for every horse, even though each massage is aimed at the same muscles. Therefore, for a massage session to be effective, it’s best to tailor it to the needs and demands of each horse. 

How often should a horse be massaged?

How often you massage your horse depends on the horse’s workload, health history, the extent of the injuries (if any), tack fit, and footing. Two massage sessions monthly are sufficient for a horse with a heavy workload. For the “average” horse, one massage per month is usually enough.

Can I ride my horse before or after a massage?

Sure one could ride/work their horse on the same day and before the massage treatment, but the horse must be given time to cool down and dry completely for the treatment.

Wrapping Up

Equine Massage Therapy is beneficial for horses. However, it must be done with caution, and more importantly, you should seek your vet’s consent.

Lastly, if you think the information provided in this article is helpful, kindly share this article with other horse owners you may know. Massage Therapy may be what will get their horses back on their feet!

Disclaimer:The information contained in this article is a result of in-depth research on the subject matter. This article is only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, I suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions.

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