top of page
  • Writer's picture

Improve Circulation, Flexibility and Muscle Health for Free

We often see clients who have a professional equine masseur attend to their horses. They are prepared to stand there for an hour while someone else rubs their horse, and then pay $100+. 

If you're going to allocate the hour anyway, why not do it yourself?

horse massage
horse massage

While we should leave it to the professionals when it comes to musculo-skeletal manipulation and adjustments, learning some basic DIY horse massage techniques can empower us to take a hands-on approach to our horses' health and happiness. 

Equine massage helps improve circulation, relieve muscle tension, and promote relaxation. Regular massages can also aid in preventing injuries, and improving flexibility. It also gives you the opportunity to find small problems before they become big ones.

Before beginning the massage session, ensure that your horse is comfortable and relaxed in a familiar environment. Groom your horse thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that may interfere with the massage. Start with gentle touch to gauge your horse's response and establish a connection before moving on to more specific massage techniques.

Basic Massage Techniques

Effleurage  is a gentle stroking technique that helps to warm up the muscles and promote relaxation. Using long, sweeping strokes along the horse's body, apply light pressure while maintaining a rhythmic motion. This technique can be particularly beneficial before engaging in more intensive massage work. It will help you identify places that are particularly tight, obviously sore, or places that are unusually hot or cold.

Petrissage  involves kneading and lifting the muscles to relieve tension and improve circulation. Using a gentle but firm grip, knead the muscles along the horse's neck, shoulders, back, and hindquarters. Focus on areas of tension or stiffness, adjusting the pressure based on your horse's response.

Friction  is a technique that targets specific areas of tension or knots in the muscles. Some people like to use a ball. We prefer to use our thumb, or heel of our hands. Using circular motions with your fingertips or palm, apply gradual pressure to the affected area. This technique can help break down adhesions and promote muscle relaxation. Sometimes you can press your thumb into the spot for a moment and wait - not moving, and you can feel tension reduce.

Incorporating gentle stretching exercises into your massage routine can enhance flexibility and range of motion in your horse. If you conduct carrot stretches often, horses will learn to do these stretches by themselves once a carrot is produced. 

demonstration of horse bending
carrot stretches

 By massaging regularly, you can identify areas that are persistently stiff, sensitive, or uneven. This will be your cue to engage a bodyworker with the skills to perform actual manipulations. 

Learning these basic techniques allows us to take a proactive role in promoting our horses' overall wellness and will also make you a more observant and empathetic rider. Does your horse bend one way? Do they take up a particular lead, or tend to disunite? What contact do they resist? All of this is valuable information you can attend to and potentially resolve without the additional time and expense. 

Take the first step in becoming your horse's personal masseuse!

Are you still nervous? You can YouTube it. There are lots of resources out there. At the end of the day, listen to your horse.

With all the money you are saving not paying for massages, buy yourself some quality gear in unique fabrics! Subscribe to our website for discount coupons.


bottom of page