Equine Sports Massage
Massage is not a new concept it has been around for thousands of years.
As with so many of the complementary therapies that have been revived in this 21st century, the benefits to humans have long been known. The word Massage is derived from the Arabic mass or Mash, meaning to press softly and has been cited from as far back as 380BC.
Although massage appears to be a fairly modern concept in the equestrian world, little did the horsemen of previous centuries know whilst strapping their horses with a hay wisp, they were actually massaging them!
What is Equine Sports Massage?
Equine Sports Massage is the therapeutic application of professional sports massage techniques applied to the horse. The key to a good massage is in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, gait analysis and the pattern of movement. A masseur looks at the horse as a whole and attempts to consider all possible causes and effects of any tension whilst interpreting the horses reaction and expression.
There are many reasons why a horse would benefit from a massage.
Few human athletes would compete without preparing their bodies using massage and stretching exercises, surely the equine athlete is entitled to the same. Every horse would benefit from massage, not just sport horses!
Massage can enhance performance by helping the horse to reach its full potential by improving and increasing circulation, enhance muscle tone, relax muscle spasm, prevent and relieve adhesions and increase the range of movement.
A massage will be both physically and psychologically relaxing for your horse. For those of you that have already had the pleasure of being massaged, you will know the relaxing feel good factor it can bring.
Massage can also help to create a bond and mutual trust between you and your horse.
IT IS AN ILLEGAL OFFENCE FOR ANY PERSON TO PRACTISE MASSAGE ON AN ANIMAL OWNED BY ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF A VETERINARY SURGEON, NORMALLY THE VETERINARY SURGEON WHO WOULD ATTEND THE ANIMAL IN QUESTION
Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966
The Equine Sports Massage Association was formed to ensure that the client receives services from a fully trained and qualified equine sports masseur. It also endeavors to maintain a high standard of practice and code of conduct by its members. All members of ESMA are experienced horse people and in addition are qualified in human massage. Practicing members have all passed the ITEC Diploma in Equine Sports Massage.