Clients often want to know when to schedule the next session. I tell them that it depends on the horse’s condition. Usually I advise the horses to be on a one-a-month schedule, other times I tell them weekly. I’ve been on the field long enough to observe the variety of severity of muscle problems. In this article I will discuss the different severities and the schedule suited best for each situation.
Horses whose muscles are loose are suggested to be on a one-a-month schedule. Loose muscles may come from not working or possibly the lack of proper exercise and diet; for the sake of this article let us assume the following: that the horse is not worked; that the saddle fits exactly; and the rider is really good. By massaging these horses once a month will insure the looseness of the muscles while providing the other benefits of massage – blood circulation and stimulating the internal systems.
Horses that have mildly tight muscles should be massaged twice a month. These horses usually fall into the section of worked slightly; an O.K fitting saddle; or the rider who do not ride perfectly. Massaging these horses will help reduce or regulate problems relating to soreness and tight muscles – movement and behaviour are several examples of problems that could be regulated with these twice-a-month massages.
Horses that have extremely tight muscles should be massaged weekly. These horses may have emotional problems; physical problems; poorly fitting saddle; a not-so-good rider; works constantly; or competes heavily. These horses ought to be done weekly to provide comfort and health benefits relating to that of massage – keeping the muscles loose for movement and or stimulating the internal systems and reducing health problems.
Please review the other articles regarding the other benefits of massage. Competitors, schooling horses, trainees, studs/broodmares, and “pleasure/backyard” horses are among the many that can benefit from massage applications. How many times a horse needs to be done is no reason to be shameful or lose confidence; it is a simple fact of life. I am out to help horse and owner alike and I will not judge or think badly if a horse needs massage weekly.
I hope that this short, simple article helps you. I am not the kind who pushes words around or drag the reader on. It is better if the facts and truths are presented cut and dry. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns – I welcome them! Just remember, if a horse is not kept on a schedule the progress will not be gained.