Are you considering how a broodmare can benefit from massage; you are already doing a big favor by doing so. Let us not forget that mares experience a wide variety of physical, hormonal, and emotional changes. Our responsibility is to give the broodmare the most caring and loving support possible. I hope you will find this article educational and interesting.
Massage helps reduce anxiety at every stage of being a Mother. A stress free mare is more receptive to the stallion or calmer during an artificial insemination. A calm mare will be easier to handle, and because of this the handler feels safer. It is important to remember the horses will pick up tension thus it is the handler’s responsibility to feel calm and confident.
Here are a few benefits of massage that will help a broodmare feel good and happy during her pregnancy, foaling, and motherhood. Let us start with the lymphatic and circulatory system. The lymphatic system acts to keep the body healthy. Massage removes toxins and other waste buildups. This keeps her body stronger as it does not have to deal with storing waste products. Massage stimulates the circulatory system, which enhances the blood flow.
Blood flow does a variety of important tasks. It removes the waste products from the muscles and other organs. It carries nutrition throughout the entire body, including the fetus. Nutrition is important for a healthy nourishment of the unborn fetus. A healthy fetus raises the chance of having a healthy foal. Blood flow gives the mare more energy, which in turn makes her feel good. How the mother feels impacts how the fetus responds because her body reacts accordingly.
A healthy blood flow helps regulate blood pressure as the heart is pumping cleaner blood. The blood is cleaner because massage helps remove waste products, and the body eliminates it, usually through urine. A healthier heart means a better balanced blood pressure.
Cramps, knots, physical, and emotional discomforts are common as part of being pregnant. The good news is that massage helps eliminate it and or regulate it. When Mother is feeling comfortable, so is her foal. Physical and emotional discomfort causes the body to compensate for it, and compensation does not stimulate a healthy body and mind.
Aches and fatigue is often the result of poor oxygen and nutrition supply; another reason for a healthy blood flow. Waste product buildups can cause swelling in the legs and create tension in the muscles. Remember, the mare is now handling two lives in one body. Keeping the waste products from building up is vital to a healthy Mother and foal.
Hormonal changes are also part of mating, pregnancy, foaling, and raring. Sometimes hormonal changes can cause depression and anxiety. Massage stimulates the glands, resulting in a more balanced hormone transition or change. A balance hormone system means healthier milk for the foal, and overall less stressful for the mare.
Now let us address the foaling. While massage therapy helps relax muscles, it also stimulates and tone loose muscles. During the foaling, massage can be used to keep the mare relaxed so that she does not have to experience negative tension. This enhances the positive experience of foaling for the mare, and her body will remember that for future foaling.
After the foaling, the Mother will need support to regain her strength and reduce stress that may ensue the foaling stage. The foal can always receive the benefit of touch through massage. It is a great way to desensitize the foal and develop a positive relationship.
I hope I was able to answer some of the questions on this particular topic. Let me know if you have further questions and I will do my best to answer them. Keep exploring the journey of horse-human relationships.