Are You Considering EMT For Your Horse? Equine Massage Treatments FAQ 2021

Why do people use EMT for their horses?

EMT enhances a horses performance, stamina, and ability to recover from a hard day out of the barn

What kind of injuries or conditions are treatable through EMT? 

Various lamenesses, caused by tightness of muscles and tendons. With unique problems where the horse is responding adversely to their rider’s request, an equine massage therapist can frequently find problems on the horse that might be aggravated with a new saddle, rider, or a new type of movement. After a few minutes of familiarization with your horse, I can usually find trouble spots.

How many treatments does it take to see results?

For acute conditions (conditions less than a month old) it usually takes 3-7 treatments/sessions to assist the horse with the massage therapy and stretching to return to full performance. For chronic conditions (conditions that have been around for more than one month) it will normally take an average of one course of treatments (one course is about 10 treatments). If the condition is more than a year old, it may take more than one course. If this situation is something that comes and goes with your horse then the recovery is based on how long the current situation has been going on. The closer the treatments are, the faster the healing response. (i.e. 6 treatments every other week probably won’t see the same healing response as 2 treatments per week every week.) This sometimes makes people shy away, but your horse is going to be back to work a lot sooner

What are the benefits of EMT for the owner?

When I begin work on a horse I recommend that the rider/driver be present for the first few treatments, because I can assist the person with some assessment tools that can help prevent escalation of the “injury”. I also encourage people to incorporate some basic stretches. I will demonstrate these stretches as well as answer questions. The more ways a person familiarizes themself with their horse, the better the overall relationship will be and thus leading to better performance. The horse/rider relationship is strengthened through massage therapy.

What are the benefits of EMT for the horse?

By bonding with your horse, it will feel more loved. EMT reduces stress on the horse, allowing them to respond more positively to requests of performance. This is accomplished by loosening the horse’s back to let them better bend in dressage, creating a more supple neck which encourages the horse to be more on the bit

How do you know horses benefit from EMT? 

Massage Therapy has been proven to increase blood flow and endorphins. Horses who have EMT look more relaxed and respond to cues with greater enthusiasm due to the increase in blood flow throughout the areas that received the EMT.

What results do you see?

A horse may respond quickly or slowly to EMT depending on the duration of the condition that is ailing them. The first signs of improvement are better muscle definition in the area of the body that is the source of the trouble. The horse will also begin to respond differently to the “aids” used (leg, breathing, hands)

A well-trained eye will notice distorted muscle definition in the problematic areas of the horse’s physique. When an area of tension, swelling, or imbalance in the horse’s conformation is noticed, that area local to the problem will look different than a healthy area. Equine massage therapy assists the body in restoring muscle definition.

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