Frequently Asked Questions About Horse Rehabilitation and Massage

How often should my horse receive bodywork?

The frequency of a bodywork program depends on many factors, including the horse’s age, riding discipline, workload and overall health. Generally, horses benefit most from bodywork every 4-8 weeks.

Will bodywork affect my horse’s training/show schedule?

No. While some horses experience a slight sensitivity the day after a massage, you do not need to alter your training or show schedule. However, if this is the first session for your horse, it is important to schedule the massage at least four days prior to a big show. Your horse needs to get used to his new way of moving, and your horse’s increased range of motion might make you feel slightly out of sync at first.

Can you diagnose my horse’s illness/lameness?

No, that is a job for your veterinarian. Equine bodywork is not a substitute for veterinary medicine. Bodywork is never used to diagnose or treat pain or injury, or prescribe or administer treatment of any nature for the prevention or relief of bodily injury.

Why do you work on the entire horse when only a specific muscle seems sore?

It is important to evaluate the entire horse during a bodywork session. Often, the muscle that seems the most sore is compensating for an underlying issue. A full-body massage or myofascial release session is necessary in creating an overall balance in the body.

Are there times when my horse should NOT receive bodywork?

Yes. Horses that are in shock, running a fever or have been diagnosed with cancer should not receive bodywork. Massage is never used on areas of heat or swelling. If your horse is suffering from an acute injury, he should first be seen by your veterinarian.