Equine sports therapy includes all complementary soft tissue therapies used on the horse. At Happy Horse Sports Therapy, we use a variety of techniques derived from many different therapies. The main types of therapy we use are sports massage and stretching.
While regular massage offers valid treatment for overworked, stressed muscles, sports massage is treatment given with the understanding not only of anatomy and physiology but also of the particular demands placed on the horse’s body and its workload/discipline.
Sports massage is done with the principal mandate of returning the horse to its desired activity with the same or better level of function. It can include more aggressive techniques (than with regular massage) that approach muscles more deeply. Sports massage will often utilize a variety of modalities such as remedial massage, trigger/stress point therapy, cross fibre techniques and deep tissue work. Primarily though, the difference between regular massage and sports massage lies with function, that is, the return of the equine to full or better function so that they are happy in their work and can perform at their best.
Sports massage techniques play a very important role in prevention therapy and in recovery from injury. These massage techniques have led to a much richer relationship with the animal, resulting in better care for their needs.
A qualified therapist, who has a good understanding of equine anatomy, can help to pinpoint and correct issues in the horse. Regular sports massages with stretching offer a range of benefits to the equine and help to keep the horse happy and willing to be ridden. As riders and horse owners, all one really wants to see is their horse happy, healthy and feeling good.