For a 1200 lbs horse, that’s over 700 lbs of muscle.
The muscular anatomy of a horse is directly responsible for movement and locomotion. Through exercise, the damage then rest and repair of muscle is part of the cycle of developing its strength and endurance, but when the muscles become damaged, fatigued or tight from injury or exercise, the performance becomes compromised and puts the horse at risk for greater injury.
Imbalances, stiffnesses and tension are common obstacles we as riders strive to overcome through various riding and training techniques, but tension and spasms inhibit movement, preventing optimal performance and can cause “snowball” effects into other areas of the body as it begins to compensate.
In addition to stretching and relaxing the muscles, massage mo
bilizes nutrition and circulation throughout the body for better muscular health and flexibility, and by maximizing metabolism can improve and shorten recovery. When muscle tissue is fully extensible, healthy and free of tension and spasms, it is less prone to injury.
Benefits of massage are profound, and are often observed almost instantly once the horse is able to move more easily.
- Increase, stimulate or relax muscle tone
- Increase range of motion and joint mobility
- Increase tissue elasticity which allows for greater extension
- Improve circulation and efficiency in all systems
- Decrease recovery time of injurie
- Reduce scar tissue and restore extensibility of muscle fibres
- Improve drainage of lactic acid and toxic build-up
- Improve drainage and motility of lymph
- Relax and relieve muscle spasm
- Promote movement of the gut
- Improve behaviour and attitude when pain is reduced