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Equine Massage Therapy

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Equine Massage Therapy

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It is the day before the World Show and your horse that had been predicted to be World Champion just had a muscle spasm. Now the horse appears to be lame, so you definitely are not going to win. What do you do? As an owner and exhibitor of premier draft horses, I have seen top horses suffer a spasm before a big show. I have also experienced it. If your top horse cannot perform, you may lose money and the chance for prospective buyers to see your horse in the show ring. The answer to the question, “What do you do?”, is to call an equine massage therapist. Through many different techniques, equine massage therapy can improve a horse’s health, well being, and performance.

Human massage therapy is the “systematic manipulation of soft tissues to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function” (“Equine Massage Therapy” 1). Equine massage therapy , however, is “the application of hands-on massage techniques for the purpose of increasing circulation, relaxing muscle spasms, relieving tension, enhancing muscle tone, and increasing range of motion” (“Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification Program” 1). Equine massage is a growing career field that allows for a noninvasive way to help prevent injuries in horses. There are many programs in Ohio that allow people to become certified and have a career in equine massage therapy. Equine massage therapy is an important factor of keeping horses at a state of equilibrium. Sixty percent of a horse is muscle. These muscles get tired and weak; massage allows for the muscles to be rehabilitated back to full power. “ Equine massage therapy affects the muscular system, the skeletal system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, the respiratory system, the endocrine system, the eliminatory system, the nervous system, and the digestive system” (Veen 1). This therapy “relaxes the nerves and muscles, increases blood circulation, decreases swelling, eliminates toxins, increases oxygen delivery,...