What kind of horse benefits from bodywork and massage?
Horses and humans have a lot in common when it comes to massage. Just like humans, all horses may experience sore or stiff muscles leading to decreased performance and discomfort no matter what their "career." Some equine disciplines benefiting from bodywork and massage include:
How long does a massage session last? Am I required to be on site during the session?
Equine massage sessions last 1 hour and 15 minutes with the exception of the initial session which lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes (at no extra charge.) A thorough health history and gait assessment are completed during the initial session. At the end of the session, Ilene will teach the owner and/or rider some follow up stretches or simple massage moves that may be beneficial. The owner or rider is only required to be on site during the initial session.
How often should a horse receive bodywork and massage?
It all depends on the workload of the horse, his/her conformation, health history, footing, tack fit and extent of injuries (if any). If a horse has a heavy workload, two massages per month may be in order. For the "average" horse, one massage a month is typically sufficient.
When will I notice an improvement in my horse?
When will I notice an improvement in my horse? Sometimes there is an immediate improvement after one session. Sometimes it can take a few sessions depending on your horse's health history, conformation, current muscle condition and other factors.
After a session, how long do I have to wait to ride my horse?
Actually, follow-up exercise is a component of equine sports massage. Healthy horses can be ridden immediately after a massage (though a less strenuous ride is strongly recommended.)
My horse is under the care of a veterinarian. Can he/she still receive bodywork and massage?
If written clearance is received from your veterinarian prior to the session, your horse can still receive a massage.
Why is proper saddle fit so important for my horse's health?
Improper saddle fit can cause serious back, neck, and leg issues and even lameness. Muscles and tissue can be irreversibly damaged by an ill fitting saddle.
What is saddle flocking and reflocking, and why is it necessary?
On English saddles, most of the panels (the part of the saddle that touches the horse's back) are stuffed with foam or wool. The wool is referred to as saddle flocking. No matter how expensive your saddle, over time, the foam or wool will become thin, get hard and lumpy and develop “holes.” This can cause serious damage to both the horse and riders' back. English saddles should be checked annually to ensure the flocking (stuffing) is still in good repair and reflocked every 1-3 years depending on how often the saddle is used. Reflcokng means the old wool or other material is pulled out and new wool is placed in the panels. Holistic Horse Bodyworks uses only top grade, natural wool to reflock saddles.