- Massage sessions typically last about an hour, though may run longer according to how the horse is responding and the progress being made. In all cases, every session is custom-tailored to meet the needs of the horse.
There's a learning process to receiving body work, and it may take horses from a few minutes to several sessions to understand the process and what is expected of them. Don't be overly concerned if your horse is distracted, restless, or seems a little on edge at first. Your horse will be handled with compassion and understanding and will learn the massage process soon enough.
Expect an ebb and flow for your horse between states of relaxation, focus, and possibly temporary agitation as sore spots are addressed.
Common signs of release and relaxation are lowering of the head, yawning/licking/chewing, soft eyes, and deeper breathing.
I love to share information and explain what I'm doing but may fall silent when concentrating. I'll answer all question and fill you in on the details as soon as I'm done.
When observing a session, for safety sake, please do your best to stay on the same side of the horse. I may invite you over to feel an area if I think it would be interesting or educational for you, but normally it's best to stand back and stay in the sight-line of your horse.
- Unlike humans, horses aren't able to verbalize what they want, or what feels good or painful, so I rely on their non-verbal queues (posture, movement, expression) to guide me. For that reason, please avoid feeding, grooming, petting, and loud or excessive talking during a session, as it can be distracting for the horse and may disrupt the progress of the massage. When there are two of us interacting with the horse, it makes it challenging for me to read to what stimulus the horse is responding.
In rare situations, the presence of the guardian may be too stimulating for the horse in which case you may be excused. Please don't be offended-- it may be that you're just too much fun! It's simply a matter of creating the optimal massage environment for your horse, not a criticism of you or anything you are doing.
The welfare of the horse is paramount, and I will patiently employ a variety of techniques to sooth and reassure a nervous or resistant horse, but may choose to end a session early and return at another time to complete the massage if I feel it will be more productive or is in the horse's best interest.