There are several types of massage sessions designed to meet specific needs. In all cases, every session is custom-tailored to meet the needs of the horse.
A Sustaining Massage is structured to help a horse stay healthy at an established work level for as long and as safely as possible by decreasing muscular tension. This is ideal for maintaining athletes, school horses, therapy animals, and pleasure horses. This can also be a useful tool in understanding existing stress patterns and removing situational soreness prior to pre-purchase riding trials.
The intent of Performance Massage is to optimize current performance while helping the horse reach the next level of movement proficiency. We achieve this by improving proprioceptive skills, improving the efficiency of movement, and increasing flexibility. This is especially useful for athletes graduating to the next level of competition, horses who are switching disciplines, and horses who are being started under saddle.
PRE & POST-EVENT MASSAGE
These are a pair of shorter sessions designed for the athletic horse, and are administered before and after a competitive event. The goal is to optimize tissue to support competition and avoid injuries, especially mid-to-late in the competitive season when the body is most prone to injury. The Pre-Event Massage focuses on warming and stretching the tissues, preventing injury, and assisting in focusing the mind, and can be done up to 24 hours before the event. Post-Event Massage is designed to flush the tissues of waste materials created during exertion, calm the nerves, speed recovery, and should be done 0-48 hours after an event.
Rehabilitation Massage is designed to aid the horse in reaching physical equilibrium that will facilitate natural healing, or will complement a treatment program initiated by a veterinarian. From encouraging healthy circulation for a horse confined to stall rest, to pre and post-operative massage, addressing strains and problem areas which are impacting performance, helping scar tissue form properly, moving stagnant fluid and waste from injury sites, or using advanced techniques to support a veterinarian prescribed treatment plan, massage can be a useful tool in helping the body recover.
MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle technique that helps boost the body's natural immune system. The lymphatic system is responsible for moving waste and toxins out of tissues. When compromised through inactivity, inflammatory responses, or illness, it can become congested. By gently stimulating this system, we can help sweep toxins out of the body and decrease congestion and swelling. Normally MLD is a stand-alone treatment, and the horse should avoid strenuous activity for a minimum of 12 hours after treatment. MLD is contraindicated in cases of fever and congestive heart failure, but is wonderful for horses on stall rest, moving excess fluid from swollen limbs, preparing a horse for transport, and assist the body in better handling inflammatory responses to soft-tissue trauma, injections, or bug bites.