The Working Process
The most important piece of information is feedback from the rider: the age of the horse, discipline, competition level, frequency and intensity of work.
Sal will also spend time gathering information from the horse’s groom, as caregivers can accurately answer questions regarding areas of sensitivity when grooming and subtle or obvious changes in behavior at shows. Full awareness of veterinary history is also at the forefront.
Professional Network Support
From major health and soundness concerns to routine treatments, all impact the massage process. Sal seeks out a productive relationship with veterinary professionals, farriers, chiropractors and acupuncturists…all those that are involved in the care and wellbeing of the horse.
The massage therapy always takes place in the horse’s stall. Sal feels that this location is a safer and more comfortable place for the horse. It is easier to stretch and move; the horse can munch on hay, drink water and feel secure in his surroundings. None of these things are possible if a horse undergoes massage therapy on the cross-ties.
Optimally, the horse should work after a session. It is important to explore what has changed; to look for an improvement in range of motion. This increased range of motion should theoretically be at its peak nearer to the time of massage and enables the rider to explore changes in feel.
On occasion, there can be soreness as a result of a deep tissue massage. Sal goes to great lengths to avoid this. Riding after massage can assist in realignment of the muscle fibers and encourages blood circulation to the muscles. This provides nourishment and processes cellular waste.
A Part of The Whole
Massage therapy is an integral part of the equine athlete’s regimen. When used in conjunction with proper nutrition, good shoeing and proactive veterinary care, your horse should enjoy many years of health and happiness.
Want to learn more?
View Sal's three Massage Videos at DressageClinic.com