The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

25.12.2021 How To… Care For The Older Horse… In 10 Easy Steps: Chapter 2

“I take a massage each week. This isn’t an indulgence, it’s an investment in your full creative expression/productivity/passion and sustained good health.” Robin S Sharma

Chapter 2: Massage and grooming

Massage and grooming is something that every owner can offer their horse, whatever the age or condition of the horse. Years ago, horses were strapped daily by their grooms. Through this, the grooms would get to know every inch of their horse. Knowing a horse this well makes it easier to recognise when changes occur, or when something isn’t right, and when we need to call for help.

Most of us can’t manage an hour a day, but perhaps we could manage an hour a week, or an hour a month? The focus in our culture tends to be on fixing bodies that are broken, rather than on maintaining good condition and preventing disease. I see a physio every few weeks myself, on the basis of maintenance and prevention. You could help your horse in a similar way with regular treatment, either from yourself in the form of grooming or massage, or from an equine sports massage therapist, or from an ACPAT Chartered Physiotherapist or Registered Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioner.

Massaging or grooming your horse will stimulate his nervous system, which will promote comfort, health and healing. The heat and energy from your treatment is of great benefit to your horse (and probably to yourself as well). There are studies describing that stroking an animal causes a release of endorphins in both the animal and the person, and endorphins are a powerful relaxant and pain killer. If you’re lacking confidence in your horse massage skills, my book Horse Massage for Horse Owners teaches a full body massage routine that can be easily achieved by any horse owner.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

December 25, 2021
Sue Palmer