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The ABC of Horse Massage (Horse Massage for Horse Owners with The Horse Physio)

The ABC of Horse Massage (Horse Massage for Horse Owners with The Horse Physio)

If you like the written word, please keep reading. Alternatively, you can listen on YouTube.

Think of the online course ‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’ as a recipe.  I’ve written it as an ‘ABC’ of Horse Massage.  The ingredients of massage are explained and taught separately – anatomy and technique – and then mixed together in specific measures in a specific order with specific timing to create a simple, effective, enjoyable massage routine. 

The introduction gives you some background on massage.  This is an important chapter to read, and I ask that you take a few minutes of your precious time to read it.  It helps you understand what massage is and why I recommend you massage your horse regularly.  I believe that you will be far more motivated to massage your horse regularly if you understand why you are doing so.  

The ‘Learning Massage’ chapter is where we start getting practical.  You learn initially to massage using yourself as the subject (your forearm) and/or a friend or partner. This gives you the chance to make mistakes without worrying about the consequences, receive valuable feedback on how well you’re doing, and sharpen your skills until you feel ready to take them to your horse.  

The ‘Equine Anatomy’ chapter lets you know where you will be massaging and why it’s important to massage there.  The anatomy of the horse is fascinating and incredible.  Built for both speed and endurance, a complex system of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles comprises the musculoskeletal system that you will be working with.  This might sound complicated, but you needn’t worry; I’ve chosen seven muscles to discuss, and through an awareness of these, you will be able to create an effect throughout the entire body. 

The ‘Massaging Your Horse’ chapter pulls together all the information so far and puts it into a full-body massage routine for you to use with your own horse. This chapter includes a useful ‘prompt sheet’ to help you remember the routine. I’m hoping that you will take this prompt sheet to the yard with you as a reference and you will be able to look here to remind yourself of anything you’re unsure of.   

The chapter on ‘Problem Solving’ focuses on common training issues and behavioural problems that I see on a regular basis and how you might be able to help overcome some of these using massage.  This chapter aims to help you help your horse in an effort to reduce stiffness and pain and improve performance.  It is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional.

‘Frequently Asked Questions’ does exactly what it says on the tin.  I have been teaching the Horse Massage for Horse Owners course for many years now, and there are certain questions that come up every time.  I’ve included these in this last chapter in the hope that I will cover most of your questions and provide some useful background information.  This chapter includes advice on where to go for further information. Often, you will find that one interesting link will lead you to another, and so on, enabling you to personalise your learning to suit you and your horse and to continue to improve your knowledge and skills.

There are many different schools of massage and many different approaches to equine therapy.  This course is written from my own viewpoint (excepting the anatomy information, which is universal).  There are, of course, some areas where there is no confusion or ambiguity, but massage, in general, is open to interpretation, both in the equine and the human field.  This text is intended to give you the confidence to get started, to put your hands on your horse and ‘give it a go’.  If it achieves this goal, I have succeeded in my objective, and I know your horse will appreciate your efforts.  If you want to stick with what you learn in this course, then there is more than enough here for you to be able to give long-term benefits to your horse and, at the same time, enjoy for yourself the advantages that you are giving him.  If you are inspired to look into massage or physiotherapy in more detail, then I would encourage that, and there is plenty to look into. 

About ‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’

The Online Course For You And Your Horse

”This course is a must for anyone who would like to improve the health, well-being or performance of their horse. Practical, educational and easy to follow, Sue Palmer The Horse Physio shares with you the knowledge and skills you need to massage your own horse. Learn about equine anatomy, massage techniques, and how to combine the moves to develop a complete massage routine. With an emphasis on how you can work with your own horse, Sue offers insight into how to reduce pain and stiffness in your horse as well as improve performance. Massaging your horse gives something back in return for all he does for you and will help you and your horse to truly enjoy the time that you spend together.”

“Informative and easy to follow.”

“As with all of Sue’s teachings, her passion for horses and their welfare is evident throughout the course. It’s informative and easy to follow whilst giving background knowledge on what and why these techniques benefit your horse. I found the troubleshooting section very interesting; it makes you think about what your horse is trying to tell you and how to help using Sue’s tools. I would recommend this course to anyone who enjoys spending quality time with their horse and who wants to improve their horse’s and their own well-being.” Sam Thompson

About Sue Palmer

Sue Palmer MCSP, aka The Horse Physio, is an author, educator, and award-winning Chartered Physiotherapist. Sue specialises in understanding the links between equine pain and behaviour, caring deeply for her clients, and promoting calm, connection, courage and confidence through curiosity, compassion, clarity, and creativity.

Popular books and online courses from Sue Palmer include:

Harmonious Horsemanship, co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson

Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?

Horse Massage for Horse Owners (book)

Horse Massage for Horse Owners (online course)

Stretching Your Horse: A Guide to Keeping Your Equine Friend Happy and Healthy

Sue is registered with the RAMP, the ACPAT, the IHA, the CSP and the HCPC.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2024

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