Massage and myofascial release
I use massage as a part of every single treatment, treating the whole of your horse's body and focusing on the areas which need it most. As well as massage being enjoyable and relaxing for the horse, the main focus of massage is to increase blood flow to the muscle and the use of various techniques resolve muscle tightness and soreness to help improve comfort and performance.
Myofascial release is the part of the massage that uses stretching and lengthening techniques to target the fascia which is a thin layer of connective tissue just under the skin that covers the whole body. When this fascia becomes sticky or stuck to other structures in one area the effects resonate through the whole of the horse and release can often cause a widespread increase in suppleness.
Stretching can be done both when standing still or moving, it involves holding tissue at a point where it is lengthened for a short period of time. Stretching is often thought of as a warm-up and cool-down exercise, this is because it helps to prevent muscle tightness after exercise and reduces muscular fatigue and injury. Regularly stretching the structures around a joint also help to improve the range of motion of the joint so they can flex and extend further; useful in all equestrian disciplines. I will often stretch an area after I have massaged it to further lengthen and reduce tightness in the muscle, different types of stretching will also likely form part of your individualised home exercise program which I put together for you to do with your horse between sessions.
Dynamic and postural mobilisations form a large part of both my treatment and some of the exercises which I may give you to carry out at home with your horse between sessions. These exercises use a combination of stimulated reflex actions and postural weight-shifting and stretching. They help with mobilising the spine and pelvis and correcting asymmetries, and building muscle mass, including core and topline musculature.