F.A.Q – EQuine sports massage

Initial consultations can take between 1 – 1½ hours due to the in-depth history taking and assessment. Further sessions can take anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour although this can also be dependant on the size of the subject!
Yes, under the requirements of The Veterinary Act 1966, any Equine Sports Massage Therapist will need permission to proceed from the client’s veterinarian prior to a massage session.
If you suspect that your horses behaviour or training difficulties could be due to any/musculoskeletal discomfort.
Massage is not a cure all, but scientific evidence shows that it can help relieve symptoms of pain and discomfort, enhance performance and range of movement, and produce relaxation.
To find a practitioner in your region please click the ‘practitioner list’ button and this will display a list of all the ESMA members and their contact details.
If you could ensure that your horse is clean and dry and that he/she is housed in a suitable clean and dry area.
If you could also have to hand, a note of recent health checks such as when the farrier and dentist last checked your horse. When the saddle fit was last checked. The therapist may also want to look at the saddle and the horse in motion.
The welfare of the horse is paramount.
One of the major benefits of equine sports massage is that it can help to enhance performance. We aim to achieve this by obtaining the best muscular health and balance for that individual, along with techniques used to help increase range of movement. Equine sports massage can also help minimise stiffness post competition.
The benefits noted above to aid performance could be used on any equine – competing, ridden or retired. By aiming for optimum muscular health and balance for the individual concerned, there is a reduction in unnecessary wear and tear being placed on the body. Equine sports massage can also help to reduce stress and lead to a contented companion.
ESMA members appreciate the inter-linkage between all other health professionals. Sometimes a team effort is required to restore optimum health for the individual concerned. Communication between any of the following is important – veterinarian, farrier, trainer/instructor, groom/yard manager, physiotherapist, chiropractor, nutritionist, saddler & any other professional involved.
’Back person’ is a generic term and rather outdated. Therapists now get given their specific titles – osteopath, Chiropractor or sports massage therapist. Broadly speaking the Chiropractor and Osteopath use manipulations to target the bones and joints while the massage therapist uses manipulation to target the soft tissues. “there are many ways to skin a cat”!
All ESMA members hold a comprehensive insurance policy, which is a stipulation of membership.
No, under the Veterinary Act 1966 only veterinarians are allowed to diagnose any disease or illness.
All ESMA practitioners hold a human massage qualification as a pre-requisite of the Equine Sports Massage Therapist qualification.
If there has been any muscular tension, spasm etc. felt, to gain optimum benefit, your therapist would need to see your horse more than once. Performance horses would benefit greatly from regular equine sports massage sessions.
Generally you will not need to give your horse time off after a massage. For instance many people use massage as the perfect warm up for schooling, training or pre-competition.
An ESMA practitioner would refer your horse back to its Veterinary Surgeon. They may also give you advice on the use of another therapy, Chiropractic etc.
ESMA practitioners often give owners exercises or some massage techniques to help their horse between sessions.
Yes, a pre-requisite of training to be an ESMA practitioner are 5 years experience working in 5 different equine sporting disciplines (i.e. racing, show jumping, eventing, polo etc) to a high standard. Expect us to know our stuff! Most ESMA members are horse owners and have or still do compete in disciplines across the board.