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Equine Sports Massage Therapy (ESMT)

Harmony Equine Therapy tailors an ESMT session to the individual needs of your horse and their circumstances. Our three main types of equine sports massage therapy session are maintenance, rehabilitative and competition. Typically maintenance and rehabilitation sessions are completed in the horse's stable to ensure they are comfortable, whereas competition sessions can be completed immediately prior to a compeition warm up. 


Modern horses, having evolved from their earlier form in prehistoric times, are not designed to be ridden or for domestic use. This can lead to muscular and skeletal problems with the additional stress on their bodies. 

Hence, a maintenance equine sports massage therapy session would benefit the horse's muscles through relieving built up tension an restoring proper function. 

Further benefits include;

  • Relaxation

  • Preventing muscle attrophy

  • Improving muscle symmetry

  • Reduced negative ridden behaviour (i.e. rearing, bucking, refusing fences)

  • Prevent future injury

  • Reduce muscle spasms

  • Improve proprioception (spatial awareness and limb movement)

Several research articles have been published exploring the health benefits of ESMT and how they impact horses undergoing rehabilitation for an injury. 

Whether your horse is on box rest, light work or returning to work, ESMT can help with recovery. Massage works alongside conventional veterinary treatment as well as other equine therapies to speed up healing whilst working to restore proper muscle function. 

Benefits include;

  • Increased circulation to prevent infection and improve healing

  • Pain relief

  • Reduce muscle stiffness 

  • Preserve muscle suppleness and tone

  • Prevent muscle attrophy whilst the horse is unable to exercise.

  • Boosted immune system

ESMT is not only a rehabilitative or tool to maintain correct function. For decades human athletes have employed to increase performance and reduce the risk of injury. Within the past few years, equine athletes have begun to employ sports massage therapy to achieve the same goals. 

Therapy does not have to be for when an equine athlete gets injured. Therapy can improve equine athletic performance of competition horses. 

Athletic performance is improved by equine sports massage therapy through;

  • Increased stride length

  • Improved range of motion

  • Reduced muscle stiffness  following exercise

  • Decreased warm up times

  • Enhanced muscle tone

  • Improved flexibilty

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