I often write here about how hard all the equestrian sports are on the equine body. Please don’t misunderstand! I think every horse should have a job he enjoys. Yes, saddles and collection and galloping and jumping are all hard on the horse. But the alternative is worse: weak muscles cannot support the frame of the horse. All horses need regular exercise, just as humans and dogs do. The signs of aging, such as a sway back, protruding withers, flabby shoulders and chest, can all be delayed and even prevented with work.
Regular body work is part of a fitness program. Every athlete should have the benefit of massage to prevent injuries, improve circulation, and recover from injury and soreness. For riders who are competitive, a pre-show massage for the horse will give them an edge by improving flexibility and relaxation.