Movement is an essential part of life, and all movement comes from the contraction and then relaxation of muscle. All motion: walking, breathing, eating, sitting, is a result of muscular activity. Even the beating of our heart is produced by muscle function. The ability of a muscle to shorten and then to be stretched, and the elasticity to return to its normal shape after those actions, determines how successful an athlete (whether 2 legged or 4 legged) will be.
Between 40% and 50% of a person’s body is muscle. Horses muscles make up about 60% of their body weight. Problems with muscles are not always obvious. Sometimes you will only see a change in posture or mood.
Massage can be used to prevent injury as well as to assist the body repair muscle fibers that have been damaged. Often muscles will the first indication there is something wrong and that a more serious injury is imminent. A muscle contains many fibers and as it contracts and relaxes some of these muscle fibers can become stuck and form a spasm.
The longer a muscle spasm is left unattended, the harder it is to remove. Regular body work is some of the best insurance to keep yourself and your horse partner in peak performance shape.