What would your horse be like if all his muscles were in a state of relaxation, free from tension? Deep tissue massage, stress and trigger point therapy, and myofascial release
will help the connective tissue become more elastic, thereby allowing the muscle to return to its natural shape.
It is very important for horses to maintain a comfortable and free range of motion. If certain muscles are tight, other muscles in the body will compensate and take up the extra workload. They may be ridden like this for weeks, months or years, until the body can no longer call on extra resources because it does not have them. This ultimately leads to ruptures of soft tissues and thickening of the tendon and ligaments, which eventually can cause permanent dysfunction of the affected area.
Muscles attach to bones in pairs of opposites, and cross one joint or more. Muscles free from tension will carry out the function of keeping joints in alignment. This allows joint fluid to flow evenly within the joint, and this reduces unnatural wear and tear of joints.
Each muscle is attached to bone by tendons. Muscles are designed to take 90% of workload and tendons the other 10% The muscle is where the elasticity is. If the muscle is not functioning properly then the tendons will take more load and can eventually tear.
Equine massage therapy is a very powerful tool in injury prevention for horses.
Most bodies start off life using all muscles in a correct and efficient way. As injuries and overuse pile up, the body compensates by using less appropriate muscles. Eventually, compensations become patterns. The body may try several compensations before it runs out of options. At that point pain and weakness develop.
Pain is a poor guide for proper muscle use. Pain will lead the body down the wrong path! Correct body work, such as Trigger Point and Stress Point therapy, can lead the body towards health, and away from pain.
The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. The body, whether human or animal, can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment.
I highly recommend that horses are put on a regular schedule of massage treatments in order to help prevent injuries and keep muscles soft and supple.