There is an extraordinary degree of organization in the muscular system in order for movement to occur. Many different parts need to work together.
When there is muscle tension, movement patterns become disrupted, and some muscles will have to work too hard or remain too lax. Movement will then become more strenuous and less efficient. This dysfunctional movement can become a bad habit if it is not quickly corrected. It starts to feel familiar, even if it is not right. This can lead to hardened muscles, tendon strain, and degeneration of cartilage.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to prevent muscle dysfunction (and to retrain muscles) is through massage. You and your equine partner can be returned to supple, balanced, free movement. Comfort and effortless movement can be restored with body work.
If your horse is suffering from any of the following, a massage session may be in order:
Difficulty picking up a lead
Difficulty bending in one or both directions
Paddling with front legs
Little or no swinging motion in hips and barrel
Difficulty stepping under
Lack of impulsion
Pain and stiffness associated with arthritis or injury
General lack of coordination or balance
General resistance or grouchiness
Releasing tight muscles can eliminate all of these problems.