Massaging your horse
In this article I will explain how to give your horse a simple massage. A massage is very relaxing for the horse, but also for the owner! After a massage, a horse often moves a lot more smoothly. Really a must to try!
What do you need?
You don’t need much to massage your horse. Just listed:
- Your hands
- Halter with a long line, for example a lead rope
- A quiet place, like in the stable of the horse
Before we start:
Do not tie up your horse. If you hit a sensitive spot during the massage, your horse may be startled and start pulling on its halter. This creates a stress situation and you want to prevent that. Therefore, only pass the rope through his stable edge and hold the end. This way you can hold your horse, but you can still give him some extra space if necessary. Also an important point is that you have to stay calm yourself. So talk calmly to your horse and do not let yourself be distracted by other things that happen in the stable. Also, do not keep massaging in one place for too long, your horse will not like this.
You have to pay attention to the signals that your horse gives at all times. If your horse likes the massage, he will doze off a bit and hang his head. If your horse has a sore spot somewhere, he’ll let you know by tucking his ears back on his neck, turning away, or cringing. In such a place it is your job to massage a little more gently and to build this up slowly, so that the spot will not hurt after a while.
Now for the real thing!
Start massaging the neck. You do this with a flat hand. Make stroking movements, from the neck to the shoulder. Go with the direction of the hair, this is pleasant for your horse. If you are going to massage against the direction, your horse will not like it.
After a while you can start massaging the back. You also do this with stroking movements, from the withers towards the buttocks.
Once you’ve done this, you can move on to massaging the buttocks. It is important that you go along with the curves of your horse.
Now finish with the shoulders and withers. The saddle rests on the withers, which is why in some horses the muscles in the withers and shoulders may be a little stiff. Your horse will therefore really enjoy being massaged in this place. You massage the withers with the palm of your hand. This makes small, rotating movements from front to back, in the same direction as the hands of a clock. In this way you also massage the shoulders.