1.0 The massage therapy, what is it?

Massage therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.
Massage therapy treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body and optimizes health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction and pain and the effects of stress can be relieved or prevented through the use of Massage Therapy.

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Equine massage therapy… ?

Equine massage therapy can be a valuable part of a horse’s ongoing health maintenance plan. It can be used to relieve muscular tension, to help detect signs of strain early on, encourage a more supple and balanced way of going, and can provide important mental down time, particularly for those with demanding competitive schedules.
For older horses or those with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, massage can be valuable in maintaining mobility and relieving discomfort.
Equine massage can also be applied in the rehabilitation process, during a horse’s recovery from injury (*with veterinary approval*). With a whole body approach, massage can also help address secondary and compensatory issues that may arise as a consequence of the primary injury.
It is important to recognize that massage can have an effect on many of the body’s systems, and may not be an appropriate therapy if certain conditions exist.

Here are several examples where massage therapy can occur:

  • Following gestation (Recovery after birth, muscle tear);
  • Due to illness, surgery and convalescence (healing of tissues, eliminating toxins);
  • Fitness;
  • Improve locomotion and flexibility;
  • Back pain, sciatica, neck pain;
  • Skin problems;
  • Transient or chronic fatigue;
  • Tendonitis;
  • Navicular;
  • Preparing for competition season.


2.0 The benefits of equine massage therapy

  • Contributes to muscle relaxation and reduces congestion in the tissues;
  • Promotes blood circulation;
  • Helps reduce adhesions and quantity of scar tissue;
  • Promotes an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells;
  • Improves joint range of motion and allows the increase of synovial fluid in the joints;
  • The deep massage helps release endorphins;
  • The slow and calming maneuvers allow the release of the stress that has the effect of reducing anxiety;
  • Helps reduce edema and inflammation;
  • Stimulates circulation of the lymphatic system to improve the elimination of metabolic wastes, toxins and cellular debris to the excretory organs, especially the kidneys;
  • Encourages the right attitude in the horse;
  • Promote the welfare, health and prolong the careers of horses.


3.0 When to call equine massage therapist?

You can consult an equine massage therapist for your horse when there is muscle stiffness, loss of mobility, a recurring discomfort or a sudden change in behavior of the execution of a movement. You can also reach out a massage therapist to prevent diseases of the musculoskeletal system, both to prepare for the competition season and for the rehabilitation of the fibrous and muscle tissue of an injury (Muscle tear, tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, navicular, laminitis).

Important Note: The equine massage therapy does not replace the veterinary care. Equine massage therapy is a complement to the traditional medicine. For questions, please make sure you always consult your veterinarian. It's by working in collaboration with osteopaths, veterinarians, dentists, blacksmiths, that the overall balance of the body and maintenance of the horse's condition will be optimal.


4.0 How to recognize a horse in pain?

The horse often has no other choice to communicate his pain in presenting untimely behavior, aggressive, avoidance behavior or anticipation to certain exercises or movements that are painful. Any change in the attitude of your horse is to be taken seriously. It is important as the owner and / or coach to keep their mind open. Take a deep breath, forget the preconceptions and set yourself with a series of questions. Examine the horse's actions and ask yourself whether or not the horse is trying to tell you something?

Examples of signs to help you determine a pain symptom in your horse:

  • Holds his head too high or too low;
  • Excessive agitation of the head;
  • Does not want to take the bit;
  • Strong reaction when time to strap and put the saddle;
  • Hoods itself to avoid the bit or a discomfort;
  • Does not want to turn to one side;
  • Refuses lateral movement;
  • Hollow back when the rider mounts the saddle;
  • Tendency to load or rush into performing certain movements;
  • Difficulty jumping (charges through the obstacles, not within his strides);
  • Sensitive to certain areas of the body while grooming;
  • Difficulty maintaining a circle at a gallop;
  • Negative reaction in small circles;
  • Prefers gallop instead of lengthening the trot.

If this behavior is recurrent, then the horse can be in pain and communicates it to you this way.


5.0 The "not to do" to equine massage therapy

  • Pregnant mare of under three months;
  • Viral diseases; fever, flu, bronchitis, lymphangitis or anything that is contagious;
  • A horse with a temperature above normal;
  • Heart disease;
  • Cancer, tumor;
  • Injury, such as burns, bruises, bites, inflammation, open wound or when there is the presence of heat;
  • Do not treat a horse on medication. Taking certain medications can decrease the horse's sensitivity to pain and prevent it to realize that massage pressure is too high, which could result some blood vein blowout…
  • Skin diseases (ringworm, dermatitis);
  • Arthritis, Osteoarthritis in acute inflammatory phase;
  • The presence of lameness.
Visit card Equine Massage Therapist



Marie-Andrée Beaudet
Equine Massage Therapist

Relaxation - Athletic - Specific

Phone number: 819-944-2183
Email: beaudet.marie.andree@gmail.com





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