When not to massage

There are occasionally times when ESM is not appropriate.

There are times when Equine Sports Massage is not advised.

Massage should not be applied to areas of injury, swelling or infection, these areas are not only painful, but as massage promotes the flow of blood and lymph, it could spread infection and increase swelling. Massage should not be applied to horses with tumours that are cancerous, or potentially cancerous, as it can speed up and spread their growth in the body. Horses with a fever should also not be massaged, so if your horse is looking a bit ‘off’, it’s worthwhile taking his temperature before the massage.

If your horse develops health problems, new injuries or any new lumps or bumps before a massage appointment, speak to your ESMT (Equine Sports Massage Therapist) straight away, you may need to rearrange the appointment or wait until your Vet has given him the all clear.

Please note: If your horse suffers from any of the following, massage treatment may not be able to take place.

  • Immediately after an accident.
  • Following an accident with suspected haemorrhage – in this case use ice and compression and arrange for professional assistance.
  • If there is persistent undiagnosed pain.
  • If the horse is dehydrated.
  • If there is any type of general or local infection, including undiagnosed fever.
  • Cases of skin disruption, fungal or bacterial infection of the skin is present, including rain scald.
  • Cases with colic and ‘tying up’.
  • To remove acute pain/discomfort during competition without veterinary or medical agreement.