If you have never experienced massage therapy before you may be anxious and wondering what to expect from ESM treatment. There is nothing to worry about. ESM is a calming and relaxing therapy that will only benefit your horse and ultimately you!
Your Initial Consultation
This will take between 1 ½–2 hours. During this initial examination I am able to ensure I have all the information I need to offer the best outcome for the horse.
The consultation will involve:
- discussing the horse’s history and any presenting problems
- gait analysis by seeing the horse being walked and trotted up
- conformation check
- saddle fit check
- foot and farriery observation
- teeth and dentistry observation
It may also be necessary to see the horse being ridden or lunged so that I can get a complete picture of how he moves and where any problems may be.
Following these observations, a short full body massage will be performed, which helps the horse become accustomed to massage techniques and also allows me to find any problem areas. Further treatments may be required dependent on any problem areas found.
Follow-up treatments, lasting around 1–1½ hours, will cover the whole body but the routine will be tailor made to the individual horse, with more time spent on problem areas. As the horse becomes accustomed to the techniques used, the therapist can work deeper into the muscles.
All treatments will include Swedish massage techniques. It may also include other massage techniques, as well as active and passive stretches. After the treatments, the owner will be provided with aftercare advice and may be given exercises and stretches to perform between treatments if required.
Depending on the horse, its workload, and any problems being treated, it may only be necessary for your horse to have a few treatments a year to maintain the benefits of massage.