Preparing for Bodywork & What to Expect
Prepare for your horse’s session and what to expect:

▪ Whenever possible, scheduling during barn down-time hours (e.g. away from feeding times) will promote your
horse's greatest relaxation during his massage.

▪ If you ride your horse prior to his session, please allow him ample time to cool down and dry off before I
arrive. Avoid bathing your horse or using coat polishers like ShowSheen® before his massage. Make sure your
horse is well groomed, dry and free of any major dirt clumps. If not they will experience more friction during the
massage which will not be comfortable. On poor weather days, consider using a rain sheet or keeping the horse
under cover.

Lameness: If your horse has an undiagnosed lameness or an acute injury, it is in the horse’s best interest to be seen by a veterinarian prior to bodywork. Please provide written clearance from the attending veterinarian that it is safe to proceed with bodywork prior to our session where lameness and injuries are involved.

Do I have to stay for the whole session? I understand that you likely lead a busy life and may not have time to
attend the full session or future sessions. If you have other matters to attend to that is not a problem, I will be happy to work with your horse while you are elsewhere as long as it is safe to do so.

When will I see results? Although many people will notice positive results in their horse after the first session,
most horses require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. For best results, most horses do well to be seen every 1-2 weeks for 4 sessions.

Maintenance: To maintain the work we have done and to keep your horse feeling his best, maintenance massage
sessions are recommended. Most horses will do well being seen every 1-3 months (depending on their workload) after initial issues are resolved or improved.

What does a bodywork session look like: I begin the session by getting in tune with your horse, palpating
their body and determining where they are experiencing issues. I pin point areas of tension and identify chronic vs. acute issues. In my assessment, I look for function, symmetry, tension and pain. Most sessions are massage focused and you will also see me using myo-fascial release, cold laser therapy, aromatherapy, BEMER (PEMF)< and/or kinesiology tape in our sessions. Some horses take to bodywork right away and will show their satisfaction through long blinks, yawns, resting legs, deepening their breathe, softening their fascial muscles etc, others take longer to settle and enjoy themselves, both are normal.

Following Your Horse's Massage:

▪ The minutes immediately following your horse's massage offer a valuable time of neuromuscular
repatterning. Get them moving—gently! Hand walk for 10-20 minutes, or enjoy an easy hack. Ideally, your
horse will be turned out for the rest of the day.

▪ Encourage your horse to drink plenty of water in the hours following his massage. Offer special minerals or salt
during especially warm weather.

▪ While some massage techniques help prime your horse to follow up with outstanding performance, generally,
your horse will not be raring to go immediately after his massage. Always avoid strenuous activity for 24
hours. If your horse is new to massage, please schedule his session at least a week ahead of any
competition. Horses used to massage should be permitted 3-4 days to adjust to their new "shape" before being
brought into the ring or onto the course.

▪ Post-massage soreness is normal up to three days following your horse's session. Be mindful of their signals and please be in touch with any questions about what you observe.

▪ Note that, once newly addressed, areas of muscular tension often feel worse before they get better. While some freshly-massaged horses run bucking off into the field apparently five years younger, it is more common for horses to need a few days to process the changes. If your horse is sound but seems to flounder a bit during your next ride, be gentle and patient! That's a good indication that he's finding new ground.

▪ If we discussed a homework plan, give it a try. Your own explorations into a gentle stretching routine or targeted massage technique can extend the benefits of your horse's regular massages exponentially.

▪ Between regularly scheduled sessions, please take note of any changes in your horse’s behavior, diet, mood, or
performance.
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