How often can or should my horse receive a massage? The answer to this will depend on the horse and his or her condition. For example, a horse with an acute condition may receive gentle massage daily to treat swelling and pain, whereas a horse who is receiving massage for maintenance purposes can often go four weeks or longer between massages.
How much does massage cost? Equine Massage is not regulated in Ontario, therefore a therapist can charge whatever he or she deems reasonable. I myself charge a flat fee dependant upon the duration of the treatment (usually 30 or 60mins), plus mileage if applicable. Please contact me directly for more pricing information.
How long does a massage take? Depending on the condition being treated, a massage can last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes or more. Please keep in mind that a first visit will include and assessment. This appointment can take upwards of two hours depending on your horse’s condition.
How should I prepare my horse for a massage treatment? Please have your horse clean and dry, and hooves picked out as it is difficult to massage through crusted on dirt or over wet hair. Also be ready to walk or jog your horse out so the therapist can evaluate his or her movement. Working your horse prior to massage may be indicated.
What are some reasons a horse should NOT receive massage treatment? Contrary to popular belief, one CAN hurt a horse with massage. If your horse has skin irritation, an open wound or has received needles, massage may be contraindicated, but the therapist may be able to avoid the affected area. Other major contraindications include but are not limited to kidney or liver damage or cancer. This is one reason it is important that the therapist receive a full history on your horse, and communicates with your horse’s veterinarian.
How many horses can you massage in one day? This is very dependant on drive time and the type of treatment given to each horse. I have worked on up to seven horses in one barn over a day.
Why do you need my Veterinarian’s information? The IFREMT, and the CVO dictates that an REMT cannot work on an animal without veterinary permission. It is important that your veterinarian know that your horse is receiving massage therapy, and it is important that the therapist discusses any possible contraindications your horse may have with the veterinarian. It is best for the horse to have a fully integrated health care team to ensure consistency and the best possible care.
How can I become a Registered Equine Massage Therapist? Please visit IFREMT.org for more information on becoming an REMT. REMTs complete 2200 hours of in class and hands on training before taking a board exam consisting of both written and Oral/Practical segments.
Will I have to do anything with my horse after receiving a massage treatment? The effects of massage can last up to two hours after the treatment is done, so usually it is best to allow your horse to rest and relax directly after a massage. Your therapist is likely to suggest “home care” to combat any issues your horse may have. These are often in the form of stretching and remedial exercises but may also include behavioural work and hydrotherapy.
Can my horse be worked right after or right before a massage treatment? Often, it is helpful to work a horse before a massage as it warms the tissues and allows the therapist to treat more deeply. This may also alert the therapist to muscle imbalances. Work after a massage is usually less productive than a normal session as the muscle tissues are generally stretched or relaxed. However, certain circumstances may warrant massage prior to work, such as a pre-event massage which is designed to “wake up” muscle tissue by drawing blood flow, and therefore oxygen and other nutrients required for muscle activity into the muscle, essentially priming the muscle for heavy work. This type of massage is especially useful at shows where one may not be given warm up time directly before competition.