Horse as Teacher
Horse as Teacher
Horse As Teacher

Horse As Teacher, The Path to Relationship is now available for purchase. Click here for details!

Our Services
Join Us
We Recommend

Our Site for Personal & Professional Growth
Empowering women from the inside out. Experience horses helping humans heal!

Click here to visit Unbridling Your Brilliance...

Equine Massage- Anna’s Story Pt 3

So you have decided that maybe your horse would benefit from a massage, but you would like to know what to expect. First, the therapist should take a thorough case history (and in any case where there is a possibility that a massage is contraindicated, the attending veterinarian needs to be contacted first). Next, it is ideal to see the horse move (unless they are on stall rest at the time). It is possible to either lunge the horse, trot it in hand, or tack up and ride. This is especially helpful in situations where the problem is only perceived during certain moments, for example during the left canter lead transition, or lateral work to the right. Next is a hands on assessment during which I gently feel the horse’s entire body for areas of increased tension, temperature, texture and tenderness. At this point I also like to discuss the owner’s goals for the horse. I think it’s very important to be realistic about what it is possible to achieve through a massage. There is no magical fix or cure to every problem and I think it is essential to realize what the limitations of any modality are. As far as the treatment itself goes, the particular type of massage I perform is a full body Swedish massage which is specifically tailored to each individual horse (it is not just a massage routine). I also use some specialized massage techniques (trigger point or swelling therapy for example). The treatment also includes hydrotherapy (this simply means water therapy). It typically consists of a hot compress (for example on a horse with a tight lower back), but can also be an ice massage (in case of a muscle spasm), or cold hosing (in cases of swelling). Finally, I perform some stretches or range of motion exercises appropriate for the horse. Then I leave the owner with some ideas for home care they can do themselves between massages (these are usually stretches, but can also be an idea for an exercise under saddle).

Anna’s Bio

Anna Drygalski is a Registered Equine Massage Therapist who attended the two year, full time, 2200 hour Equine Massage Therapy program at the D’Arcy Lane Institute in London, Ontario. She graduated in 2004 with an award for excellence in achievement. Anna then returned to the Lower Mainland where she has been massaging horses in all facets of the equine industry. For more information on Anna and her work please check out her website:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.