I have an equine massage book that someone gave me years ago. It is more like an old time pamphlet with metal rings down the center. Mine is missing the cover page. The author is Jack Meagher. The basic premise of the book – releasing muscle points, massaging the muscle and then moving the horse through a sequence of movements, is very important. When I lived in Saudi trying to rehabilitate Kemo and then Pasha, this book was integral to that work. I found it unwieldy to flip through to test pressure points, so I made a 5*7 drawing of the horse muscles, similar to the one above, with the written information on the back.
Someone kindly laminated it for me, and it was pinned up in my tack room, ready for use at a moment’s notice. By Vermont, I knew most of the movements for the muscle groups, but I always kept the book handy for reference and to double check. The (secret) book’s name: Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses.
Without the book, the drawing is pretty useless. Get the book if you can find it, wherever you can find it. (No, I am not selling copies out there!) I found a used copy for $11. I sent it to my former assistant, and all around wonderful person, Leanne. She used it for a class project.
The original laminated drawing had faded beyond hope, so when Leanne asked if she could use it, I had to re-draw it. I used a generic horse outline from the web as the base, because no horse I’ve ever drawn as looked so smooth and horse-like.
Working a horse with tight muscles can damage the horse, so knowing how to let down and release those muscles before work, and how to find them, feel them, and recognize what they are is extremely important in horse care.
To sum up, this book is one of the most valuable books you will ever add to your equestrian toolbox. The massage points, directions, and movements free up stuck muscles in your horse. I see from a brief web search that Jack Meagher has a newer sport’s massage equine book, which I would take a close look at if I still were keeping horses, even if I weren’t competing. All horses benefit from his work. Massage your horse. Get to know your horses’ muscles. Those tight little knots aren’t nothing, and are doing more harm than good.
When you can’t release them yourself, that’s when to bring in the Equine Massage Therapist. He or she can also help you understand what you are feeling. Most people who go on to massage horses, want you to be knowledgeable enough to work out the small kinks. If not, find a different therapist.
Thank you for stopping by Wendy’s Horse Adventures!
Brief Update: I finally, 2 weeks ago, got 99% mobility back in my right shoulder! Now, I have sessions with a personal trainer to build up muscles while taking into account the injuries and the support muscles which will need to be built up slowly. I’m very excited. Also, I’m looking for a job, so peeps, keep me in mind – find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and help me connect with a brand new future. Thanks! Okay – Instagram’s really just for fun…but seriously, hook me up with connections!