Equine Massage Therapy Techniques
Compression is similar to Petrissage. It is one of
the main movements used in Equine Sports
Similar to petrissage, you lean into the horse with
your hand or fist, but without the kneading circular
motion. Compression is more of a pumping action.
You will use your palm or your fist in a lift and
Another form of compression is Direct Pressure.
You apply pressure with your hand, thumb, arm,
elbow, etc and wait for the horse's muscle tissue
Start out light and "sink" into the muscle. Be sure not to use too
much pressure and do NOT push. Once again, be sure you are
Please read the section on Proper Body Mechanics for Equine
Therapy to learn more about the proper way to lean and use your
body for leverage.
If you are leaning on a muscle, you will be giving the body
time to allow the muscle to "open". Take your time. Do not
be tempted to try to hurry the process.
If you push on a muscle, the muscle could react negatively
to the sudden pressure and tense and push you out. You
also have the possibility of causing harm to the horse's
tissues by apply too much pressure too quickly. Bruising or
minor tissue tearing could result.
It is better to use too little pressure and build up - than apply
too much pressure too quickly and cause damage.
Give your horse's muscles a chance to relax and soften. Sometimes it can take a while, but I promise you that
if you force it to "speed up" the process, you are not doing your horse any favors. Better to wait until you have
the time needed to do the job right.
Some people will try to tell you horses are big and need a lot of pressure. Let me remind you that horses are
still tissue and tissue can be damaged. Take your time and work with the body. Do not try to force muscle
tissue - EVER!!!! Be patient and take your time.
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended
to replace professional opinions or recommendations.
Consult your veterinarian for advice about any medical condition or
treatment needed for your horse