Sports Massage for Horses
by Pennie Hooper
"Sports Massage for Horses" by Pennie Hooper is a good book about equine sports massage therapy for a
beginner or someone who would just like to learn the basics.
Pennie Hooper is a professional equine therapist who trained with Jack Meagher, who is said to be the grandfather
of equine sports massage.
She is supported by professionals such as Mary Wanless (who wrote a forward for the book) and Kelly Marks (who
wrote an endorsement on the back of the book).
The following is from the back of the book:
Pennie Hooper is a successful equine sports
massage therapist who treats mainly dressage
and event horses (and their riders); she has also
worked with racehorses, including some
write-offs that went on to win races after receiving
treatment. She was trained at the highly
respected Jack Meagher Institute in America,
graduating in 1996, and is also qualified to treat
humans. Based in London, she treats horses all
over the UK and abroad, working closely with
veterinary surgeons to achieve a common goal.
As I have said, this is a more basic book, but there are some things that I do like about it.
I like that she has comparisons of how your body works compared to a horse's body to try to get the reader to
understand how the horse may be feeling when experiencing a problem. She also explains Repetive Strain Injury in a
way that the average person with no muscle training can understand.
She discusses how to evaluate your horse. Then she describes the techniques she uses, which are
Compression and Cross-Fiber Friction. She then breaks down the horse's body into sections and discusses
problems and solutions for the common problems you may find.
I like how she shows the muscles drawn onto a live picture of a horse so that the reader can really see where it is
located on their own horse more easily. She then tells you what the Muscle Action, Common Problem of that
muscle, and then a Solution using her techniques.
I personally use more equine massage techniques than just the two she describes. But, in equine sports
massage taught by Jack Meagher, I do believe those are the two he used most often. I have seen where other
people have frowned on her frequent use of a rubber massage tool during a session and I also agree that there are
other ways to work on a horse by using your hand instead of a tool. However, I don't like to throw out a whole book
just because I disagree with something the author teaches.
So, in summary, I think that "Sports Massage for
Horses" by Pennie Hooper is a good book for a
beginner or for someone who is interested in learning
about basic equine sports massage techniques.
If you are interested in a more in-depth study of
Equine Anatomy and Physiology and more equine
massage techniques I would probably recommend a
different book such as, Equine Massage: A
Practical Guide by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt.
To learn more about or to purchase one of these
books, please choose the link to the left.
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