Equine Massage: A Practical Guide
by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt
(The following is taken from the back of the book)
Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt is a Registered Massage Therapist. Originally from France, Hourdebaigt moved to
Canada in 1981, where he continued a generations-old family practice of natural healing. After graduating from
the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy, he pursued a successful career treating many well-known
athletes and dignitaries. It was his passion for animals, however, that led him to educate animal lovers in the art
and therapeutic application of massage techniques to help their horses, cats, and dogs. For many years he has
worked on horses of all breeds and disciplines. With only two hands and so many horses to help, he created
workshops in equine massage (preventative, maintenance, recovery and post-surgery) to instruct owners and
riders. He wrote Equine Massage: A Practical Guide to reach a wider audience beyond those who come to
study with him in Ottawa, Canada.
Most books that I have read or looked through about equine massage will describe some basic things about
how to apply certain massage strokes and maybe mention a little about equine anatomy, muscles, etc, - but
Jean-Pierre goes into more detail than I have seen in books in this price range.
The equine muscle charts alone are very impressive and he names almost every single muscle in the horse's
body. He also has charts for other structural systems in the horse.
* Points of the Horse
* Skeleton of the Horse
* Joints of the Horse
* Ligaments of the Horse
* Superficial Muscles of the Horse
* Deeper Muscles of the Horse
* Muscles of the Horse, Front View
* Muscles of the Horse, Rear View
* Superficial Muscle Layer with Stress Point Locations
* Deep Muscle Layer with Stress Point Locations
* Front Muscles with Stress Point Locations
* Rear Muscles with Stress Point Locations
That alone makes this book worth the money. But that is not all you will find in this book.
He goes into all of the equine massage therapy movements and their uses. He then provides "routines" that you
may use on your horse for relaxation, a head massage routine, a maintenance routine, a recuperation routine, a
warm-up routine, and a cool-down routine.
I must admit, I don't really use his routines. Once you understand massage therapy, you can make up your own
routines. But in the beginning, it would be good for you to understand the reasons and application behind these
He also goes into some kinesiology of the horse, conformation, stretching exercises, hydrotherapy, and
Personally, I like all of the charts in this book and will refer back to them from time to time. I also use this book
to show my clients what their horse's muscle system looks like so that they can understand what is going on
in their horse when I try to explain it to them. I find that most people don't understand how complicated the
muscular structure of a horse is. Being able to see it helps them to understand what is going on with their horse
So, in summary, I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about equine massage
therapy. It would also be good for anyone wanting to understand more about equine anatomy and physiology -
especially the horse's muscular structure.
If you would like to purchase or learn more about this book, please use the link below. There are more book
reviews by other people. There is also a feature that will allow you to search inside of this book if you would like
to see the table of contents, read a few pages, etc.
This book is in it's second edition. I have the first edition and have seen the
Although the second edition has four new chapters covering equine myofascial
massage, Equine TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Dysfunction Syndrome, Equine
Muscular Compensation Phenomenon, and saddle fitting, I was disappointed that
they made the book slightly smaller which makes all of the charts slightly smaller
as well. They are still easy to read, I don't think it is that big of a deal. I just liked
So, if you are interested in this book for the charts, you might want to find a first
edition. If you like the new chapters, you would probably rather have the second
A list of these charts are:
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