Equine Massage Therapy Techniques
Nerve Stroking is when you use your finger tips or the palm of your hand to lightly stoke your horse to increase
his awareness of his body. Nerve stroking will also begin to move your horse into the Parasympathetic state by
affecting his Central Nervous System.
Try to apply your strokes in a way that will increase your horse's relaxation. It should be a soothing and calming
stroke. This is a very superficial stroke that is not intended to move any of the muscle tissue or even the skin. It
is only meant to either stimulate or soothe your horse's nervous system.
Using nerve stroking briskly will be stimulating. Using nerve stroking in a calming manner will be soothing.
Nerve stroking can be applied in any direction, however your horse may enjoy it more if you go in the direction of
the hair and along the length of the horse's muscles.
You can use this stroke to start and/or end an equine therapy session.
At the beginning of a session, you can use it to soothe and relax your horse to prepare him for the massage. It
will also make your horse more aware of his body and provide you with information (areas of tension,
tenderness, or sensitivity).
And, at the end of the session, you can use it in a brisk, stimulating way to "wake up" your horse. Either way, it
will help to "reconnect" your horse's body and nervous system.
You may also use nerve stroking during a session to connect the various other equine massage movements.
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