Equine Massage Therapy Techniques
Shaking is used in Equine Massage Therapy to increase circulation. It can also be used to help the horse
relax an area that he is holding tension in.
Shaking is usually done with the whole hand - putting most of the pressure on the palm and extending out
through the fingers.
Place your hand on the horse's muscles, lean into the horse by using your body weight, and quickly move
your hand back and forth. It is important to move the tissue.
Shaking helps to confuse the proprioceptors allowing the horse's muscles to relax.
I also use shaking when stretching a horse. When I am trying to stretch a horse's leg and he will not relax it,
giving it a gentle shake will allow him to relax the limb. (I will discuss this and demonstrate it in the Equine
Stretching Exercises section.)
When you use shaking in a slow, gentle manner, your horse will find it to be a soothing movement. Applying
shaking using a quicker and deeper movement will be more stimulating to your horse.
As mentioned during some of the other movements, take care over bony areas on your horse. It is best to use
shaking on large muscle groups, over the ribcage, and to shake the tension out of a stiff limb while stretching
or using range of motion exercises.
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