Whether you use your equine for pleasure or professional purposes, massage can affect the equine body in many positive ways. Connecticut Equine Therapy welcomes you to browse this website to learn some great ways to keep your equine as good as possible, as safe as possible, for as long as possible.
Equine massage is the intentional and systematic manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques to enhance health and healing in a horse.
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- • Increase flexibility and range of motion. Help prevent injuries.
- • Improve temperament, promote bonding and trust.
- • Enhance rhythm and balance.
- • Reduce pain in chronic conditions
- • Improve circulation. Speed up the healing process.
- • Stimulate digestion, enhance elimination.
- • Promote muscular relaxation.
- • Reduce pain and stiffness. Improve comfort in senior horses.
EQUINE MASSAGE THERAPY CAN….
Susan Kasmin is the owner of Connecticut Equine Therapy serving Connecticut and its surrounding areas. She is a Licensed Human Massage Therapist in CT from Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Newington, CT, a Certified Equine Massage Therapist from Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA, holds a Certificate in Equine Husbandry through the Equine Management Program at Post University in Waterbury, CT and is certified in Wilson Meagher Method of Equine Sportsmassage by Jo-Ann Wilson. Susan is a member of the ABMP, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals is certified through the NBCAAM, National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage and has extensive personal and professional experience with horses.
Susan offers human and equine therapys that includes massage which works directly with muscle and other connective tissue. Some of the things Susan’s work assists in is maintaining muscle integrity, preventing injury, recovery,
flexibility and range of motion, pain management, metabolic waste removal and scar tissue repair. Techniques Susan uses are non-invasive methods of hands on work designed to enhance the bodys overall health. They include compression, direct pressue, cross fiber friction, stretching and use of hot and cold therapies when needed. She offers sports taping for humans to support, protect and prevent injury to connective tissue such as muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Equine massage therapy benefits all ages, breeds and disciplines of horses on many different levels. In a lot of cases results can be obvious and long lasting. Equine massage is an excellent complement to Veterinary, Acupuncture and Chiropractic care. Susan offers educational demonstrations of equine massage to clubs and associations. For more information please contact us. Susan hopes to be working with you and your equines soon!
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Depending on how massage is applied to the horse’s body it can relax or stimulate. Connecticut Equine Therapy offers two types of massage, Sports Massage and Maintenance Massage. Before working with a horse, the horse’s health, history and confirmation are documented. Then a gait analysis is performed to decide a treatment plan. A quiet area, away from busy barn activity is ideal for most massage. In order to perform massage on a horse it must be free of dust and dirt. The horse’s coat must be completely dry before the massage therapist arrives. Another gait analysis is performed post massage to evaluate the horse’s movement. The type and frequency of massage is determined by the horses needs at the time. Any medical issues must be cleared by the treating veterinarian previous to any massage.read more
"Hershey is doing GREAT!!! So excited to get him on a regular monthly schedule, definitely already seeing improvements, which is amazing! Thanks for everything!"
"Sarah's been fabulous at the Indian weddings. I really think the massages helped relax her. I'll hopefully have you do her again in the fall. Take care!"
"Thanks again for coming out and doing Topper, I could tell he absolutely loved the extra attention and TLC. I'll be giving you a call to come out and give him another massage. Thanks again!"
"Thanks for this report on Charmer. The next day I watched him in the field kicking up his heels and moving more freely than I've ever seen him! Many, many thanks. Til next!"
"Thank you so much for coming to the Pony Club camp. It was great! You are so very knowledgeable and you had such a great way to turn the demo into a true learning experience for the girls. I loved the fact that they could feel the knots before and after, and learned so casually about the anatomy of the horse. Thank you so much! The girls were definitely inspired to treat their horses more often to calming, healing hands."
MUSCLE STRENGTHENING TIPS
Whether you use your equine for pleasure or professional purposes it’s important for a horse to stay physically fit. A simple routine exercise plan can help keep your equine in optimum condition throughout its senior years. Good muscle tone and strength and good cardiovascular health are of utmost importance. Here are some quick and easy ideas for keeping your horse in great shape.
Providing enough fresh water, quality roughage and/or regulated grain rations, frequent grooming, daily turnout, proper saddle fit, professional hoof care and routine veterinary and dental visits are also factors in maintaining good equine health.
Remember to start workouts gradually then increase exercise as your horse increases endurance. Warm ups and cool downs of 10-15 min are also important to get the muscles warm before workouts or stretching and relaxed after workouts especially in cold weather. This assures that the horse comfortably adapts to the tolerance of your conditioning goals without stress or injury.
It is important to check and know your horse’s baselines as a part of good conditioning. Below are the normal ranges of vital signs for an adult horse.
EQUINE VITAL SIGNS
Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99.2-101.5read more
Pulse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30-50 BPM
Respiration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-14 BPM
Capillary Refill Time (CRT) . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Seconds
Stretching muscles is the ability of expanding and returning to the original shape afterward. Stretching is important to help maintain muscle flexibility and range of motion. Be sure that the horse is warmed up before stretching to prevent injury. Active stretching is getting the horse to move in a certain way on its own and is safest. Riding at a canter and carrot stretches are some great ways to stretch the horse’s muscles.
Cavaletti – If you are limited for time and space, low cavaletti are a great way to keep your horse in shape throughout the year. This is something that can enhance your horse’s muscle tone, joint strength and create rhythm and balance. Set 5 cavaletti 6-8 inches high about 2 1/2-3 feet apart on level ground with good footing, depending on the horses stride at a walk. At a slow walk, ride with a loose rein keeping mouth contact or lunge over cavaletti. Start a lap
back and forth (10 cavaletti total) every other day. The second week or when tolerated add 1/2 a lap (5 more cavaletti) every other day. Staying with the 15 cavaletti achieve great results in a gentle effective way!
Hills – Riding up and down an inclined 10% grade at a walk with good contact will help strengthen muscles. You can vary with walking straight up the hill then zigzagging down.
Trotting – Riding with proper bit contact and actively trotting forward on a straight line with good footing is another great exercise to add strong muscles to your horse's lower back, hindquarters and stifles.
The resistance of the horse and riders weight as it climbs develops hind legs, forearms and the cardiovascular system. A horse gains 3X more the distance and amount of training effect on a hill then flat ground with less impact stress on bones and joints.read more
get in touch
CONNECTICUT EQUINE THERAPY, LLC
Susan W. Kasmin, LMT, CEMT
Oxford, CT 06478
Connecticut Equine Therapy offers clinics that include a demonstration on a horse for the group of your choice. Susan will explain the importance of massage to help maintain muscle health while working on the horse in front of group. She will define muscles and explain the importance of muscle condition. Horses are welcome to come for massage work at clinics if premises allows. Contact Us for more information and scheduling.
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Connecticut Equine Therapy!
The muscular system is responsible for holding the skeletal system together…. Muscles are responsible for stability and posture….Nerves conduct electrical impulses to expand and contract muscles which creates movement in the horse....Muscles generate heat by producing small spasmodic contractions called shivering to avoid hypothermia....Muscles make up about 60% of a horses body weight….Muscle has the ability to stretch 1 1/2 times its resting length....There are no muscles below a horses knees and hocks….Fifteen individual muscles are required to move the horse’s ears….The horse's anatomy does not include a collarbone. Their front legs are attached to their spine through a complex system of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Sports Massage prepares the horse immediately or several hours before use by working directly on the muscles at their attachments. The quick paced hands on techniques applied in a Sports Massage can increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, can release spasms that restrict proper movement and spread muscle fibers to allow the muscle to work at full range of motion. After a Sports Massage is complete the muscles are warmed up and the horse is ready to perform. The movement of the horse after a Sports Massage further enhances and completes this technique by actively stretching the muscles.
Maintenance Massage applies Western Massage modalities for the horse’s health, relaxation and healing based on anatomy, physiology and pathology. The slower paced rhythmic hands on techniques used in a Maintenance Massage can help reduce stress both physically, with soft tissue manipulation, and emotionally, by calming the nervous system. Maintenance Massage can have a positive effect on all the horse’s eleven body systems and is a good choice after use or when the horse needs to revitalize.
Rates Available Upon request
Your horse's response to massage will vary depending on the type of application. After massage be sure your horse has access to plenty of fresh drinking water. If the weather is cold it is a good idea to cover the horse to keep muscles warm. Specific aftercare will be provided after each treatment in relation to exercise, rest and management. Follow up treatments are recommended for maintenance purposes. If there is a specific issue, then a shorter period of time between massages will be advised.
After Sports Massage the horse's muscles are warmed up. The horse is alert and ready to perform. Cantering the horse is recommended to lengthen all the major muscle groups.
After Maintenance Massage it is important to keep the horse moving. Turning the horse out or taking the horse on a gentle hack is preferable to the horse being stabled. It is a good idea not to expect the horse to work or perform that or the next day. Metabolic waste in tight muscles can make the horse sluggish. As the body processes it through it could take a day or two. Every horse is different. Physical changes as well as emotional changes may take place as well. Horses that had touch issues may become more tolerant and even start to enjoy and trust hands on contact such as petting and grooming.
Massage can help prepare muscles for strengthening by spreading muscle fibers. This allows more blood into muscle tissue which brings in nutrients and oxygen. Massage releases tight muscles which allows for proper range of motion. Muscles cannot be strengthened unless they can contract and release fully. A simple strengthening program incorporated into your horse's life is very important regardless of age or use. For more information please visit MUSCLE HEALTH.