FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MASSAGE THERAPY FOR RIDERS

Can you come to my home to give massages?
Yes.

Is there a travel fee if you travel to my home?
It depends. If your home is more than 20 miles away from Atherton CA than yes, a small travel fee will be added to the bill.

Do you work on men and women?
Yes.

Do I have to be a rider to have you as my Massage Therapist?
No. Even though my business targets riders and their horses, I welcome all clients. 

If I wanted to get a massage as a gift for my friend or my friends horse, do you have gift certificates?
Yes. Gift certifcates are available upon request.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EQUINE MASSAGE THERAPY

How long does an equine massage session last?
The massage will last anywhere between 45 min to 2 hours. Thus, Heavenly Hands charges by the session not by the minutes.

However, for new clients, the first session usually last 2-3 hours. This includes static and dynamic observations, assessment of the horse, a history checklist, and a full body massage.

When will I notice an improvement in my horse?
Sometimes there is an immediate notable improvement. Sometimes it takes a few sessions. With the exception of accidents or direct trauma, most soft tissue issues are cumulative. They didn't happen overnight and they therefore will take some time to improve.

Do I have to be there to hold my horse?
Most horses are happy to stand quietly for a massage after the initial session. As a result, owners/handlers need not be present at every session.

My horse is off - can I have you look at him without veterinarian approval?
No, your veterinarian needs to clear your horse for massage.

How often should a horse be massaged?
This depends on the horse’s level of work, his confirmation, his health, the extent of an injury, the footing, and how well his tack fits.
However, the average horse, ridden 3-5 days a week, performing moderate work, should receive a massage monthly. This allows his care-givers to have a regular check on his muscular condition and impact of training.

Competition horses in more serious training, meeting higher standards and strenuous demands, need massages about every two weeks.

Horses in the highest level of competition (Grand Prix Jumping, Grand Prix Dressage etc.), or whose sport places very high demands on their bodies and minds, need weekly sessions.

A retired horse or a horse used for pleasure should have a massage about every 6 weeks. The frequency of massages for injured or rehabilitating horses is determined by your veterinarian and is only massaged under your veterinarian’s supervision.

*Allowing more than 6 weeks between sessions will diminish the benefits of massage, and may allow issues to resurface before they are resolved.

Does my horse need to be clean before you can work on him?
No, please just knock off any mud and make sure he is dry. Please do not use hair polishes on him such as ShowSheen the day of the massage.

How long do I have to wait until I can ride my horse after a session?
Light follow-up exercise is a component of equine sports massage. Therefore a 15-20 minute hack, or a gentle trail ride would greatly benefit your horse because exercise following the massage helps in the re-education of muscle fibers to the correct alignment. If you are unable to ride your horse after his session we recommend a 10-15 minute brisk hand-walk within 2 hours of his session. However, horses with injuries that are on stall-rest or that are prohibited from any exercise will still benefit from Equine Body Work.

I’m showing my horse this weekend and this week is my first scheduled massage appointment. Is this okay?
Yes, once your horse is on a regular massage schedule. However, if this is your horse’s first session Heavenly Hands recommends that owners do not have their horses massaged 5 days before a show. This is because both horse and rider need time to adjust to their new way of moving and some horses may be slightly sensitive afterwards.

My horse has been diagnosed by my vet with an injury that requires stall rest and hand-walking only. Should I reduce his massage frequency since he’s not working?
Not necessarily. Massage for the stall-bound or hand-walking horse will aid in the recovery and rehabilitation process by keeping the circulation going, the muscle fibers elastic, and the joints in full range of motion. Not to mention it will make him just plain feel better! There are also simple, no-impact exercises that can be added to his routine to help retain his muscle tone and mental stimulation so he can better weather his down time and come back to work more quickly.

Why is veterinary approval or referral important?
Equine Body Work involves the application of hands on modalities. It is important to clarify any contraindications or veterinarian diagnosed conditions prior to commencing body work so that body work may be implemented appropriately.

 

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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